Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Bradford City 0 Chesterfield 1

Bradford City 0

Chesterfield 1

Smalley 16

A lovely through by Kieran Djilali and a fine Deane Smalley finish proved just enough to give Chesterfield all three points last night at Valley Parade.

The victory confirms the Spireites place at the top of League 2, whilst defeat leaves Bradford City facing a nervous to the end to the season in their battle for Football League survival. Defeat on Saturday at home to second bottom Stockport County would really throw Peter Taylor’s side into the mire and may well bring to an end the former England Under 21’s short time in charge.  The result must have been particularly hard for City captain Michael Flynn to take because he was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch, putting in a battling, never say die performance that deserved better.

There had been little to warm up the 10,782 crowd in the first fifteen minutes but when Djilali picked up the ball out on the left his shimmy inside created the space to thread the ball perfectly beyond City full-back Luke O’Brien, where Smalley rushed in to hammer an unstoppable shot past Lenny Pidgeley.

In a game of few chances Djilali should have made it two on 37 minutes but his shot from eight yards lacked pace and direction to allow a grateful Pidgeley to keep his side in the match.

Pushing on Jake Speight at half time and James Hanson after 19 minutes of the second half finally produced some concerted home pressure on Tommy Lee’s goal. Speight’s bustling helped him create a number of half-chances, but the keeper was rarely troubled.

A fine Lewis Hunt blocking tackle on Djilali prevented a second away goal before the full-back’s cross was headed back by Hanson but Tom Adeyemi couldn’t get enough on his header to equalise. Flynn had a shot blocked, the home side forced three corners but when the whistle sounded John Sheridan’s side had won away from home for the second time in four days. Baring a late season collapse Chesterfield can look forward to promotion at the end of it.

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