REPORT: Spireites knocked out of FA Trophy by Brackley

Chesterfield were knocked out of the FA Trophy at the third round after a 2-0 defeat to holders Brackley Town.

John Sheridan made four changes to the side that drew with Barrow last weekend. Josef Yarney made his debut, whilst Joe Rowley, Alfie Beestin and Kyel Reid were also brought into the team.

However, Lee Ndlovu and James Armson both scored in the second half to end Chesterfield's hopes of getting to Wembley for this season.

The visitors had the first chance of the game after five minutes. Omari Sterling-James let fly from just outside the box, but his effort whistled just past the post.

Chesterfield manufactured their first chance after ten minutes when Curtis Weston whipped the ball into the box following a short corner routine. Haydn Hollis rose highest, but his header was high and wide of the goal.

Weston created another chance soon after, as the midfielder picked up the ball in his own half, before laying the ball off to Reid. However, the winger's shot was palmed away by Danny Lewis.

A couple of minutes later, Brackley came close to opening the scoring when Armson's 20-yard strike forced Shwan Jalal into a good save.

The National League North side came close again to taking the lead. However, Shane Byrne's strike from outside the area dipped just over the crossbar.

Jalal had to make another great save when he reacted quickly to Ndlovu's deflected shot. From the rebound, Sterling-James' goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Will Evans.

Seven minutes into the second half, the away side took the lead. Glenn Walker's corner found its way to Ndlovu, who fired home from inside the six-yard box.

The Spireites came close to immediately responding when a floated ball made it's way Rowley, but the young midfielder scuffed his shot wide of the goal.

Brackley came close to doubling their lead on the 65th minut, as Ndlovu was put through on goal but Jalal stood tall and produced a good save to deny the forward.

Substitute Lee Shaw came close to equalising for Sheridan's men when Evans' header was diverted towards goal by the striker, but Lewis reacted quickly to keep the ball out of the net.

Two minutes later, Brackley scored a second. Armson was played through on the right and the midfielder calmly rolled the ball past Jalal and into the back of the net.

Chesterfield created a couple of chances after the doubler. Shaw volleyed over from outside of the box and Louis Dodds forced Lewis into a couple of smart saves.

Evans tried his luck from long range, but his effort whistled over the bar and with that, the Spireites' hopes of getting to Wembley faded away.

This is the Blues' first home loss since Boxing Day and the first time that they haven't kept a clean sheet since the Ebbsfleet United game.

Chesterfield's next game is at home to Halifax Town next Saturday. A win will definitely help put the FA Trophy disappointment int the rear view mirror.


Post-Match Verdict | Focus on the league

Unfortunately it wasn't a performance good enough to go through and Brackley Town punished the Spiretes for it.

However, despite the performance, there are a few positives going into the Halifax Town game next weekend.

Charlie Carter, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Laurence Maguire could all make their returns, whilst Scott Boden and Jack McKay could also make their debuts.

It also means that Chesterfield can now solely concentrate on staying up; no distractions, no excuses.

"My aim is to keep us up and my aim is to get us out of the league next season. So, I’ve got to concentrate on the first thing, which is staying up," said Sheridan after the game.

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