SPIRE­ITES WANT WAR NOT PEACE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Beard­more

CHESTER­FIELD boss Dean Saun­ders wants his play­ers to get nasty to keep climb­ing the League One ta­ble – not just with op­po­nents, but with each other too.

The Spire­ites came into this game with five de­feats, and just one win, in their pre­vi­ous seven matches but headers from vet­er­ans Syl­van Ebanks-Blake and Ian Evatt stunned Wal­sall.

De­spite the win, in­spi­ra­tional Chester­field cap­tain Sam Morsy clashed with team-mate Dan Gard­ner at the fi­nal whis­tle but rather than defuse it, Saun­ders want to see more of that spirit.

Saun­ders said: “Sammy has words with ev­ery­body – he’s even done me in train­ing!

“But you need peo­ple on the pitch who are not fright­ened of up­set­ting peo­ple – if some­one’s not do­ing their job, Sammy tells them.

“It’s good and healthy for the group and it drives peo­ple on. Sam and Chris Herd are a match for any­one in mid­field – they just want to win. We showed a dif­fer­ent side to us, a bit of re­silience.

“Last year I be­lieve we got four points out of 24 against the top teams, which tells you that when the top teams throw the kitchen sink at you, we couldn’t re­sist. So this was a step for­wards.”

Chester­field were sharpest out of the blocks and just five min­utes in Ebanks-Blake un­did League One’s most miserly defence, find­ing space to head home Herd’s cross from eight yards.

Only the bril­liance of Spire­ites keeper Tommy Lee kept Chester­field ahead as he foiled Tom Brad­shaw’s 15-yard snap­shot and pushed a 25-yard Sam Man­tom strike onto the post.When skip­per Adam Cham­bers’ de­flected 30-yard ef­fort also hit the up­right early in the sec­ond half,Wal­sall might have sus­pected it was not their day.

And, sure enough, Chester­field dou­bled their lead on 54 min­utes, Evatt head­ing home a far-post cor­ner af­ter a lengthy de­lay for treat­ment to Sad­dlers keeper Neil Etheridge.

Wal­sall’s day went from bad to worse, los­ing Man­tom and de­fender Andy Tay­lor to in­juries, while Etheridge was barely able to kick in the sec­ond half with a deep gash to his knee.

Cen­tre-back Matt Pre­ston lashed home a stop­page-time con­so­la­tion for the Sad­dlers af­ter they had hit the wood­work a third time through sub­sti­tute Jor­dan Cook.

But it was not enough to pre­vent them sur­ren­der­ing top spot to Gillingham and frus­trated boss Dean Smith said:“Af­ter 15 min­utes in the first half it was at­tack vs defence.

“If we had scored ear­lier I would have fan­cied us to claw it back. I don’t think I’ve seen many teams try and kill the game off in the cor­ner with 15 min­utes to go!

“I don’t think we de­served to lose, but on the flip side I don’t think the play­ers were at the stan­dards they have been this sea­son. “There were some un­char­ac­ter­is­tic er­rors on the ball, but we’ve hit the wood­work three times.

“It was just one of those days for us.”

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