Spireites match winner Banks praises flair man and hard worker
Chesterfield's vital derby win at Barnsley on Saturday was underpinned by the flair of Gboly Ariyibi and the industry of Tommy Lee.
The winger and goalkeeper both came to the fore in the 2-1 victory, Ariyibi picking up two assists, Lee making several crucial stops to deny the Tykes.
And the influence the duo had on the game didn’t go unnoticed.
Midfielder Ollie Banks sang their praises, after they helped the Spireites to move four points clear of the drop zone.
Modest Banks, who scored the match winner, handed all the praise to the man who danced past a couple of defenders and teed him up in the box.
“Gboly did all the work to be fair to him, he put it on a plate and it was just a case of finishing it off,” said Banks.
“I would have done well to miss to be honest, the plaudits go to him.”
Ariyibi also supplied the cross for Lee Novak’s headed opener, the American winger making it a goal and three assists in his last two outings.
For Banks and the rest of his team-mates, it’s no surprise, but he wants to see more fruit from Ariyibi’s labour.
“The last two games have shown what he can do, when he gets at defenders and uses his pace.
“Our lads know in training, you can’t get near him.
“Hopefully there’s more to come.”
Lee also played a big part in the win for Danny Wilson’s men, who brought Johnstone’s Paint Trophy winners Barnsley back to earth with a bump.
According to Banks, the 30-year-old stopper is every bit as popular in the dressing room as he is in the stands.
“Obviously he’s a fan favourite, and he’s a favourite amongst the lads as well,” he said.
“I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“He’s a top professional, one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen.”
Banks believes that hard work on the training ground translates into saves, and performances that could grace a higher level of football.
“You can see that on the pitch, like on Saturday just gone, some of the saves he made weren’t of a League One keeper, you see saves like that in the Premier League. Hard work pays off.”
Banks’ praise may have gone to Ariyibi and Lee, but he reserved his sympathy for Jamal Campbell-Ryce.
The loanee was sent off for two bookable offences, but Banks didn’t feel it was a warranted dismissal.
“I didn’t have a good angle on the second one, but I thought the first booking was a bit harsh, so I don’t think he should have gone,” he said.
Going down to 10 men meant Chesterfield had to work even harder for victory against a side eyeing the play-off positions.
The evidence was there to see when they came off at full-time.
Banks revealed: “When you get a man sent off it makes it a little bit more difficult.
“But Saturday just showed what the lads are all about, we can’t work hard enough for each other,
“When we got into the dressing room you could see from the metres lads ran, on the GPS, how hard we had worked for each other.
“We get on really well, we enjoy each other’s company and we’re willing to fight for each other.
“Morale is very important, whether you’re fighting relegation or trying to get promotion, togetherness in the squad is massive and we’ve got that.”