Defeat at Dorking

Chesterfield went down to a 4-1 defeat against a rampant Dorking Wanderers side who fully deserved the three points after dominating the game throughout.
An early Dan Pybus strike after a Dorking corner gave them impetus and after Alfie Rutherford had burst through to double the lead they looked unstoppable.
At half-time Ash Palmer’s goal late in the half had set the game up nicely for an even contest in the second period. Those hopes ended when two mistakes provided openings for Tom Blair and Rutherford to capitalise on and end the game as a contest.
Dorking fully deserved the win and were not flattered by the scoreline; they were livelier, hungrier, quicker and more direct than the Spireites and put it a stunning performance that belied their league position.
The Spireites arrived in Surrey fresh from their midweek win over Barnet that gave them a 23-point lead over their nearest challengers. Dorking, who didn’t play in midweek, come into the game on a run of three straight home defeats and currently sit in a relegation berth; their away form has been impressive (three wins and a draw in their last four away games) but at Meadowbank they’ve struggled.
Paul Cook made five changes from the starting line-up at The Hive. In came Liam Mandeville, Darren Oldaker, Will Grigg, James Berry and Jeff King as Mike Jones, Joe Quigley, Ollie Banks, Armando Dobra and Ryheem Sheckleford made way.
The heavy rain had ended before kick-off but the clouds looked ominous and threatening; the travelling fans will have been hoping they remained dry.
The Spireites kicked off defending the end that housed their supporters and immediately took the game to the hosts with Berry getting in an on-target effort in the first attack.
Dorking launched two quick long throws in succession direct into the penalty area and posed a genuine threat with the second flashing past Harry Tyrer’s right upright.
Dorking took the lead in the ninth minute. Tyrer gave away a corner kick after a strong shot on target from ex-Spireite Charlie Carter. From the flag kick, Pybus ran in and hit coolly home from 12 yards.
Moments later Carter picked up and tore in on goal, his hit lacked power and Tyrer claimed easily.
Rutherford looked lively in the area and fed Jason Prior wide right, his effort – or was it a cross? – was claimed well by Tyrer.
Tyrer saved the day again moments later saving low down from the nippy Josh Taylor who had received the perfect pass from Blair. There was no respite as Dorking broke after a Chesterfield corner came to nothing and Rutherford shot confidently home from 13 yards.
Dorking, at this stage, were dominant and fully deserved their two-goal lead.
The Spireites claimed a foul on Michael Jacobs in the penalty area – and it looked a good call – but referee Dale Baines was disinterested.
Ex-Spireite Haydn Hollis was enjoying his tussles with Will Grigg and generally frustrating Grigg’s efforts.
Blair gained a corner after his shot on the ground was tipped to safety by Tyrer, from the corner Liam Mandeville cleared off the line to save the day.
In the last minute of the half Chesterfield pulled a goal back. A Mandeville effort forced a corner from Male Harrison and from the dead ball Mandeviile’s short corner set up Ash Palmer, making his 50th club appearance, to power a downward header over the line for a much needed breakthrough and set up an much more interesting second period.
Bright sunshine greeted the teams back onto the pitch and Dorking made an immediate change as Jimmy Muitt replaced the hard working Matt Briggs.
In the first attack of note of the second half a  mislaid pass by Jamie Grimes found Blair who couldn’t believe his luck as he ran unchallenged to fire home and restore Wanderers’ two-goal lead.
The Spireites could have reduced the deficit after King put over a strong cross from the right. Berry connected at the far post but directed his header wide.
After a period of Spireites pressure, King failed to control the ball and was dispossessed by the lively Rutherford who ran the  length of the pitch before hitting coolly home.
Cook made three substitutions in quick succession as Dobra, Harley Curtis and Bailey Hobson took over from Jacobs, Oldaker and Berry.
With nine minutes remaining, Mandeville floated over a speculative effort which flew inches inches over the bar. Moments later, substitute Curtis angled a neat ball across the box, but sadly it ran out of play without a taker.
In the last minute of the game, Tom Naylor’s  header in the six-yard box was narrowly wide of Male’s left upright.
Seven minutes of additional time was awarded, too little time to mount a stirring comeback, but time for Carter to rattle Tyrer’s far upright after Luke Moore had provided the ammunition. Jason Prior also went close and forced an alert tip to safety from Tyrer.

Chesterfield: Tyrer, Naylor, Grimes, Mandeville, Oldaker (Curtis 68),Grigg, Jacobs (Dobra 68),  Berry (Hobson 69), King, Palmer, Clements

Unused  Substitutes: Williams, Banks

Referee: Dale Baines
Attendance: 2,420 (828 Chesterfield supporters)