Five big talking points as Chesterfield breeze past Barnet
Chesterfield returned to winning ways with a dominant performance against struggling Barnet on Saturday.
After back-to-back defeats, Town found their spark again and deservedly left The Hive with all three points thanks to goals from Tom Whelan and Adi Yussuf.
The Spireites started like a train and they could have been out of sight in the first five minutes. Their pressing returned to the levels we are used to seeing, causing panic in the Barnet ranks. You felt they had more gears if they needed them, but they saw the game out with ease and came away with a clean sheet. They even managed to save the legs of front pair Akwasi Asante and Yussuf with half an hour to go. Overall, the Blues returned to winning ways in style albeit against a poor Barnet side who are without a permanent manager and have only won three all season. The Bees’ sorry afternoon was compounded when Ben Richards-Everton was shown a red card late on for a bad tackle on Nathan Tyson.
Jack’s a ‘gem’
Jack Clarke, 22, was Chesterfield’s best player for the second match running and after the game Rowe said that they have ‘unearthed a gem’. The midfielder, on loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season, was magnificent throughout. He slid a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Whelan for the first goal on 10 minutes. He pressed, found pockets of space, showed strength, nicked possession back and was a constant menace. He is out of contract at Villa Park in the summer so it remains to be seen where his future lies but no doubt the Spireites will be at the front of the queue asking the question if he carries on performing like this.
Yussuf’s off the mark
Some had already started to question him but let’s remember that this was just Yussuf’s second start for Chesterfield since joining on loan from Blackpool. His goal two minutes after half-time, his first in a Town shirt, was a tap-in from a couple of yards out but they all count and hopefully that will settle him down now. He missed a glorious chance in the opening 30 seconds so he will be relieved to have made up for it.
With Will Evans not selected in the matchday squad and Gavin Gunning out injured, Laurence Maguire was handed the armband and he put in a captain’s performance. Rowe could have given it to the more experienced Curtis Weston or Haydn Hollis but he went with the 24-year-old instead, who he feels has strong leadership qualities. Maguire is the club’s longest serving player and he has seen it all at Chesterfield. A future captain in the making for sure.
What now for Will?
Interestingly, Josef Yarney, who has not featured since January, was selected on the bench ahead of Will Evans, who was also not involved against Sutton United either. It might be too early to say whether Evans’ days at the Spireites are numbered but it appears he certainly has some work to do to get back into the side.
Chesterfield XI (3-5-2): Smith; Kerr, Hollis, Maguire; Carline, Weston, Whelan (Rowley, 77), Clarke, Whittle; Yussuf (Dinanga, 62), Asante (Tyson, 62). Unused subs: Yarney, M.Smith
Goals: Whelan (10) Yussuf (47)