Ice cool Milan, redemption and a history lesson - five big talking points from Chesterfield's FA Cup penalty shootout win against Stockport County
Chesterfield are in the hat for the FA Cup first round after beating Stockport County on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Edgeley Park on Saturday. Here are Liam Norcliffe’s five talking points from the game:
Better, much better
I’m not going to get too carried away with my analysis of Saturday’s performance, but defensively and structurally Chesterfield were much better than in the previous outing against Wealdstone. I thought they had a good shape about them and they were disciplined in their positioning. They pressed County at the right times and everybody stuck to their jobs. They didn’t go long as much and they found Nathan Tyson and Alex Kiwomya with some lovely passes down the sides of Stockport. In particular I thought Josef Yarney, Will Evans and Laurence Maguire were excellent, as was Milan Butterfield. They more than held their own and, although they were under a lot of pressure at times after the break, overall they deserved to take it to penalties. Manager John Pemberton got a positive reaction and they now need to build on it against Yeovil Town.
Football is a funny old game at times as one minute you can be a villain and then all of a sudden a hero. That was the case for Town goalkeeper Kyle Letheren who said his penalty save in the shootout was a ‘get out of jail free card’ after his earlier error just before the hour-mark put Stockport in the lead. Letheren’s attempt at punching the ball clear from John Rooney’s corner was not successful in the wet conditions at Edgeley Park and Liam Hogan made him pay for it. After the game assistant manager John Dungworth said he had some sympathy for Letheren because he is not getting any protection from referees.
Ice cool Milan
Butterfield had his best game in a Chesterfield shirt by a mile. He was always in the right position and didn’t panic when he was under pressure. He was calm in possession and kept things ticking over. He should have been awarded a clear penalty in the second half at 0-0 when he was tripped in the box. But thankfully it did not matter in the end because with four minutes to go he smashed the ball home from about six yards out. Butterfield gives the impression he is a very relaxed character and he showed he has ice cold veins when he strolled up to the penalty spot and rolled the ball in with ease to send the Spireites through.
Due to the football season starting later this year, FA Cup replays were scrapped which benefited Chesterfield in the end with the club pocketing £9,375 for winning the tie. The winners of first round matches get £22,629 which would be a welcome windfall.
According to brilliant Spireites historian, Stuart Basson, Saturday was only the second time Chesterfield had played in a cup competition on October 24 (2-1 win against West Ham in League Cup in 2006). Town’s record in penalty shootouts is now won seven and lost seven (including four away victories) and it was the Blues’ longest penalty shootout since 22 spot-kicks were taken at Hillsborough (lost 8-7) in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy second in 2010. Class dismissed!