Tooley’s Take

Phil Tooley takes a look at the game and its context  

Chesterfield 4 Weymouth 0 National League Match #15

I never realised that Lionel Richie modelled himself on the 16th century seer Nostradamus, he of the dubious prophecies. When we were buzzing after a 2-0 win at The Hive in March this year, my take referred to the man who played Whitt Moor on midsummer’s day 2018, and his hit ditty, Easy. 

I always write this column (after a Saturday game) in bed, with a cup of tea, on a Sunday morning, as mentioned in Easy (except the tea). Little did I realise that the great man’s set was indeed a carefully crafted Spireites prediction. After Easy, we were Dancing On The Ceiling. No interpretation needed! Does that mean we’ll be showing Endless Love for this top of the table team for years to come?

It was Town’s third 4-0 win in five weeks. We’d only won 4-0 twice in the last five years before Curzon Ashton. This is a big deal. When Kabongo Tshimanga bundled in (can’t wait the see the video) his third, to make it 15 in 15 league games, I immediately thought that I’d got a dip into the record books to undertake later that evening, but thankfully club historian Stuart Basson beat me to it. 

Back in 1925 Jimmy Cookson grabbed his 15th league goal in his 15th Spireites appearance. No pressure Kabby, but he went on to score 44 that season, at that time a Football League record. He went on to get 85 in 74 for us before a move to West Brom, where he reached 100 league goals faster that anyone else before and his speed record has only been beaten since by a certain Jimmy Greaves. 

I felt for Ollie Harfield, who’d got into a great position to block Saidou Khan’s shot, but as we know to our cost, Calvin Miller certainly does, rules is rules (I know they’re laws, give me a break) and red resulted. Penalty number eight of the season, bang, 1-0.

Against ten, we all had the feeling that the job was done, but credit to Weymouth for almost getting to the break with some hope, but Kabby pounced right at the end of the first half to settle any nerves that may have been around after a well worked free-kick where Jeff King and Jamie Grimes played their parts to perfection. 

I’ve never seen anything quite like that third goal. The National League’s leading scorer converted in a manner that Norman Wisdom (for younger readers, Lee Evans) would have been proud of. He did convert a disallowed fourth as did his replacement Stefan Payne (that would have been the fifth), denied his first NL goal of the season by a flag, but Khan got some deserved reward for his part in the vital first half pen, converting a Jim Kellermann assist, the latter’s first such rewarding delivery in blue, in front of the highest attendance of the season (which is happening quite regularly). 

Former Spireites loanee Ross Fitzsimons made several excellent saves, his opposite number Scott Loach, at one stage, nipped to Costa for a coffee at one point. Well, I was told he did, I can’t confirm because I rarely looked at that end. 

With Grimsby Town (who host Boreham Wood in two weeks) picking up zero points from their last three games and Boreham Wood only picking up a point at Altrincham, the table looked good on that final whistle. The four onion-bag entries also mean that Spireites have a goal difference that is now an incredible five better than anyone else’s. 

A week ago, James Rowe seamlessly assimilated Luke Croll into the back three. This week, new signing Tyrone Williams, from Solihull Moors, followed up equally well, not that he had much defending to do, whilst it was heartening to see Curtis Weston put 90 minutes of gas into his tank. 

Next week, Williams will return to Damson Park for what always promises to be a tough battle. Twice in three visits there, Chesterfield have conceded result-changing 90-minuters, whilst Moors’ manager Neal Ardley has led his former teams (AFC Wimbledon & Notts County) to three wins against us, two involving last-gasp winners. To balance that out, the Spireites have beaten Ardley four times and there have been two draws, so stats favour us. 

But for now, let’s just enjoy being on the ceiling. 

Phil’s Positive: Zero palpitations in 90 is a rare thing and it feels good! And that’s without Mad Gav, Loz, Akwasi, Rowe, Dents, George, Big H, Jack & Joe. 

The Spireites’ next game is on Saturday, November 20, at Solihull Moors, kick-off 3pm. Can’t make it? Catch the game on 1866 Sport. 

Team v Weymouth (3-4-2-1 to start): Loach; Williams, Grimes, Croll; King, Oyeleke (McCourt 51), Weston, Whittle; Khan, Kellermann (Mandeville 76); Tshimanga (Payne 66)

Subs not used: Kerr, Tyson

Goals: Tshimanga 23 (pen), 45+2, 58, Khan 73 (Chesterfield)

Booked: None

Sent-off: Harfield (hand ball on goal line) 22 minutes

Attendance: 5,862 (56 from Weymouth)