Why Grant Smith has been a safe pair of hands for Chesterfield
Grant Smith is proving to be a safe pair of hands for Chesterfield.
The stopper arrived on a free transfer in January until the end of the season after a short spell at Wealdstone, who had to let him go because of financial worries due to the pandemic.
He has a lot of experience at this level from his time at Boreham Wood and has a League Two winners’ medal with Lincoln City.
If we are honest, the arrival of a free agent goalkeeper from a team in the same division did not exactly get the pulses racing, but he has shone in the last five matches after being given his chance.
Soon after Smith signed on the dotted line, another goalkeeper, Adam Przybek, 20, joined on loan from Ipswich Town and he was initially in the driving seat, starting three games in a row against Wrexham, Boreham Wood and Dagenham and Redbridge, recording one clean sheet.
But after another isolation period it was Smith, who had impressed in training, who started at Notts County and he has deservedly continued between the sticks ever since.
He has started the last five fixtures, securing four clean sheets, with just the two goals conceded at Stockport County against his name so far. He made himself a hero with a penalty save in the 1-0 win against Altrincham.
Smith has brought a confidence and a calmness to the position, his handling has been excellent and his distribution has been impressive. His overall passing accuracy is a healthy 74.6%.
In fairness, Chesterfield are doing everything they can to make life as easy as possible for him, with Smith facing on average just 1.86 shots a match.
Out of all Town’s new signing under James Rowe, Akwasi Asante and Tom Whelan have received the most plaudits, but Smith could end up being the bargain of the season and be the main man between the sticks for many years to come.
At just 27, Smith potentially has his best goalkeeping years ahead of him and I think the Spireites could do a lot worse than tie him down to a longer contract.