Wrexham hopes were dashed against Chesterfield, as Michael Chambers’ own goal was enough to hand the visitors all three points at the Racecourse.
A very distinguished first half display was overshadowed by a miscommunication between Chambers and Rob Lainton, as the Reds’ centre back headed into his own goal from 20 yards out, with Lainton left in no-man’s land.
The new ‘diamond’ formation proved to be suring up the Wrexham defence, but it was also drying up chances at the other end, as the Reds failed to create many meaningful chances.
Shwan Jalal, Mike Fondop, Scott Boden and Jermaine McGlashan all returned to the Racecourse for Chesterfield, after departing Wrexham.
Lainton reunited himself with the Racecourse, after he started his first Vanarama National League game due to injury. The Wrexham keeper was deemed ready for action by Dean Keates, after his comfortable display in the Scottish Challenge Cup win against St Mirren Colts.
Shaun Pearson missed the game due to illness, so Chambers stepped into the familiar role of centre back.
Keates was looking to carry on the winning mentality, after Wrexham’s impressive 4-1 victory against St Mirren Colts in the Scottish Challenge Cup.
It took just four minutes for Bobby Grant to have his first effort of the night. Our captain James Jennings whipped in an early ball, which saw Grant’s powerful header tipped over by Jalal.
Wrexham were looking well drilled in the new ‘diamond’ formation, as Luke Summerfield’s shot swerved just over after some clever link up play in the seventh minute.
Chesterfield had started to settle down, as Fondop’s header sailed straight into the hands of Lainton in the ninth minute, following a good cross from John Sheridan.
Jason Oswell was next to climb highest, but couldn’t find any purchase on a Luke Young cross. Paul Rutherford had a free header as well in the 15th, but couldn’t steer his header under the bar.
Chesterfield were attempting to stretch the Wrexham ‘diamond’, but Summerfield and Young were doing a great job at covering the full-backs.
The Reds had won a free kick in the 22nd minute and Summerfield stepped up to take it. His low, curling effort clipped the outside of the post, almost handing Wrexham the lead.
Wrexham were causing some real problems from set pieces, as Young’s vicious free-kick was deflected just wide by Chambers, with almost half an hour on the clock.
Chesterfield were gifted the lead in the 32nd minute with a Chambers own goal. For all the Reds’ dominance, Keates couldn’t account for a miscommunication, as Chambers headed an early cross past Lainton, who was left in no-man’s land on the edge of his box.
Wrexham continued their solid play, but their hopeful crosses into the box couldn’t be converted by Oswell.
The game was starting to dwindle out in the first half, but Young’s drive and dipping shot worried Jalal in the Chesterfield goal, however his shot bounced just wide of the post in the 43rd.
The Spireites somehow finished the half one goal to the good, as Wrexham’s dominance couldn’t account for Chambers’ own goal.
After a slow restart, Wrexham finally had their chance in the 51st minute. Grant was set through on the angle by Summerfield, but he couldn’t quite pass the ball into the net, as the ball trickled past the far post.
The next ten minutes of play can only be described as a scrappy passage. Fouls were breaking up play and Wrexham were struggling to play the ball quickly and found themselves getting trapped on the ball too often.
Oswell went down injured on the hour mark to be forced off a few minutes later. Mark Harris was brought on and perhaps he could be the ‘sparky’ to bring the Reds back into the game.
Chesterfield provided a dangerous counter in the 69th, which saw Fondop and Jazzi Barnum-Bobb tussle away from the halfway line. Barnum-Bobb appeared to bring down Fondop before he could slot in his counterpart and referee Tom Reeves only awarded a yellow card. As Barnum-Bobb was arguably the last man, he was lucky to remain on the pitch.
The Spireites almost scored from the resulting free-kick, as Joe Rowley’s delivery couldn’t be converted by captain Will Evans.
Ben Tollitt was Keates’ next substitution, as he came on for Rutherford in the 74th minute.
Rowley was causing danger for the Derbyshire side again in the 76th minute, as his through ball found Fondop, whose blocked shot ballooned just wide of the post.
Chesterfield made their first substitution in the 79th minute, as Fondop left the pitch for former Wrexham man Boden.
Wrexham were really struggling to create any sort of chance, let alone attack in the second half. They seemed unable to break down the Chesterfield back-line.
Wrexham had finally created a chance in the dying embers of the game, as Harris fired the ball low and hard, but straight into Jalal’s hands in the 87th minute.
In the second minute of added time, Evans chested the ball just past his own post, teasing the home crowd for an equaliser.
Young was booked in the third minute of added time for taking out Gevaro who was running down the wing.
The match ended 1-0 to Chesterfield, as the Reds failed to muster up any real chance of getting back into the game.
Wrexham: (4-1-2-1-2): Lainton (GK), Barnum-Bobb, Lawlor, Chambers, Jennings ©, Barton, Young, Summerfield (Wright 80’), Rutherford (Tollitt 74’), Grant, Oswell (Harris 63’)
Subs not used: Dibble (GK), McIntosh
Chesterfield: (4-4-2): Jalal (GK), Yarney, Sherdian, Weston, Rowley, Gevaro, Denton, Hollis, Evans ©, Wedgbury, Fondop (Boden 79’)
Subs not used: Coddington (GK), Gerrard, McGlashan, Mandeville
Referee: Tom Reeves
Wrexham Bookings: Barnum-Bobb 69’ (Foul), Young 90+3 (Foul)
Chesterfield Bookings: None
Man of the Match: James Jennings