Tooley’s Take

Tooley’s Take

Phil Tooley takes a look at the game and its context  

Yeovil Town 0 Chesterfield 2 National League Match #7

What have Premier League leaders Liverpool and the Spireites got in common? They are the only two teams in the top six levels of the pyramid yet to concede an away goal in any league game this season. And they’ve only had two away games so far, whilst Town have shut out four hosts already. Indeed, the last time Spireites started a season with four travelling clean sheets, they went on to reach the FA Cup semi-final! 

If Woking fail to score a week on Tuesday, it will be the first time the club will have ever started a season with five clean sheets on other teams’ grass. John Duncan must be delighted! 

At this stage of any season, it’s difficult to predict which teams will give you the toughest test, but undoubtedly, after winning their previous three fixtures, Yeovil Town gave James Rowe’s side their toughest test so far this season. 

Just three minutes before the first goal, the Glovers saw Josh Staunton bundle the ball in from a corner, only for it to be struck-off for a foul on Scott Loach. It seemed an age before referee Daniel Lamport confirmed the no-goal call, and it seemed like the blink of an eye when he confirmed the Spireites’ opener, one for the dubious goals panel.

Manny Oyeleke fired onto the upright, it walloped the post and skewed off at 90 degrees, only to hit former Spireites keeper Grant Smith and that deflected it in. On the 1866 Sport commentary, I immediately called ‘own goal’ but many will argue that it could have gone in anyway. I look forward to seeing the video to confirm the minutiae. 

There was no doubting the scorer of the second. Loach launched, Kabongo Tshimanga, with two defenders adjacent, read the bounce the best, but still had oodles to do, and he did it in style. Whilst route one goals aren’t always appreciated by many, this one was far more than that. With minimal thought time to determine not only what to do but also how to do it, there was no messing from wide-awake Kabongo to go past one, go past two and wham it beyond Smith. Cue the song. 

With attacking midfielder Tom Knowles a real handful for the hosts, and ex-Spireites striker Adi Yussuf introduced at half-time to add to Yeovil’s previously lone striker Joe Quigley, the hosts offered new problems at the start of the second half and they camped in Chesterfield territory for long periods.

Corner after corner were drilled in, and with height in the form of Quigley and Chesterfield lad Max Hunt, threats were plentiful, especially after Gavin Gunning had been replaced at the break, with his own break, of his nose. 

Around 20 minutes of the most sustained pressure witnessed this season was ridden out, but the final quarter of the game was played with very little further menace from Darren Sarll’s side, with a third away goal looking more likely at that stage. 

Plenty of plaudits deserved; the defence as a whole passed a big test with flying colours, Curtis Weston & Stefan Payne put in tireless 90s and George Carline again showed his versatility with 45 minutes as a wing back and 45 as a centre-back. 

This was some show against serious opposition. And did I mention the league table?

Phil’s Positive: A fourth consecutive win at Huish Park, a fourth consecutive away clean sheet and a league table that looks pretty cool. But the best thing of all, I suspect it’s the first time ever our two unused subs match the surnames of two former British boxing World Champions, Alan Minter & Amir Khan! 

The Spireites’ next game is on the telly on Saturday, September 25, at home to Torquay United, kick-off 5.20pm 

Team v Yeovil (3-5-2 to start): Loach; Kerr, Gunning (King 46), Grimes; Carline, Weston, Oyeleke (McCourt 75),Mandeville, Miller (Whittle 67); Payne, Tshimanga. 

Subs not used: Minter & Khan 

Goals: Smith og (could be Oyeleke!) 19, Tshimanga 36 (Chesterfield)

Ref: Daniel Lamport

Booked: Tshimanga, Payne (Chesterfield), Williams (Yeovil)

Attendance: 2356 (238 from Chesterfield)