COOK’S SPIREITES ARE THE REAL DEAL
New-boy Roberts sparks win
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