Chesterfield's play-off hopes hang in the balance after schoolboy defending in defeat at Bromley

Chesterfield’s play-off hopes hang in the balance after a 4-2 defeat at Bromley.

By Liam Norcliffe
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 7:54 am

Some shocking defending led to the Spireites being three goals down after just 29 minutes following Ali Al-Hamadi’s brace either side of Luke Coulson’s strike at Hayes Lane on Saturday.

Two headed goals from Laurence Maguire and Tom Denton inside four minutes gave the visitors hope before half-time.

But Corey Whiteley put more distance between the two sides just six minutes after the break.

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Chesterfield lost 4-2 at Bromley on Saturday.

DESPERATE

Chesterfield dropped into the final play-off spot after this defeat and they are now just four points ahead of Dagenham and Redbridge in eighth after they won at Wealdstone. The Spireites are in serious danger of blowing this season completely unless they can dig out a win from somewhere but, based on current performances, it is hard to see where the next victory is coming from. They could be saved by the fact Dagenham have got Solihull Moors away and Wrexham at home in their last two matches, but it is pretty desperate to be relying on other teams to slip-up rather than doing it on your own terms.

ALARMING

Paul Cook’s post-match comments about Chesterfield looking like a team who have nothing to play for is alarming. This made it seven games without a clean sheet and it was the second time in April that they conceded four times in a match. They have also won just two of their last seven which is hardly promotion form.

They have got three cup finals now, starting with leaders Stockport on Monday, and they need to lift themselves quickly. Given the injury situation, with Gavin Gunning, Jim Kellermann, Akwasi Asante, Joe Quigley and Danny Rowe all missing against the Ravens, Cook does not have that many options to change it but he has got to use all of his experience to find a formula that is going to get them over the line.

STEAMROLLED

Chesterfield were steamrolled in the first half an hour and they gave themselves far too much to do. They looked so fragile in defence and it was schoolboy stuff for all four goals, three of which came down Town’s left side.

You could have driven a bus through the middle of the defence for the opener. The second was assisted by Bromley’s goalkeeper with a long punt up field which went over everyone’s heads. They failed to stop the cross for the third and the fourth came just six minutes after a half-time team talk in which Cook specifically stated the importance of not conceding again. That goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and they did not look like getting back into it.

The back three had a nightmare, but they didn’t get any protection from the midfield either. The goals before half-time from Maguire and Denton papered over the cracks and flattered the Spireites.

As much as the Blues went into this in stuttering form, Bromley themselves had only won one of their last 10 in the league but they squeezed up the pitch, stopped Chesterfield from playing out from the back and took advantage of some slack marking to secure the points.

DENTS OFF THE MARK

Liam Mandeville assisted both of Chesterfield’s goals with two crosses, the second of which was for Denton to head in his first competitive goal since January 2021. It counted for little in the end, but it was a nice moment for him after more than a year out through injury.

TEAM

Loach; Williams, Maguire, Grimes (c); King, Weston, McCourt (Whelan, 70), Whittle (Miller, 75); Mandeville, Khan (Tyson); Denton. Unused subs: Oyeleke, Rowley.