Spireites win at home

The Spireites fought hard to secure a valuable 2-1 win over Altrincham at the SMH Group Stadium. The result sees them go 12 points clear at the top of the National League table.

The Spireites took away all three points thanks to a first-half strike from Ollie Banks and a goal from second-half substitute James Berry.

Paul Cook made four changes from the last league fixture with Ryheem Sheckleford, Jamie Grimes, Ollie Banks and Armando Dobra coming into the starting XI.

Banks tried his luck for the Spireites from around 20 yards out, but his effort went just over the bar.

Altrincham had their first chance at the game when the ball fell to Lewis Banks at the back post, following a corner. But his connection with his header was not clean, and the ball went wide.

Another chance came the way of Altrincham when Regan Linney managed to get a shot towards goal from just inside the box, but his effort was blocked, resulting in a corner.

The Spireites took the lead in the 25th minute. Michael Jacobs latched onto a ball in behind the Altrincham defence and with his first touch, pulled the ball back to Banks, who blasted it into the bottom left corner.

Altrincham equalised in the 45th minute through Chris Conn-Clarke. It was a quick breakaway, and the ball fell to Linney in the box, who pulled the ball back to Conn-Clarke whose first-time effort flew past Harry Tyrer and into the back of the net.

The Spireites went into half time with the score level at 1-1.

Grimes managed to force a good save from Matt Gould having risen highest from a corner to put a header on target.

The Spireites struck the winner in the 83rd minute. It was a great one-two between the substitute Berry and Banks as the latter laid the ball back to Berry’s feet and he expertly side-footed into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.

The Spireites could have doubled their lead as substitute Liam Mandeville crossed the ball in from the left-hand side. His cross came agonisingly close to meeting Joe Quigley’s head at the back post, but it narrowly evaded the striker.

Conn-Clarke had a free kick in stoppage time right on the edge of the Spireites box, but his strike went just over the bar.

Soon after, Darren Oldaker struck the post with a free kick of his own.

After this impressive victory, attention will now turn to Saturday’s top-of-the-table away trip to Barnet.

Spireites: Tyrer, Sheckleford, Palmer, Grimes ©, Horton, Naylor, Oldaker, Banks, Jacobs (Mandeville 69’), Dobra (Berry 69’), Grigg (Quigley 82’)

Unused subs: Williams, Jones

Attendance: 6,571 (152 away)