Banks scores twice in away win

An Ollie Banks brace and a late Will Grigg strike sealed the points in a 3-1 win at Kidderminster Harriers.
Maybe having the Severn Valley railway next door to the home stadium helped Chesterfield keep their promotion train on track but without doubt they needed a full head of steam to overcome a team that battled well throughout.
The Spireites took the lead after Banks hit home well; it was all square at the interval with the home side levelling half way through by Zak Brown.
Despite dominating the second period Chesterfield had to wait until the 67th to edge ahead with Banks notching his second of the game; the ending could have been a nervy affair but thanks to James Berry’s pace and a lovely cross, Grigg was on hand to head home and ease the tension.
Make no mistake Chesterfield deserved the win but Kidderminster proved a harder nut to crack than other  teams higher in the table and forced the Spireites to use all their tenacity and guile to gain another vital three points.
The Harriers may be at the wrong end of the table but they’ve only tasted defeat once in the last five fixtures and grabbed an excellent point at in-form Altrincham midweek but, certainly, they’ve found goals hard to come by; in fact the fixture sees the league’s lowest scorers (11 to date) host the country’s top scorers in the top five divisions.
The Spireites arrived at Aggborough looking to extend their current 11 league game unbeaten run plus their historic undefeated run against Kidderminster. In the three clashes to date, all were won by the Spireites with the Harriers yet to register a goal. Manager Paul Cook chose to make just two changes from the starting XI that won emphatically against York four days earlier. Branden Horton and Michael Jacobs missed out as Ryan Colclough and Miguel Freckleton re-claimed a slot.
A huge away following greeted the Spireites onto the pitch that looked to have plenty of “give” but very playable. It had rained earlier but looked settled at kick-off.
Chesterfield, playing in all blue, started  defending the end packed with their travelling supporters and remained there in the early stages as the home side started strongly but failed to furnish a clear chance.
Slowly the Spireites inched their way back and should have taken the lead but Grigg couldn’t control just three yards from goal after a great cross-field ball from Jamie Grimes and Banks’ headed ball to the Spireites number nine.
They endured more home pressure before breaking superbly from defence and edging ahead on the 20 minute mark. Tom Naylor won possession just outside the home penalty area and ran seventy yards before laying off superbly to the right; Banks read the pass perfectly and slotted coolly home to Christian Dibble’s right.
The lead didn’t last long as Harriers equalised five minutes later. Mike Jones was awarded the game’s first yellow card after a foul near the left touchline and close to the edge of the area; Sammy Robinson floated over a great ball to the far post, Reiss McNally’s header into the centre found Zak Brown who had the easiest of conversions to notch Kidderminster’s fifth home goal of the season.
A great ball by Colclough from the left found Banks; his fierce volley was goal-bound but his powerful shot hit a home defender who happily conceded a corner.
Armando Dobra was in the thick of the action; first he was bundled over into the advertising hoardings and moments later should have  touched home a great ball in from Liam Mandeville.
Three minutes were added and the home side continued to threaten but fully deserved to be level at the interval having just edged the first forty-five.
The Spireites should have gone ahead in the first minute of the second period; Dobra’s neat ball in along the touchline reached Grigg who lost possession before gaining full control, the ball ran to Jones whose on-target shot hit a home defender who averted the danger.
Moments later Mandeville’s free kick found Naylor who became the latest player to have a goalbound effort blocked.
At the other end Zak Brown tried a chip from the edge of the area but Ryan Boot claimed well.
The Spireites had a good claim for a penalty just before the hour-mark. A neat ball from Jones found Naylor who shimmied and worked his way towards the bye-line, looking for an opening when Dibble looked to bundle him over. Referee McNamara looked to have pointed to the penalty spot but it required him to clarify that he had meant a goal-kick.
Two minutes later Brown looked clear on goal but an unbelievable tackle from Tyrone Williams saved the day.
In the next attack the Spireites went ahead. Great work on the left flank from Frecklington saw his low ball in touched onto the upright by Grigg, the loose ball ran free for Banks to pick up and blast home for his second of the game.
Paul Cook made his first change as Michael Jacobs replaced Dobra with just over a quarter of an hour to go, five minutes later James Berry took over from Colclough.
With 8 minutes remaining the task got harder for the home side after Reiss McNally received his second yellow card and had to sit out the remainder of the game.
With time running out Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain decided to try his luck from long range but his effort was high and wayward.
It had been a much better performance in the second period and the icing on the cake came just after the 4th official had signalled seven minutes of added time. Berry ran strongly down the left, he found Naylor who floated over the perfect cross for Grigg to run on to and to head calmly home to ease the pressure and seal the win.

Chesterfield: Boot, Naylor, Grimes, Mandeville, Grigg, Colclough (Berry 78), Williams, Frecklington, Dobra (Jacobs 73 ), Banks (Oldaker 92), Jones

Subs not used: Palmer, Curtis

Attendance: 3,913 including 1,531 Chesterfield supporters