Tooley’s Take

Phil Tooley takes a look at the game and its context  

York City 2 Chesterfield 1 National League Game #42

A bit of After the Lord Mayor’s Show! Town’s performance matched the changeable weather; brilliant sunshine, biblical rain, cloudy and windy. Something of everything, but the bad bit of rain and wind, like the result, will be what’s remembered the most. I’ll remember my clipboard being wafted away across the press box by a huge gust of wind, a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. It seemed to rip hearts, brains and courage out of some of the people in front of me!

Reaction to the game and the result? Are you Catherine Tate or Mad Max? Am I Bovvered or Out Here, Everything Hurts? I’m more Tate, whilst social media was dominated by dystopia! The defence took a battering, but both York goals came from attacking Spireites giving up the ball far too easily in the home half, followed by rapid bursts forwards, at times when the full-backs were ready to attack.

Substandard for sure, but after Joe Quigley had scored Chesterfield’s NL goal #101, this was hardly a classic Orwellian Room 101 horror moment (Frank Skinner nicked the idea, honest). Disappointing but hardly Doomsday. I think the team has enough credits in the bank and Peroni in the blood to give them a break! We even #FoundMandy before the end to give him a few minutes to freshen up.

The game should have been over by the break. City keeper Watson clearly had his boots on the wrong feet and couldn’t kick to save his life, but he knew exactly what to do when the ball was hurtling rapidly towards him. Three top drawer first half saves, plus another after the break, and things could easily have been very different.

But Adam Hinshelwood, only a month or so into the Minstermen hotseat, seems to have galvanised what is the section’s most expensive squad. He’s picked a team, pretty much stuck with it, and this was their third straight win to pull them well clear of the drop zone they’d been languishing in. York were right up with the favourites at the season’s start, but two permanent managers have been booted out due to chronic under achievement, whilst the man from a fine footballing dynasty has, at the crucial time, eked out some fine performances from the handsomely rewarded, huge, experienced squad.

Hunt and Amos (who are on loan from the Mariners) both went up from this section with Grimsby, Fallowfield did the same with Harrogate. Howe scored for Solihull when they beat Town in the play-offs, Armstrong reached the play-offs last season with Barnet and has been part of their side this season until moving to York earlier this month, Chadwick was with play-off chasing Gateshead for the first half of the season, ten times an Afghan international Kouyhar was a team-mate of Jamie Grimes when Hereford reached the 2021 FA Trophy final. Batty played plenty of games in the Championship with Hull and Akinyemi cost City a massive wedge in the summer from Ayr.

York were far from mugs and, combined with their greater need for three points, they stepped up a gear in the second half, whilst Paul Cook’s side didn’t. Inexcusable, but much less at stake for the visitors. PC was clearly not happy, his side’s professional approach that has ensured the season’s objective has already been achieved, did unfortunately drop as the weather deteriorated. He was very clearly bovvered, he looked bovvered for sure. Very bovvered.

One thing’s for sure, the gaffer will be demanding his champions make Monday’s visitors, the Harriers, look like Kiddies as Town look to tick off another unbeaten at home match as they seek a first ever ‘no loss on our grass’ season, whilst also pursuing three more points in the quest for 100+ and two more goals to beat the all-time record of 102. When you think about that sort of stuff, surely the pain of a defeat eases a tad, doesn’t it?

I eased my pain with a bit of Junction 29a KFC, a quick look at the National League table, some (or maybe, a whole) Chocolate Orange Easter Egg and a relaxing hour watching Beyond Paradise with my ‘Chesterfield FC Champions’ T-Shirt on. Life didn’t seem quite so bad then.

Phil’s Positive: The news coming from the York dressing room was that the injury to Thierry Latty-Fairweather was not as bad as feared. Well done to the medical staff and St John Ambulance volunteers.

Next Match: Easter Monday, AKA April Fools’ Day when relegation-threatened Kidderminster Harriers visit the SMH Group Stadium. Can the Spireites maintain their 100% win record over the team now led by Phil Brown? 1866 Sport coverage starts at 2pm.

Chesterfield (4-2-3-1 to start): Boot; King, Palmer, Grimes, Horton(Mandeville 81); Naylor, Oldaker; Dobra (Cook 90), Banks (Hobson 86), Berry; Quigley. Subs (not used): Jones, Curtis.

Goals: Quigley 6 (Chesterfield), Kouyhar 53, Akinyemi 73 (York)

Referee: Elliot Bell

Bookings: Naylor, Grimes (Chesterfield), Hunt (York)

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook received a yellow card.

Attendance: 7,571 (2,185 from Chesterfield), an LNER Community Stadium record for a game involving York City (a Leeds United friendly v Monaco last summer attracted 8,209.

Netcoms IT 1866 Sport Man of the Match: James Berry (chosen by Josh Marsh)