SPIRE­ITES AND IRON A SURE THING

League One on agenda for both

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Andy Cooke To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

CH­ESTER­FIELD may be the only side in League Two to have the edge on Scun­thorpe United in terms of their league po­si­tion, but they could not get the bet­ter of their near­est ri­vals when they went head to head at Glan­ford Park.

The divi­sion’s top two teams can­celled each other out amid blus­tery con­di­tions – Eoin Doyle equal­is­ing from the penalty spot af­ter Sam Win­nall had put the hosts in front.

A 1-1 stale­mate was prob­a­bly no sur­prise given the divi­sion’s top scor­ers were up against an Iron side that had kept more clean sheets than any other in the fourth tier.

Spire­ites boss Paul Cook ex­pects his ir­re­sistible force and Scun­thorpe’s immoveable ob­ject to last the dis­tance when it comes to a place in League One for next sea­son.

“All we do is keep chalk­ing games off,” said the Scouser.

“The re­sult doesn’t dic­tate pro­mo­tion or rel­e­ga­tion, it’s just an­other point to­wards where we want to be and an­other point on our to­tal.

“It was a good day for us as a club.We stayed top, we didn’t get beat and we had some great sup­port.

“We were brave to try to pass our way up the pitch be­cause we were up against a very strong Scun­thorpe side. They are go­ing to be there un­til the death.

“If you can’t win, you don’t get beat so we take our point and move on. I thought it was a fair re­sult.

“I thought we played re­ally well first half and Scun­thorpe scored against the run of play. It was prob­a­bly their only at­tempt of the half.

“Once we got the penalty I thought we’d go on and dom­i­nate the game in the sec­ond half but I had to make a cou­ple of sub­sti­tu­tions be­cause I thought Scun­thorpe were get­ting I n the as­cen­dancy.”

Scun­thorpe’s goal came just when it looked like Ch­ester­field were build­ing up a head of steam, in the 14th minute. Paddy Mad­den, im­pres­sive on his first start fol­low­ing his Jan­uary move from Yeovil, smashed a shot goal­wards and when keeper Tommy Lee could only parry it to­wards the far post, Win­nall fol­lowed up to knock in his 15th goal of the cam­paign.

Ch­ester­field, who have won only once this sea­son in games in which they’ve been be­hind, came roar­ing back and min­utes af­ter forc­ing Sam Slo­combe into a low save at his near post, Richie Humphreys helped bring his side level.

The Spire­ites full-back ex­changed passes with Gary Roberts as half-time ap­proached and when he con­tin­ued his run into the box, he was tugged back by the Iron’s Terry Hawkridge.

Slo­combe has kept out all the pre­vi­ous four penal­ties he’s faced in League Two this term, but Doyle made no mis­take.

The sec­ond half was end to end yet nei­ther side was able to get in be­hind two well-or­gan­ised de­fences, though Doyle was frus­trated by an off­side flag af­ter bundling in a re­bound af­ter a pow­er­ful Roberts drive was kept out.

The same cir­cum­stances spared Win­nall’s blushes, when he headed Hawkridge’s free-kick over the bar from on the edge of the six-yard box.

“Both teams wanted to win the game – Ch­ester­field don’t play for draws and we don’t play for draws, which is prob­a­bly why it was a draw,” as­sessed Russ Wil­cox, the Iron man­ager.

“It was a game be­tween two evenly-matched teams, both of which are at the right end of the ta­ble. We wanted three points but got one, so we move on.

“It’s al­ways im­por­tant in games against the sides in and around you not to lose, so we prob­a­bly can­celled each other out a lit­tle bit.

“We had too many touches of the ball in the first half, but we felt at half­time we would prob­a­bly play bet­ter with the wind against us.”

YOU CAN’T WIN­NALL: Sam Win­nall slides home to put Scun­thorpe into a 1-0 lead

FAN’S VIEW MATT BLAN­CHARD – SCUN­THORPE I THOUGHT a draw was a fair

r esult. Ref­eree Lee Ma­son gave a very dodgy

things up. look­ing penalty and that evened

It was a game be­tween two evenly matched teams where both

de­fences were on top.

player on the pitch by a Dave Mirfin was the best coun­try mile. I hope Iron can push on and start to win

a few games. A win against Ac­cring­ton on Fri­day would

no r ea­son why we can’t kick-start the sea­son and I see fin­ish in the top three. JAKE HAR­RI­SON – CH­ESTER­FIELD I FEEL top spot is where we be­long with the squad man­ager Paul Cook and all his staf f have built.

They have been bril­liant for the Spir eites and are lead­ers in a con­fi­dent bid to be cham­pi­ons of League Two.

Gary Roberts has been sen­sa­tional, bag­ging nine goals so far and many as­sists along­side.

This was an end-to-end game with Ch­ester­field hav­ing the bet­ter of things in the sec­ond half, so it’ s def­i­nitely a point gained!

STAR MAN DAVID MIRFIN Scunth

orpe

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