'˜FA Cup win a vital injection of confidence for Chesterfield'

Who saw that coming? Few, most likely.

Tuesday, 23rd October 2018, 8:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd October 2018, 9:28 am
Chesterfield's Tom Denton heads godwards: Picture by Steve Flynn/AHPIX.com, Football: The Emirates FA Cup - Qualifing Fourth Round match AFC Fylde -V- Chesterfield at Mill Farm, Wesham, Lancashire, England on copyright picture Howard Roe 07973 739229

Even the Blues faithful travelling north-westwards had limited expectations for their side, who were clearly the underdogs going into an FA Cup tie against a team who had only lost once all season.

The league’s draw specialists took a far from surprising point away from the Proact Stadium when the two sides last met, but they were shockingly dumped out of the FA Cup when the roles of host and guest were reversed.

A win had to come sooner or later, but there’s real significance in the cup victory, and for numerous reasons.

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The last time Chesterfield scored three away from home was almost two years ago, on 22 November 2016 when the Spireites came from behind to beat MK Dons 3-2 in League One.

The number of times Martin Allen’s side hit the back of the net on Saturday amounts to almost a third of the goals Fylde have shipped this season in total.

Scoring three times in a single fixture on the road is always a huge confidence booster, but doing it against the league’s meanest defence in their own back yard is even better.

The FA Cup, which clearly is not going to be the focus for the Spireites this season, of course has a different atmosphere to league fixtures, but the Blues still had to face the same tough side and this time were able to undo their back line.

After 14 gruelling games and more than two agonising months of failing to come out on top, perhaps there is now a glimmer of hope that their season can be saved.

In the grand scheme of things, it still is early days and there is still the opportunity to recover some pride for a town which has been suffering for three years on the trot.

It was also an important afternoon for new arrival Tom Denton, who now has three goals in two games after his header at Halifax was topped up with a well-taken penalty and another trademark header.

After what has been a tough start for the giant striker, he has earned some much-deserved confidence at a level which he has previously struggled to keep afloat in.

It’s a win-win situation; Denton’s confidence is growing and Chesterfield are beginning to realise their strengths at the top end of the pitch.

Town will have a real test in the visit of Wrexham on Saturday, and that’ll be the time to assess if they really have improved over the last few weeks.

Usually a point would suffice against a team as good as the Dragons, but it has become all too clear that nothing less than three points is needed.

When at the bottom end of the table, it becomes easy to accept a draw as a positive point on the board, but the only way to escape the danger zone is to demand no less than victory, even against the toughest of opponents.