Four big talking points as Chesterfield beat Brackley Town on penalties in FA Trophy

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Chesterfield made it five games unbeaten with a penalty shootout win against Brackley Town in the FA Trophy third round following a goalless draw. Here are Liam Norcliffe’s big talking points from the match:

Safe hands

Goalkeeper Kyle Letheren received some criticism at the start of the season but he has now recorded four successive clean sheets and has conceded just one goal in the last five games. To be fair, in the early part of the camapign he was being bombarded with crosses, corners and shots and he had very little protection from those in front of him. He has not had to make many saves in James Rowe’s five matches in charge but when he has been called upon he has stood tall. He was the hero of the day here with two saves in the penalty shootout.

Striker shortage

Akwasi Asante slots his penalty into the net in the shootout win.Akwasi Asante slots his penalty into the net in the shootout win.
Akwasi Asante slots his penalty into the net in the shootout win.

With Alex Kiwomya having left the club, Luke Rawson on loan, Nathan Tyson out with a hamstring injury and now Tom Denton’s knee problem, Chesterfield only have two strikers in Akasi Asante and Scott Boden. With a busy fixture schedule coming up, it would not be a surprise to see Rowe bring in another forward to add some extra firepower. Another option, if it is possible, could be to recall Rawson from his month’s loan at Alfreton Town. Liam Mandeville played up front on Saturday but has mainly been used in central midfield during his time at Town. He partnered Scott Boden in attack and as much as you can’t fault their work-rate, the Spireites really missed the physicality that Asante and Denton bring.

Rowe’s fringe lesson

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After the game Rowe said that he had ‘learnt a lot’ from this match. He gave starts to Jonathan Smith and Liam Mandeville who have been on the fringes of the first-team. Scott Boden played his first 90 minutes under Rowe. None of the trio impressed that much but gave it their all. They will be needed over the festive period but they might find it tough to start games from January onwards.

Extra coffers

It is not an eye-watering amount of money but the Blues collected £4,500 for winning this tie. The winners of the fourth round get £5,250 and the losers receive £1,500. The overall winners of the competition get £60,000.