I didn’t think this match was going to take place with all the snow we had, but a big thank you to all the volunteers who cleared the snow from the pitch not once but twice, your a real credit to the club.
Paul Cook named an unchanged side, with new signings Brindley and Gnanduillet on the bench. The first 20 minutes were described by Stand Up as a non event, although Lee had to be alert to stop Tomlin and Trotman put in a great tackle to win the ball off him in the penalty box.
The Spireites started to string some good moves together and create chances, they were finding it difficult against two banks of four, the visitors had come to defend and try and catch the Spireites on the break. Marc Richards came close just before half-time his powerful free kick hitting the crossbar,I think I am going to nickname him the alcoholic striker because I have lost count of the number of times he has hit the bar this season.
The second half the Spireites continued to attack the Southend goal, Whittaker had a good chance, hitting his effort just wide after being set up by O’Shea. Trotman headed a lovely ball towards Richards, but his effort was blocked by the Southend Keeper.
Darikwa came off with an injury and was replaced by Lester and the formation was changed from the usual 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-4-2 one. Smith had a shot saved as the Spireites kept attacking, Cresswell the Southend defender was having a good game, clearing everything that came at him.
It was frustrating because the Spireites were playing some lovely football, putting some neat moves together they just couldn’t find the killer pass.
Just as it was looking like it would finish 0-0, Togwell gave the ball away in midfield and Timlin found Tomlin who scored past Lee. Gnanduillet came on for Trotman as the Spireites looked to salvage something from the game. He had a great chance to score, but managed to head over.
My Man of the Match was Danny Whittaker, full of energy and involved in a lot of the attacking moves. A frustrating game for the Spireite fans, they went for the win, and the gamble didn’t pay off as they were caught on the break. I feel that it was a good performance, although they played too many high balls into the box, which were easily dealt with, they needed to run at them more and play some balls on the ground. This is still a relatively new and inexperienced side they will have learned a lot from this game. There is still along way to go and the play-offs are reachable.
Paul Cook talking to the club website said: ‘In our enthusiasm in trying to win the game, that is where you look for experience. We must play at our tempo and that is what we are trying to pass on to the lads about moving the ball quicker, how to get round the back of teams and put quality in the box. Today we had too many long straight balls down the middle and when they have the likes of (Ryan) Cresswell and their other lads at the back, it becomes food and drink.’
Next a trip to Rochdale, which should have a cracking atmosphere has they welcome home their Messiah Keith Hill, he returns to take charge of his first home game since taking over as manager last week.