October 23 2004
Chesterfield lost 1-0 away from home for the second time this season. An Alan O'Hare error let in goalscorer Rowan Vine. Steve Blatherwick and Shane Nicholson were both shown red cards for the Spireites who move down to fourth place in League One.
Chesterfield travelled to Kenilworth Road for a top of the table clash against Luton Town. Spireites fans have fond memories of Luton, after we beat them 1-0 on the final game of last season to remain in this division. To be playing this fixture now would then have been a blessing, but to play it whilst second in the league was unthinkable!
The game kicked off with Luton applying the early pressure and having the majority of chances. However, with Carl Muggleton in superb form, this was never going to be an easy day for The Hatters.
Loan signing Jamal Campbell-Ryce carried the major threat for the Spireites, with his pace asking many questions of an unbeaten Luton side.
As half time approached, it was Luton who had the upper hand, yet no Spireite could complain with their sides efforts.
Half time: Luton Town 0-0 Chesterfield.
Luton came straight at the visitors from the re-start, with a goal coming on 49 minutes. Pacy loan player Rowan Vine latched onto a long ball from goalkeeper Beresford to tuck away his first goal in Luton colours. However, in the build up to the goal, Alan O'Hare appeared to be pushed by Vine, allowing him a clear run at goal. The referee was too far away to see this, yet the Chesterfield bench were clearly agitated by his decision.
Luton now played like a team in with a comfortable lead by continuing to pressure the Spireites back line. A double substitution followed for Chesterfield, with Mark Innes and Mark De Bolla replacing Hudson and Allison. This livened up the Blues who now started to create chances.
Yet again, Vine proved to be the major thorn in Chesterfield's side on 75 minutes, when he was brought down by last man Steve Blatherwick on the edge of the box. A straight red card was issued to the Spireite number 5.
This forced McFarland into his final change of the game, with Downes replacing N'Toya.
The final nail was hammered into the Spireites coffin deep into injury time when Shane Nicholson earned his second yellow card of the game for a cynical and needless challenge. His first yellow came in the first half for an angry reaction to a Steve Howard foul.
Verdict: A 1-0 away to the unbeaten league leaders is somewhat an achievement when you consider that they have yet to drop a single point at home and have only conceded one goal at their Kenilworth Road fortress. The major worry is how we will cope without our two most experienced defenders. Roy may have to look towards loans, especially if Ian Evatt (who has just extended his contract until 2007) is struggling to be fit.
Still 4th in the league and we are there on merit. Long may it continue.