COLUMN: It won't be pretty but no one in blue will mind if Lester turns Town into dogged winners

If Jack Lester can get the same ugly, dogged and committed performance we saw on Tuesday, week in and week out, Chesterfield will be just fine.

Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 10:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th October 2017, 3:48 pm
Three wise men? First team coach Tommy Wright, assistant manager Nicky Eaden and boss Jack Lester
Three wise men? First team coach Tommy Wright, assistant manager Nicky Eaden and boss Jack Lester

It won’t be pretty, it won’t please the neutrals, but no one in blue will mind if it guarantees survival.

Against Rotherham in the Checkatrade Trophy, for the first time in a long time, there was a midfield presence, a solid, compact shape and a gritty determination to not be beaten.

Playing two ‘defensive’ midfielders in Jak McCourt and Robbie Weir proved a masterstroke because they provided cover for the back four and made Town so much harder to play against.

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McCourt was a much needed source of energy, Weir was the organiser.

Two lung bursting runs upfield in the latter stages showed just how badly McCourt wanted it and the second of those was rewarded with the match winner.

It was a fine way to finally announce himself as a Spireite.

With Town sticking to their shape and pressing the Millers aggressively, Rotherham were forced to go direct and waiting for them was Ian Evatt.

The veteran centre-half was like a pig in muck, gleefully manhandling strikers, heading everything and making life generally difficult for anyone in a red shirt.

Next to him, Scott Wiseman was ready to sweep up the leftovers and his pace gave that pairing a balanced look.

The whole side looked more balanced, in fact.

Joe Rowley did a fine job on the right side of midfield, the 18-year-old defying his lack of experience and lack of game time to play his part.

Everyone worked hard and they all deserved the celebrations when McCourt headed in the 89th minute winner.

Yes, it was the Checkatrade Trophy against a much changed Millers, but for the players and 227 fans, it will have felt like a cup final.

The losing streak is snapped and the monkey is off the back.

Lester got, from a much maligned group of players, a performance not only to be proud of, but to build upon.

He was undoubtedly a horrible player to play against and his desire is to give Chesterfield a similar reputation.

Saturday’s hosts Lincoln are a daunting prospect given their early League Two promise, but Lester always fared pretty well against them as a player and will want to replicate that as a manager.

His players will want another taste of the feeling they enjoyed so much in midweek.