Phil Tooley takes a look at the game and its context
Bromley 1 Chesterfield 2 National League
Everything’s Hunky Dory in the Spireites camp right now! I couldn’t resist the intro, paying homage to my musical idol David Bowie, who spent many of his formative years at Bromley Technical High School whilst his most famous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust, was developed in the adjacent borough of Beckenham.
Chesterfield’s team was full of Heroes, making it difficult to pick out a Starman, but scorers Jack Clarke and George Carline, along with the effervescent Joel Taylor, Never Let Me Down.
The Reality of the 2-1 win brought some Fame to manager James Rowe, who’s led the team to a sequence of five wins and a draw in the last six away games, the best run since 1933. We’ve felt very Low and endured plenty of Sorrow in the last Five Years, but for once, for the right reasons, we go into the final straight Under Pressure and this result gave us one more chance to consolidate a top-seven spot. You can tell I listened to three hours of Bowie, at full volume, on the drive back home!
First half, a Wrexham carbon copy. Plenty of play, a chance or two, Town the better, sharper side, but lacked a bit of cutting edge.
Second half, Carline had a couple of chances as Chesterfield came out of the blocks at a pace and deserved the lead, which saw Clarke hassle the uber-reliable Chris Bush, forcing him to err, but the Villa loanee still had plenty to do before watching his first ever senior goal fly in.
Bush almost own-goaled as Chesterfield pushed on and the visitors were looking comfortable and confident, only to concede after Grant Smith uncharacteristically passed the ball straight to Jude Arthurs, who lifted it in from distance for his first goal. Smith atoned for that mistake several times over after Chesterfield had restored their lead on 77, when Carline made it third shot lucky after Taylor’s dart down the left and perfect delivery in for his fellow wing-back.
It was hearts in mouths time for Spireites when Frankie Reynolds low shot seemed destined to hit the target, but Chesterfield’s recently contract extended pink promethean did what he’s done time and again for his team, he saved the day as well as the ball.
In addition to the great run of away games, this was a tremendous game for stats, and I love a stat! Chesterfield halted a Bromley six-match unbeaten run, just as they had done to us ten days earlier. On the downside, it was the Spireites’ seventh straight game without scoring in the first half, not since Major Tom Whelan (sorry) against Weymouth has a first-45 goal gone in our favour. We can balance that out with a win without Curtis Weston; the last 13 times he’s not started a National League game, Chesterfield have failed to win.
It was the first time Bromley have been beaten by Chesterfield in six attempts. Three have been on Saturdays, all won by the Ravens, the three Tuesday games have seen the Spireites unbeaten and score the last goal in all three games.
Manager Rowe can now boast earning 50 points as Spireites boss, achieved in 26 games, with 27 of those points coming on the road, this being Chesterfield’s ninth away win this season (one under John Pemberton at Yeovil), just one behind the all-time record achieved in 1984/85 in a season of 46 games rather than this campaign’s 42.
All the team has to do now is repeat the result at Hartlepool United on Saturday tea-time. Dave Challinor’s side won’t have played for two weeks, since winning 7-2 at Wealdstone, a result that made it eight wins and seven draws in an unbeaten run of 15 games. A win at Victoria Park will have every Spireite Dancing in the Street.
Phil’s Positive: A continuation of the fabulous away from home sequence of results.
The Spireites’ next game is on Saturday, May 1 at Hartlepool United in the National League, kick-off 5.20pm.
Team v Bromley (3-5-2 to start): G Smith; Kerr, Gunning (Yarney 73), Maguire; Carline, M Smith, Oyeleke, Clarke (Whelan 68), Taylor; Rowe, Mitchell (Tyson 59).
Subs (not used): Whittle, Mandeville
Goals: Clarke 51, Carline 77 (Chesterfield), Arthurs (Bromley)
Ref: Adrian Quelch (Nick Dunn 81, fourth official replaced the injured referee)
Yellows: G Smith (Chesterfield), Cheek, Raymond, Fox (Bromley)