Date: 19th August 2007 at 11:33am
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Jim Gannon will be delighted that his battling County side left a cold, wet and windy Saltergate yesterday afternoon with a point to show for their hard efforts.

Gannon will not lie, County were far from the best team at Saltergate, but not many sides will visit that ground this season and take points home with them. Gannon was clearly delighted at the end of the game, though in truth the three points should have been County`s once we had taken the lead.

At about 9am we left home, leaving Woodley at 10:30 and living in Cale Green means it will take about an hour to get there. Two quick bus journeys though and we`re in Woodley for about 9:40, quite a few County fans are about and lots are eager to leave early leaving plenty of time to explore Chesterfield. How wrong they were.

We got into Chesterfield at about 12, and after the inevitable merry go round to find every ground in the country that follows we eventually alighted the coach and were walking towards Chesterfield town centre as we had another snooker palace booked. We weren`t alone though, a police van soon pulled up and out emptied about ten policemen. They weren`t having that we wanted to go to the Snooker Palace but we soon explained and they let us in the end. They were firstly trying to ferry us to the one away fan pub. No way were 1500 County fans getting in that one pub today. So here we are, 12pm and eight policemen are marching us through Chesterfield like hardened criminals. We didn`t see one Chesterfield fan by the time we got to the Snooker Palace!

Anyhow some nice lunch was followed by Portsmouth-Bolton before the police rounded us up again at about 2 and stuck us back on our coach, we were taken to the ground and told to go straight in. Obviously the plan of getting all the County fans in one pub had backfired because driving through Chesterfield I saw plenty of County fans wandering about the streets. There were no reports of trouble, so the over-zealous policing was a waste of time and money.

The first thing that hit you when you walked onto the terrace was the rain, blowing straight into your face. It didn`t stop the hardcore County fans though, and about 1500 had made the trip. Albeit 300-400 wimps had opted for the more expensive seats (well I call them seats but they were actually scruffy wooden benches with bird poo all over them, I remember them from last time), they kept dry at least.

County stuck with the same team that had beat Dagenham and Tranmere in the last two games, it was the same bench from the Tranmere game aswell.

There was no Jamie Ward for Chesterfield, but the upfront pairing of Steve Fletcher and Jack Lester was one that would be able to create things for Chesterfield.

It was a game that was somewhat similar to the Tranmere Rovers Carling Cup game, there were no real clear cut chances and most of the game was battled out in midfield. Despite the stats saying that Chesterfield had a lot of efforts it was far from the truth, once of the shots on target was a long punt from Roche in the Chesterfield goal that Conrad Logan picked up in front of his goal.

The off-target strikes were exactly that, the linesman was in more danger than Conrad Logan.

County`s first chance came after about twenty minutes when Gary Dicker crossed for Matty McNeil, but his header flew over the bar.

Chesterfield then put the ball in the net, Jack Lester mistimed his run and was clearly offside. He curled the ball past Conrad Logan to the delight of the Chesterfield fans, however the linesman had his flag raised – much taunting from the County fans followed. I never get this stuff about offside goals, its simple. The player would have not scored the goal had he have started in an onside position, so when the Chesterfield fans applauded the move that lacked discipline I chuckled to myself. If that`s what they want from their players then so be it.

Phil Dowd awarded County a free kick when the Chesterfield defender was climbing all over Matty McNeil, again the Chesterfield fans roared their disapproval at the referee but its simply a foul. How they can not see that when they`re much closer than the County fans is beyond me. Gary Dicker took the free-kick from the edge of the area and tried to curl it along the floor into the bottom corner – he wasn`t too far away, but it went wide of the goal.

That was the last action of the first half, and the game was certainly their for the taking in the second half. Who wanted it most, I suspected that it would be a draw but was unsure whether any goals would be involved. Others on the terrace seemed to think that County would get a win.

Matty McNeil went close with a header, but it was easily saved by Roche in front of his face.

County were building up a bit of momentum and were starting to look dangerous. Jim Gannon sensed this and took Griffin of the left wing and brought Dickinson on as he went with three strikers.

The move had an almost instant effect, David Poole swung in a beautiful ball for Liam Dickinson, who instinctively headed home with a beautiful header to send the County fans mental behind the goal. Dickinson had gone in before the defender for the ball and had taken a blow on the head at the same time as he connected with the ball, a cut appeared above his eye and the players showed concern straight away despite being delighted with the goal. Rodger Wylde got the cut sorted and took him off the pitch to chorus` of “Liam, Liam Dickinson” from the 1500 County travelling fans.

Dickinson came back onto the pitch five minutes later to the same song, and he won the ball before Kevin Gray looked as if he was trying to break Dickinson`s leg who again went down in agony. Gray was booked but again Dickinson was taken off the pitch for treatment.

Chesterfield got a goal back, the equaliser they had sought after for about 15 minutes. Jack Lester hammered home from a yard out after sloppy defending from County, it could have been avoided but the ball ended up in front of Lester and anybody could have scored from there. 1-1, and for the first time in the game we started to actually hear the Chesterfield fans.

Adam Proudlock was brought on as County continued to attack, but nothing was found from the County strikers and Chesterfield built the pressure.

Ashley Williams then made his first mistake in months, when he uncharacteristically slipped and allowed Jack Lester in in the last minute. However the super Conrad Logan came rushing out and saved the one-on-one to save Williams` blushes.

Again Logan was called into action when Jackson broke free down the right, one-on-one again and Logan saved well. He really had kept County in the game.

But at the final whistle both sides knew a drew was a fair result, the County fans stayed around to applaud the efforts of the players before making their way to the coaches, cars and trains to get back to Stockport.

It was a good performance away from home and I`m happy with that, not many teams will go there this season and take anything home. So a point in the first tough away game of the season is something to be delighted with.

Oh, and just as we boarded the coach, the rain stopped. Rejoice.


2 Replies to “Chesterfield 1-1 Stockport”


  • Excellent report Jack, really captured the game and atmosphere well, and like you say, not a lot of teams will go there and score, never mind get anything from it, Chesterfield were very organised, defensive minded, then hit you on the counter attack. Proudlock looked class, awesome through ball to Dicko as well.

    PS: County4Ever, have you discovered the Caps Lock button yet? LOL

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