Four big talking points from Chesterfield's win against Eastleigh
Chesterfield closed the gap on league leaders Grimsby Town with a scrappy win against Eastleigh.
Kabongo Tshimanga struck the only goal of the game on 34 minutes at the Technique Stadium on Tuesday night.
TIGHT AT THE TOP
This victory in James Rowe’s 50th match as manager puts the Spireites just one point off the top after the Mariners lost at Wealdstone.
Considering the number of quality players they will welcome back from injury in the next four to six weeks, Town are in a very encouraging position right now.
This was their fourth straight win in all competitions and it means they are nine unbeaten at home going back to last season.
It was their seventh clean sheet in the league, eight in all competitions, and they have the joint best defensive record in the division.
If they can get a point or better at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday, then it will have been an excellent week.
It is hard not to look at the mouthwatering ties in December against Grimsby, Notts County and Halifax and wonder how pivotal a month that could be in the season.
Tshimanga scored his 11th goal in 13 league games when he tapped in after some good work by Stefan Payne.
In a tight game which was not the prettiest, he proved to be the difference by being in the right place at the right time once again. It is exactly why they paid the money they did for him.
His latest strike means he is the second highest goalscorer in the top five divisions of English football with only Fulham’s Aleksander Mitrovic ahead of him on 15.
Whisper it quietly, but these are the type of wins that get teams promoted.
Chesterfield were far from their fluent best but they dug in and got over the line quite comfortably in the end.
Ravaged by injuries and after putting a hell of a lot of work in against Boreham Wood just three days previous, it was never going to be a classic but sometimes the ugly wins are the most important.
Eastleigh may think they did enough for a point, but for all the possession they had Scott Loach was only tested once.
The win was even more impressive after Chesterfield lost Gavin Gunning just 10 minutes in.
The captain went off with blood pouring from his face after taking a boot to the head, which went unpunished by referee Adam Herczeg.
He was taken to hospital with a broken nose and will surely be a doubt for the trip to Dagenham.
Credit must go to Jamie Grimes who came on and slotted in at centre-half seamlessly.
Jim Kellermann had to come off in the second-half with a tight hamstring and will be assessed ahead of the weekend.
Danny Rowe missed out through illness and will be checked over in the coming days.
There is some positive news, though, with Saidou Khan a surprise inclusion in the matchday squad after returning from injury quicker than expected. However, James Rowe warned they must be patient with him.
Loach; Kerr, Gunning (Grimes, 10), Maguire; King, Oyeleke, Kellermann (McCourt 52, Miller; Mandeville; Payne (Khan, 73), Tshimanga. Unused subs: Whittle, Tyson.