Tshimanga strike earns hard-fought victory

Kabongo Tshimanga’s 11th goal of the season ensured the Spireites took all three points in a 1-0 victory at home to Eastleigh. The hard-fought victory puts Chesterfield just behind leaders Grimsby.

James Rowe made one change following the win over Boreham Wood at the weekend. Danny Rowe dropped out the side, being replaced by Stefan Payne. Saidou Khan returned from injury to make the bench, alongside Nathan Tyson who was reinstated into the 16.

The first incident of note was a facial injury that forced Gavin Gunning off the field after he was caught in the face by a high boot. He was to be replaced by Jamie Grimes. 

The Spireites had the ball in the net in the 17th as Payne took the ball down and his deflected shot dropped into the net. However, the referee’s whistle had already blown for handball. 

The first opportunity of the game fell the way of the away side. A poor ball back was played towards Scott Loach whose kick hit the onrushing striker and Grimes headed clear for a corner.

The only goal of the game came in the 33rd minute. Jeff King won the ball back on the right then played a square pass to Jim Kellermann, who slipped in Payne and he cut the ball across for Tshimanga to fire home his 11th of the season.

Manager Rowe will have been pleased to go into the break leading after a half that saw precious little chances for either side. 

In the early moments of the second period, Laurence Maguire headed wide of the far post, following a corner that was recycled by Liam Mandeville.

Like Chesterfield’s chance, Andrew Boyce saw his header deflected wide by Fraser Kerr following a dangerous free kick. The corner came to nothing.

The visitors almost brought themselves level through former Spireite Tom Whelan. Oyeleke tripped him on the edge of the area and he dusted himself down and fired his free kick just over Loach’s crossbar.

Spireites: Loach, King, Kerr, Gunning (Grimes 10), Maguire, Miller, Oyeleke, Kellermann (McCourt 51), Mandeville, Payne (Khan 72), Tshimanga

Subs: Grimes, Whittle, McCourt, Khan, Tyson

Attendance: 5,086 (83 away)