Four big talking points from Chesterfield's win against Woking

Chesterfield got their play-off hopes back on track by putting four past struggling Woking.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 10:20 am
Fraser Kerr went off in the first-half against Woking with an ankle injury.
Fraser Kerr went off in the first-half against Woking with an ankle injury.

Goals from Gavin Gunning, Marcus Dinanga, George Carline and Jack Clarke secured the points at the Kingfield Stadium on Saturday.

With the Spireites two-nil up, the hosts halved the deficit when Charlie Cooper scored from the spot but Town added two more strikes to boost their top seven ambitions.

IDENTITY

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There were some interesting comments from James Rowe after the game about the importance of Chesterfield not forgetting their identity and their playing style. Most people would say it is the results that matter at this time of the season but the manager is a perfectionist and it is probably fair to say he was not exactly thrilled by this performance. It is a difficult game to judge because they returned to winning ways with four goals scored on the road but they were up against a Woking side who have furloughed many of their senior players, are fielding plenty of youngsters and this was the Cards’ eighth successive defeat. However, you can only beat what is in front of you and they got the job done. The Spireites have probably played better than this in recent weeks and lost but the four goals is a big plus.

SET-PIECE SPECIALISTS

Since Rowe took over in November scoring from set-plays has been the one area of improvement that many fans have been calling for so they will have been delighted to see all three goals in the first-half coming from Tom Whelan corners, and there could have been a couple more after the break. The three here and the one against Hartlepool shows they have been working on set-pieces and Rowe confirmed to me after the match that they had.

MORE INJURY WOES

The injuries are mounting up and unfortunately there was another one here as Fraser Kerr hobbled off with an ankle problem in the first-half. He was wearing a protective boot afterwards and Rowe said it didn’t ‘look great’. With just three weeks to go until the end of the season, that could be the end of Kerr’s campaign which would be a huge shame. After he went off, Town played with a makeshift back four including central midfielder Jak McCourt at right-back. It is a patched-up defence right now and it will be for the rest of the season so making the play-offs will be an even bigger achievement now.

DON’T LOOK BACK DINANGA

Rowe rang the changes for this one, including taking another look at goalkeeper James Montgomery, as he did last month against Halifax. The boss said the decision to start the stopper was ‘tactical’ and the 27-year-old made some good saves in the second-half. But the biggest eyebrow-raiser came at the other end with striker Dinanga making his first start for more than two months since the defeat to Stockport County at the end of February. He marked his return with his first goal for Chesterfield, bundling in from close-range to double the Spireites’ lead. On another day the forward could have had a hat-trick. Hopefully he can finish the season with a flourish now.

TEAM

(4-2-3-1): Montgomery; Carline, Kerr (McCourt, 17), Gunning, Maguire; Weston, Oyeleke; Rowley (Mandeville, 59), Whelan (Clarke, 75), Dinanga; Rowe. Unused subs: Tyson, Yussuf.