Four big talking points as Chesterfield lose to National League play-off rival FC Halifax Town
Chesterfield’s winless run extended to three matches after defeat to play-off rivals FC Halifax Town.
The Spireites gave themselves a mountain to climb after two goals from Jeff King and Jake Hyde put the visitors in control after half an hour at the Technique Stadium on Tuesday night.
Kairo Mitchell pulled one back in the second-half – his first goal for Town – but James Rowe’s men could not find an equaliser, making it back-to-back losses.
The problem for Chesterfield, for the third game running, was how often their play broke down in the final third and it is becoming a big worry as we enter the latter stages of the season. They were neat and tidy up until they got about 25-yards from goal but then attack after attack petered out. At times they looked devoid of ideas and belief as to how they were going to break down a five-man Halifax defence. As Rowe has said previously, you can dominate a game by dominating space, and that’s exactly what Pete Wild’s side did. They are going to have to come up with a plan to rectify it otherwise the play-off dream is going to come to an end.
The final day for National League clubs to register new players for this season is on Thursday and I would not be surprised if Chesterfield made one more addition and got a striker in. Rowe has said that they won’t be bringing anyone else in but I think the injury to Akwasi Asante and two straight defeats will have made him rethink the situation. They might not get one, but I have a feeling they will try at the very least. It could be the difference between making the play-offs and not.
It was a surprise to see goalkeeper Grant Smith drop out and James Montgomery be given his debut in such a big game. Rowe said he wanted to take a look at Montgomery and he felt this would be a good one for him to start. The 27-year-old who signed from Gateshead last week, did not have much to do apart from pick the ball out of his net twice. Could he have done better with the first goal? Some people seem to think so but my first impression was that it came through a crowd of bodies and he saw it late, giving him little to react. It will be interesting to see if Smith is recalled against Wrexham on Saturday.
Mitchell off the mark
It will be a big confidence boost for Mitchell and a weight off his shoulders to score his first goal for the Blues in just his third start. He was on his toes to take advantage of a slip by Halifax’s Niall Maher to finish from inside the area. The 23-year-old definitely has some potential and hopefully his first will spark a run of goals now. I think there is more to come from him if Rowe can find him the right strike partner.
(3-4-2-1) Montgomery; Kerr, Gunning (c), Maguire; Carline, Weston, Oyeleke, Whittle (Tyson, 46); Whelan (Taylor 55), Mandeville (Clarke, 79); Mitchell. Unused subs: Yarney, Dinanga.