PREVIEW: Wednesday -v- Chesterfield

PREVIEW: Wednesday -v- Chesterfield

And so the summer of frustration came to a head.

Full time on Saturday saw a multitude of emotions thrown into a Deepdale melting pot.

The players came to take the applause of a few sympathetic souls, only to receive hundreds more gestures of a critical nature.

Obviously, and most importantly, the vast army that crossed the Pennines were thoroughly hacked off.

New seasons are a new beginning, a chance to hope again; when the sun breaks through the clouds and the players walk out of the tunnel, optimism returns.

When presented with that performance against the optimism we held at three o’clock, the anger shown was more than understandable.

On top of that, the summer has been another missed opportunity. The club have serious questions to answer over player recruitment.

A bad day

It may seem trivial, but the kit gripes and botched 150th complaints also came out in the boos and the banker signs.

Watching the Preston game was akin to a fictional ‘worst bits’ compilation from last term. No energy, no shape, no movement; no desire to get on the ball and turn, advance with it, or offer a run.

By christ, I hope Tuesday night serves as a tonic.

Recently relegated Chesterfield have adjusted to their new surroundings in the Most League Two way possible: a home defeat to Grimsby.

Seven new players could not inspire Chesterfield to victory, who don’t look set for a promotion charge, with off-the-field issues continuing to divert attention away from last season’s limp attempt at survival.

Tuesday should be a joyous occasion, then.



Last game Opposition Result Shots On target Corners Cards Fouls Possession
WEDNESDAY Preston (A) L 0-1 6 0 3 3 18 42%
TOWN Grimsby (H) L 1-3 30 (!) 13 13 3 (1) 8 61%


Wednesday were so poor that our fans never had the opportunity to deliver the ironic first-shot-on-target cheer.

In short, possession football works when, a) you have the majority of possession; and b) your players pass and move quickly.

The stats tell you that Wednesday were well short of the former, while the quickest burst I saw from a Wednesday player was at full time when Barry Bannan realised some of the fans weren’t appreciative of his efforts.

I bet he wished that the tunnel was a bit nearer.

Carlos Carvalhal is demanding a response – and rightly so – but he has to face up to criticism too; instead of hanging his players out to dry for the press. That is bad management. His approach, banging balls into Jordan Rhodes, was as ridiculous in its planning as it was its execution.

Surely a rotated side will play here. Perhaps a couple of youngsters will be blooded with the first team.

Town suffered a defeat at the hands of Grimbsy, despite having the majority of possession and chances.

Defensive mix-ups, a lack of cutting edge in front of goal (a chance would be a fine thing!) and a late sending off for captian Ian Evatt all contributed to a pretty miserable return to the fourth tier for the Spireites.

Here’s a Chesterfield fan with some in-depth analysis:

Their squad isn’t the biggest or the most experienced. Ian Evatt will be a big miss at the back. Clint Hill is training with the club but is yet to sign a deal.

Holes in the accounts have forced the sale of some of their biggest talents in recent seasons, while the attractive style utilised by Paul Cook is a distant memory.

Liam Cooper, Eoin Doyle, Sam Clucas and Tendayi Darikwa all made Championship moves while the club failed to replaced them.

These days, notable Football League plodders in their squad include Robbie Weir, Chris O’Grady, Scott Wiseman and Sam Hird, with the iconic Tommy Lee still donning the gloves in his ninth season with the club.



LAST 5 PNE (A) Rangers (H) Donny (A) Vitoria de Setubal (N) Farense (N)
WEDNESDAY L 0-1 L 0-2 W 2-1 D 0-0 D 1-1
Grimsby (H) Donny (H) Rotherham (H) Stoke U23 (A) SUFC (H)
TOWN L 1-3 W 4-0 L 1-3 L 4-0 L 1-2



  13 12 10




Chesterfield 1-0 Wednesday

18 February 2012, The Proact, Att: 9,279

Morgan 78′ [P]

One common connection

Kieran Lee and Fernando Forestieri saw off the Spireites in a friendly twelve months ago but you have to go back five years for our last competitive encounter.

You go back to February 2012, and the straw that broke Megson’s back.

One week before the momentum changing derby, struggling Chesterfield battled to a one goal victory against a lifeless Wednesday side.

Sound familiar?

A late Dean Morgan penalty sealed the affair in which Wednesday started with Chris Lines on the left.

That post-Marshall/pre-Antonio spell was fun, wasn’t it?





Carlos will be demanding a response from his much changed side.

This game should give our younger players a chance to shine, our Kieran Lees a chance to get fit, and our Sam Winnalls a chance to remind us that they exist.

After multiple pre-season appearances, Winnall and Abdi dropped out of the match-day eighteen at Preston.

Will one of the younger ‘keepers get the nod? Will George Hirst be included in the squad?
















WHOEVER PLAYS IN MIDFIELD – Don’t let a League 2 side’s second string knock you out of the game.

Be expressive. Be busy. Move the ball and move it quickly.


TOMMY LEE – Should be busy in the Chesterfield goal.


Probably won’t.






BET Wednesday WIN Town WIN DRAW
0-0 SWFC win/under 2.5 goals
BEST ODDS 2/5 8/1 17/4 16/1 3/1
BOOKIES Ladbrokes



Wednesday will labour towards a forgettable victory to-nil.

The one or two goals scored will feature in an end-of-season goals video that forces you to spend five mins remembering Chesterfield’s away kit.

Tuesday is not make or break for the mounting pressure on the club, but it could provide some welcome relief.

Let’s get through it with a clean bill of health and a few minutes for some of our youngsters.

A couple of shots on target would be nice.

VERDICT: 1-0 Wednesday. George Hirst. 

Owls Alive
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images: SWFC, unless stated.

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