Goals from Bell and Nirennold seal second win in five days
Fleetwood made it two wins a week as they defeated bottom-side Chesterfield 2-1 at Highbury this afternoon.
Amari’i Bell scored his second goal in as many games to give Uwe Rosler’s side the lead they would never relinquish which was added to by Victor Nirennold’s sliding finish mid-way through the second half.
Jay O’Shea’s penalty meant the nerves were jangling inside Highbury through to the final whistle, but Town saw out time to claim three valuable points.
The Cod Army began the busier of the sides. In just the third minute, Bobby Grant floated the ball across the box for the marauding Conor McLaughlin but his header was straight at Chesterfield’s Lloyd Allinson.
Uwe Rosler’s decision to play McLaughlin and Bell as wing-backs nearly paid dividends three minutes later when McLaughlin, on his return to Highbury from international duty, crossed for Bell but the Spireites stopper did well to block with his legs.
The Reds lightning start continued when Kyle Dempsey flashed a free-kick narrowly past the post after David Ball was felled just outside the penalty area.
Chesterfield made their first notable foray into Fleetwood territory when O’Shea slipped Kristian Dennis into space but the former-Macclesfield frontman shanked wide of the target.
Danny Wilson’s side found a foothold in the game midway through the first half and should really have took the lead in the 21st minute. A scramble in the penalty area saw Pond toe the ball away from Dennis but into the path of O’Shea who showed a real lack of composure as he blasted over from the penalty spot.
Town regained control of proceedings however and nearly took the lead when Ashley Eastham glanced George Glendon’s corner-kick wide of goal in the 25th minute. The respite was only temporary for the Spireites though as the Cod Army hit the front five minutes later. David Ball did wonderfully to reach the by-line and cut back for Bell who tapped in his second goal of the week.
Grant fired over from range before Bell stopped the visitors drawing level with a brave diving header when Reece Mitchell looked for all money like was going to nod home at the back post.
Fleetwood passed up a great chance to double their lead ten minutes before the break when Ashley Hunter capitalised on a slip from Allinson to gain possession inside the area, but he blazed high and wide when perhaps a pass was the better option.
Town were putting together some lovely passing moves as they searched for a second goal. Ball flicked Hunter’s cross wide before Cian Bolger, also looking for his second strike in five days, nodded Grant’s lofted cross just over the bar as Chesterfield clung onto a one-goal deficit at the interval.
Town started the second period how they ended the first, on top, and another neat passing move involving Glendon and Grant ended in Bell shooting into the Memorial Stand.
Alex Cairns was called into action just before the hour mark when Gboly Ayiribi chopped inside and fired goal wards but the Town stopper was equal to the attempt.
Uwe Rosler’s decision to replace the booked Bolger with Victor Nirennold in the 53rd minute was vindicated ten minutes later. The Frenchman needed all of his six foot four frame to slide in at the back post to convert Hunter’s cross and double the hosts advantage.
Two minutes later and the Spireites could have scored when a ball over the top found a stretching Dennis but his header lacked venom and was tipped behind by Cairns.
Chesterfield did reduce the arrears with 25 to play from the penalty spot. Ayiribi sold Ball a dummy in the penalty area and was tripped by the forward’s trailing leg leaving referee Sebastian Stockbridge with no choice but to award a spot-kick. O’Shea confidently dispatched from 12 yards into the roof of the net and it was very much game on at Highbury.
Fleetwood set about trying to regain their two-goal advantage almost immediately and had a five minute spell of pressure on the visitors’ goal but couldn’t fashion the killer opportunity and the lead remained precarious at 2-1.
As substitutions littered the closing stages of the match, one of the recently-introduced Devante Cole drew a splendid low save from Allinson as Town looked to make the victory safe with four minutes left on the clock.
Amadi-Holloway spurned a chance for Fleetwood when he skipped around Allinson but didn’t manage to get a shot away but it proved inconsequential, as Town held out to net their second win of the week and seal three more League One points.
FTFC: Cairns, McLaughlin, Bell, Eastham, Pond (C), Grant, Bolger (Nirennold ’53), Glendon, Hunter (Amadi-Holloway ’84), Dempsey, Ball (Cole ’72)
Unused Substitutes: Neal, Jonsson, Sowerby, Godswill.
Chesterfield: Allinson, Liddle (C), Evatt, Mitchell, O’Neill, Dimaio (Maguire ’80), Donohue, Dennis (Beesley ’72), Anderson, O’Shea, Ayiribi
Unused Substitutes: Fulton, Simons, Humphreys, German, Ofoegbu
Referee: Mr Sebastian Stockbridge