Tooley’s Take

Phil Tooley takes a look at the game and its context

Chesterfield 2 Boreham Wood 0
National League Match #16

Belligerent Boreham beaten, something that’s not happened often of late, indeed this was the Hertfordshire side’s first road reversal this season, and in their previous eight away games, no home team had scored more than one goal against them.

Also, all of our previous games with Luke Garrard’s men have been ultra-close affairs, and this is the first time there’s been a two-goal gap between the teams. Excellent!

Clean sheet, the first in nine NL games (2-0 win at Oldham Athletic) and the first at home since the win against Wrexham, that statistic courtesy of 95 minutes of solid defending before Branden Horton took one for the team, picking up a second yellow to prevent a one-on-one and a probable goal. No question of mistaken identity to overturn this red.

Two direct free-kicks to win it, with a saved penalty to deny Kabby between them, King Jeff and DJ Different Gravy the two outside the area artistes, one in each half, the former following up a similar strike at York four days earlier to make it three in three for the right-back.

To put that into some sort of perspective, in my 1866 Sport co-commentator and former right-back Jamie Hewitt’s career, across his last 141 appearances, he managed a total of three goals in a period of just over four years. Compare and contrast to three in eight days! Thankfully Jeff’s nailed down for a bit longer now.

This was a real team performance. Williams and Grimes, exemplary performance, more of this will do nicely. Both full-backs bombed on and put in plenty of good crosses, whilst Mike Jones continued his excellent form shielding the back line. I don’t recall Liam Mandeville making as many tackles in a game as he did in this one whilst Armando Dobra continued his move back toward full fitness with plenty of trademark darts, with Cooper and Oldaker putting in plenty of hard yards as well as decent passes.

Kabby, against his former employers, seemed to have big defender Stephens glued to him and the amount of work he put in showed when he was replaced by Quigley and very quickly, Joe broke away from the Wood #6 making the centre back look leaden footed, a sure sign of the work Tshimanga had put in.

Behind all of those guys was Ross Fitzsimons, keeping his fourth clean sheet (including the Cup game at Anstey Nomads) in eight appearances, a ratio that we need to continue. He did everything well during the afternoon, apart from making decent saves, as there were no Boreham Wood efforts that needed him to even think about where his top drawer was located.

Lots of positives, with an even bigger one being that Wood played pretty well too. Dennon Lewis and Danny Newton linked up well with striker Tyrone Marsh, but Town’s midfield did well to limit the effectiveness of Jack Payne and Chesterfield’s own Zak Brunt, whilst former Spireites skipper Will Evans and his back-three colleagues kept Paul Cook’s men at bay in open play.

Seven points from three games in eight days is a solid return, but it needs to become ten from four on Tuesday night when struggling Gateshead visit Whittington Moor, though they held lofty Solihull Moors on Saturday. The Heed did the double over Chesterfield in 2018/19, our only NL encounters, and their roster includes former Spireites James Montgomery and Adi Yussuf. Mike Williamson’s side haven’t won in six, but they have scored in each of their last eight games, showing that they’re dangerous going forward.

Finally, if you wondered where Tooley’s Take was after the York City match, unfortunately my wife Sylvia had to go into hospital, so the column was the last thing on my mind. She’s back home now, improving slowly. Thanks to the many people who sent their best wishes in the last few days and at the match, it has really helped.

Phil’s Positive: Plenty! Clean sheet, Wood’s first away defeat, good referee, great crowd.

The Spireites’ next game is on Tuesday, November 1, kick-off 7.45pm, when Gateshead are in Town. All the build-up and full match commentary on 1866 Sport from 7pm.

Chesterfield (4-1-4-1 to start): Fitzsimons; King, Williams, Grimes, Horton; Jones; Mandeville, Oldaker, Cooper (Uchegbulam 67), Dobra (Whelan 67); Tshimanga (Quigley 80). Subs (not used): Maguire, Clarke.

Goals: King 32, Oldaker 73 (Chesterfield)

Referee: Michael Barlow

Bookings: Horton (Chesterfield), Ashmore, Broadbent (Boreham Wood)

Red Card: Horton (second yellow, 90+5)

Attendance: 7,370 (72 from Boreham Wood)

Netcoms IT 1866 Sport Man of the Match: Branden Horton (chosen by Jamie Hewitt)