SPIREITES AND IRON A SURE THING
League One on agenda for both
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