BEDFORD’S DREAM OF CUP GLORY IS DENT-ED
TOM DENTON’s last-gasp winner denied underdogs Bedford Town a notable replay and gave new Spireites boss John Sheridan a winning start.
The teams kicked off separated by three divisions but Bedford defended more and more comfortably as this FA Trophy tie progressed and looked set to get a second chance.
Denton’s crisp finish after he had challenged in the air for Jonathan Smith’s looping right wing cross allowed Sheridan to look on the bright side but there was probably more to encourage Bedford as attention returns to the league for both sides.
Bedford assistant boss Nathan Abbey said: “I thought we deserved a draw. We grew into the game as it progressed and the late goal is a bitter pill for us.
“The Trophy has been good for us. We’ve had a great run and beaten higher teams – now we plan to get our promotion challenge back on course.”
Chesterfield dominated throughout an uneventful tie without creating the openings that looked likely from the opening stages when Jones made excellent diving saves to deny Joe Rowley and Kyel Reid.
Jerome Binnom-Williams saw an effort deflected into the side netting and striker Marc Antoine Fortune blazed over when well placed before Callum Donnelly struck Bedford’s first shot just over.
The expected second half onslaught never materialised however with Bedford having spells of reasonable possession. Reid’s shot disappearing out of the ground and last week’s hero Will Evans making a hash of a throw in highlighted Chesterfield’s growing frustration. The contest between Freestone and the persistent Lee Shaw on the Chesterfield right was a rare highlight as the game looked to be drifting towards a stalemate. But Denton’s eighth cup goal of the season in the 89th minute finally gave Chesterfield the breakthrough. Relieved Sheridan said: “It’s a big bonus to have a clean sheet and a winning start, although I thought we should have scored more goals. “A 1-0 win is as good as a 5-0 and it was a great finish. “It’s my first experience of the Trophy but if I was a player I’d be doing everything I could to do well in it. The final’s at Wemble. “Full respect to Bedford. They made life very difficult for us and full credit to the manager and the team.” Sheridan added: “I’ve only been working with the lads for a couple of days but hopefully they will get used to the way we want to play. “We want to get points on the board quickly and I’m confident of bringing in new players to help us do that.”
STAR MAN: Lewis Freestone (Bedford) ATT: 2,213 ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★ REFEREE: Simon Mather 6/10