Four big talking points as Chesterfield edge closer to National League play-offs with win against Aldershot Town
The Spireites dug deep to record a narrow victory against Aldershot Town on Tuesday night to continue their rise up the table.
Alex Whittle fired in the winner – his first for the club – at the far post after 27 minutes at The EBB Stadium following good work by Jack Clarke.
Back-to-back away wins and clean sheets has put Chesterfield very much in the play-off race. The defeats to Maidenhead United and Sutton United set them back a bit but they have responded superbly. The Spireites now sit 10th and are just two points off the play-offs with two games in hand on Bromley, who occupy the final spot. A win against Weymouth on Saturday could propel them into the top seven if other results go their way. The Blues have momentum and we have seen it many times before where a team has come from nowhere and gatecrashed the play-offs. Believe!
Grit and determination
This was not the most exciting or prettiest of matches for the neutral but it was the type of performance that, dare i say it, gets you promoted. It wasn’t a game for playing pretty football - it was never going to be - and Town stood up to the test. They got out-fought at Maidenhead but not this time. The back three of Fraser Kerr, Haydn Hollis and Laurence Maguire were immense and Martin Smith and Curtis Weston battled away like beavers in midfield. The only nervy moment came late on when Hollis misjudged a header but Aldershot’s Ricky Miller failed to take advantage. Grant Smith had one reaction save to make just before half-time but other than that he did not have much to do. Overall, to get three points and a clean sheet against a tricky opponent away from home in midweek is very impressive. My man of the match? Hollis. He was a rock.
James Rowe mentioned the team spirit and bond in the dressing room in his post-match interview and it was there for all to see at full-time as the Spireites boss and his assistant, George Foster, congratulated and hugged every single player as they made their way off the pitch at the end. You could see how much it meant and it was great to watch. That togetherness came to the surface as Aldershot upped the tempo after the break, although they created next to nothing. Chesterfield did not threaten much in the second-half either but they dug in and got the job done.
A word on Tom Whelan. The 24-year-old attended his uncle’s funeral on Tuesday before making his way down to Aldershot. He came on in the second-half and played his part in the win. After what must have been a very emotional day for him, nobody deserved that three points more than him.
Chesterfield XI (3-5-2): G Smith; Carline, Kerr, Hollis, Maguire (c), Whittle; Weston, M. Smith, Clarke (Whelan, 56); Yussuf (Dinanga, 70), Asante (Mandeville, 88). Unused subs: Yarney, Mandeville, Tyson.
Goals: Whittle (27).