COOK’S SPIRE­ITES ARE THE REAL DEAL

New-boy Roberts sparks win

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ge­orge Whe­lan

JUST two games in and al­ready Paul Cook ad­mits Ch­ester­field can feel the weight of ex­pec­ta­tion on their shoul­ders but af­ter liv­ing up to their billing for a sec­ond week­end run­ning his side look ca­pa­ble of thriv­ing un­der pres­sure this term.

It was Gary Roberts who set the Spire­ites on their way with his first goal since join­ing from Swin­don in the sum­mer though they were forced to wait un­til late on in the match to seal a sec­ond win of the sea­son.

Chel­tenham threat­ened through­out the sec­ond half with Troy Brown see­ing a goal chalked off for off-side but fate con­spired against them when Eoin Doyle’s drilled shot de­flected in off Craig Bra­ham-Bar­rett.

And while a per­fect start will do noth­ing to lessen Ch­ester­field’s stand­ing as one of the pre-sea­son favourites, boss Cook be­lieves his play­ers can han­dle life at the top.

“It was any­thing but com­fort­able, you have to give great credit to Chel­tenham, Mark’s teams are very strong and pow­er­ful, and his play­ers will al­ways cre­ate chances,” he said.

“At 1-0, the game was never safe, in fact if I were be­ing truth­ful, in the sec­ond-half I felt Chel­tenham were go­ing to get the next goal, but lucky for us we got the sec­ond goal.

“We have two wins on the bounce we’re re­ally pleased. Great credit goes to the play­ers for how we have

started the sea­son.

“There’s a lot of ex­pectancy around the club and at times it’s dif­fi­cult to man­age that but the play­ers stood up.

“Gary is qual­ity and he stands out in any game, he’s got that aura about him that good play­ers have.”

Ch­ester­field threat­ened first when Roberts’ cross picked out Marc Richards but the striker could only head wide.

The Robins re­sponded on ten min­utes when Terry Gor­nell nod­ded the ball down to By­ron Har­ri­son but he could only fire his low shot wide be­fore Rus­sell Penn fired in from 30 yards, forc­ing Tommy Lee to re-gather his sting­ing shot.

Chel­tenham be­gan to take con­trol of the game and Sido Jom­bati and Sam Deer­ing com­bined well be­fore the lat­ter crossed for Jer­maine Mc­Glashan to head wide be­fore the same player also shot wide.

How­ever it was the Spire­ites who took the lead when Nathan Smith fed Jay O’Shea who flicked the ball smartly into the path of the ram­pag­ing Richards who raced clear be­fore dink­ing the ball into the net on 23 min­utes.

Ch­ester­field al­most al­lowed the vis­i­tors to level be­fore the break when By­ron Har­ri­son in­ter­cepted Smith’s back pass and chipped Lee only for Ryan Edwards to clear off the line.

Troy Brown thought he’d scored ten min­utes af­ter half-time when a Matt Richards free-kick was headed on to him by Steve El­liott only for the off­side flag to rule it out.

Four min­utes later Har­ri­son should have scored when he tricked his way into the box but scuffed his shot and Drew Tal­bot cleared it off the line.

Mc­Glashan thought he should have had a penalty on 79 min­utes when Richie Humphreys blocked his run.

In the end it took un­til the 90th minute for the Spire­ites to seal the win when Eoin Doyle cap­i­talised on fine play from Roberts and his de­flected shot left Brown with no chance. “I thought for 22 and a half min­utes we were do­ing very well,” said Chel­tenham man­ager Mark Yates.

“We had a game plan, they were due to make a sub­sti­tu­tion right on the goal. We were sti­fling them and we had a game plan and it was work­ing.

“Then we get caught on the break with two de­flected goals and it shows that we per­haps didn’t pull the trig­ger enough.

“By­ron (Har­ri­son) was a bit un­lucky when he dinked the keeper, we had a goal dis­al­lowed and Jer­maine (Mc­Glashan) is con­vinced he was de­nied a bla­tant penalty.”

DANCE OF DE­LIGHT: Gary Roberts af­ter scor­ing his goal

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