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Report: Blues 1-0 Chesterfield

22 February 2014

Max Kretzschmar’s first-half penalty earned Wanderers a thoroughly-deserved 1-0 victory over league leaders Chesterfield.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to his side, including handing Anthony Jeffrey his first professional start. Matt McClure was the other man to come in with Paris Cowan-Hall and Dean Morgan making way.

Wanderers started brightly and McClure glanced a header wide in the sixth minute following a superb left-wing cross from Sam Wood.

Jeffrey then tried his luck from 25-yards, but his well-struck effort flew wide of Tommy Lee’s right-hand post.

The visitors began to grow into the contest and saw more ball in midfield area, however, it was Chairboys who had the next chance in the 20th minute when McClure did well to hold the ball up and then find Matt Bloomfield, who fired over from distance.

Chesterfield’s first effort came on the half-hour mark when Gary Roberts played Jimmy Ryan in on the right and his cut-back fell for Jay O’Shea, but his shot was blocked by Leon Johnson.

Blues were still looking a threat when they broke with pace and their impressive first-half display was rewarded in the 35th minute. McClure capitalised on a slip from a Chesterfield defender and his cross from the right was handled by centre-back Ian Evatt.

Kretzschmar stepped up and drilled past Tommy Lee for his fourth of the season, and first goal at Adams Park.

McClure’s speculative 30-yard drive flew over as Ainsworth’s men looked to build on their advantage, before Chesterfield manager Paul Cook was sent to the stands in first-half injury by referee Dean Whitestone.

The visitors made their first change at the break with Armand Gnanduillet, who scored against Wanderers earlier on in the season, replacing O’Shea.

Chairboys were forced into their first alteration in the 50th minute when Gary Doherty landed awkwardly on his arm  after challenging Gnanduillet for a header and the centre-back had to be replaced by Anthony Stewart.

McClure curled wide from 20 yards after Jeffrey had cleverly chested Nick Arnold’s pass into the striker’s path. That was to be Jeffrey’s final involvement as he was replaced by Paris Cowan-Hall in the 55th minute.

Spireites thought they had levelled in the 65th minute when Evatt headed Roberts’ free-kick past Matt Ingram, but the assistant referee had already flagged for offside.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between with both defences looking well-organised. 

Ainsworth’s final substitution came 12 minutes from time with Reece Styche coming on for McClure, who had chased everything throughout the game.

Kretzschmar was inches away from playing Cowan-Hall through on goal after he had linked up well with skipper Stuart Lewis.

Bloomfield had a chance to secure all three points four minutes from time when Cowan-Hall’s clever back heel found him in the area, but his low shot was straight at Lee.

Chesterfield pushed forward in search of a late equaliser, but Ingram was barely tested with the back four of Arnold, Wood, Johnson and Stewart excellent against the leaders. 

Wanderers: Ingram, Arnold, Wood, Doherty (Stewart 50), Johnson, Scowen, Lewis (c),  Bloomfield, Kretzschmar, Jeffrey (Cowan-Hall 55), McClure (Styche 78). 

Subs: Horlock, Craig, Kuffour, Morgan. 

Chesterfield: Lee, Cooper, Humphreys, Evatt (c), Hird (Gardner 66), Darikwa, Morsy, Ryan, O’Shea (Gnanduillet 46), Roberts, Doyle. (Richards 56) 

Subs: Dunbavin, Smith, Togwell, Banks.

Attendance: 3,356 (520 Chesterfield)

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