“We weren’t ruthless enough”

Following the Spireites’ penalty shoot-out win against Brackley Town in the third round of the Buildbase FA Trophy, James Rowe said he was happy to go through, but felt his side could have been more ruthless.

He said: “They got in our penalty are seven times, we got in there’s 20. That probably tells you the tale of we were not good enough in the final third.

“We dominated the ball; we dominated the game. As it goes on, the game gets a little bit stretched. They cause us a few problems with their two centre-forwards getting in behind a couple of times.

“We want to be better breaking down the two banks of four in the second half. First half we had enough opportunities to score and we didn’t. We weren’t ruthless enough today.

“We got into positions and round the back of them, but it was the final ball and/or final decision to finish that we need to be more ruthless with. 

“But it’s another win, four out of five now. We’ve got to be positive. They are no mugs. They won this competition three years ago and were in the play-offs in the league below. They showed their worth, but we dominated the game and should win that comfortably.”

Rowe included players in the squad who haven’t had a lot of game time recently and he was happy with how they performed.

“The positives are that some of the fringe players that haven’t had game time played. Scotty [Boden] got his first 90 minutes under his belt under me I think he tired towards the end, you could see that.

“Tom [Whelan] and Jak [McCourt] as well. Jak hasn’t played a lot of football and when the game was still in balance, we were trying to push and you could see that it hit Jak, Tom and Scott.”

Kyle Letheren made three saves during the six penalties to send Chesterfield through with a 4-3 win in the shoot-out. Rowe was impressed with how the defence and the keeper performed.

Commenting on Letheren’s display, Rowe said: “He’s done his job. Great save at the end. It’s pleasing to go through and we’ve done our job. The real pleasing thing is zero against again.

“They didn’t look like scoring, they had one shot on target during the game. If you are restricting the opposition to one shot on target, obviously we’re going to go places. Zero goals again so that’s one in five. That’s impressive.”