COOK: WE CAN START TO DREAM
CHESTERFIELD took a major step towards the play-offs with this goalless draw, leaving manager Paul Cook beaming at his side’s progress this season.
Cook considered his side all-but certain of clinching a play-off spot and paid tribute to his team’s battling qualities when it mattered most.
He said: “It was apparent from the first ball that it wasn’t going to be a game of football.
“That’s no disrespect to Oldham because they like to pass the ball around as well, but the conditions made it difficult and it wasn’t a good spectacle.
“There was never going to be a goal unless there was a bit of magic, but, all in all, it’s a good away point.
“Only Rochdale can catch us now and they have to win all of their last three games.
“Neither team did enough to win, but we shake hands on it and look ahead to our next game when, hopefully, there will be a carnival atmosphere if everything goes well.
“For us to be in the play-off area with two games left is just fantastic and the players deserve great credit.
“If Rochdale do pip us, I will be the first to congratulate Keith Hill on a fantastic achievement, but hopefully we will be the ones who finish in the top six.”
Oldham pair Rhys Murphy and Connor Brown forced decent saves from Tommy Lee in the first half, while, at the other end, Joel Coleman saved well from Ian Evatt and Sam Clucas, with the latter also seeing a flick hit the base of a post after the interval.
Brown controlled well 20 minutes in and his low shot from just outside the box was creeping into the corner but for Lee’s extended right hand turning the ball aside.
Murphy, playing as a lone striker, twice went close to netting his first Oldham goal. His first effort was well blocked by Evatt and the follow-up, an acrobatic volley, was tipped away.
Chesterfield were limited to shots from distance, with Armand Gnanduillet, Clucas and Charlie Raglan all failing to really test Coleman.
Cook’s side enjoyed plenty of territory in the early stages of the second half and Brown had to be alert as Gary Roberts threatened to break through down the right of the box.
With both sides packing out the midfield, there were precious few scoring opportunities at either end.
Oldham manager Dean Holden said: “There’s not much difference in the teams. It’s just about consistency.
“I thought it was a very even game and, for us, it’s a clean sheet and a very disciplined performance
“It’s just about going out there and putting in a performance and the clean sheet for us today is really good.
“Chesterfield brought on their big target man early on because they decided to go a bit longer. “Maybe the conditions weren’t good enough for a lovely passing game.
“We don’t have that luxury in our squad.”
FLYING IN: Jordan Bove and Ian Evatt fight for the ball
MY BALL: Richie Humphreys is tackled by Daniel Jones