Chesterfield 3 Northampton Town 1 - Jeremy Casey's view and player ratings

It was an unbeaten run that was never going to last forever, but it is a run that will live on forever in the record books.

Sunday, 18th September 2016, 12:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:41 pm
Zander Diamond lines up a shot on goal at Chesterfield

To go 31 Football League matches without losing is a quite incredible feat, and one that has only been bettered by six other teams in more than 125 years of the competition's long and illustrious history.

It is a record the club, the management, the players and the supporters of Northampton Town can all be proud of, and was a chapter in the club's history that none of us lucky enough to witness it will ever forget.

The defeat also brought at end to a record run of 19 away league games without a loss, but the harsh reality is, it is now just that - history.

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Rob Page

Let's face it, there have been several moments and games in the past 31 that the team has played that the unbeaten run could have been brought to a shuddering halt, but the players' incredible drive and desire simply didn't let it happen.

At Chesterfield on Saturday, that same drive and desire was there, no doubt about it, there was no question of minds being on the upcoming EFL Cup tie with Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.

But the team simply made too many errors and mistakes to get away with it this time - and they also suffered a couple of slices of misfortune.

That's not to say I am going to start blaming bad luck for this defeat at the Proact Stadium, because Lady Luck has certainly chosen her moments to shine on the Cobblers since their previous loss against Portsmouth on December 19 last year.

The travelling Cobblers fans were in good voice at Chesterfield

And I would say that on balance Chesterfield were worthy winners.

They worked hard, they took their chances, and defended well and in numbers.

It helped that they were given something to hold on to after Connor Wilkinson's eighth-minute opener, and it was one of those goals that frustrates so much, and highights how favourable the current offside rules are to attacking sides.

Jon Nolan's ball from central midfield to the left wing was definitely intended for the run of Kristian Dennis, who initially chased it down.

Sam Hoskins

With Brendan Moloney caught out of position upfield, Zander Diamond expected a flag from the assistant, who, with a twitch, was about to oblige, and the Cobblers defender checked his own run.

But then Dennis stopped, and Wilkinson, who was outside Dennis and onside, raced on to collect the pass, drove into the box and scored with a low shot across Adam Smith that went in off the post.

Diamond was inches away from getting back to block the shot, but his earlier split-second hesitation proved fatal.

The Spireites' second goal also had a hint of luck about it, but there was also fault with the Cobblers defending.

Chesterfield boss Danny Wilson and assistant Chris Morgan

Just four minutes of the second half had elapsed when Wilkinson's left-foot shot deflected off the unfortunate Diamond to wrong-foot Smith - but the Chesterfield man, surrounded by fluorescent shirts, was allowed far too much time and space to shoot.

The Cobblers' spirit and desire was evident following that setback when Paul Anderson's first goal for the club brought them back to 2-1 and right into the game on 63 minutes.

Following the goal, Town at last got up a head of steam and were looking a real threat, but they again then shot themselves in the foot - although the home side again had some good fortune.

With the Cobblers on the attack and pressing for an equaliser, Moloney fluffed a simple pass to Jak McCourt in midfield to gift Chesterfield possession, and a couple of phases later Dion Donohue was firing in a left-foot shot from the left corner of the penalty area.

It was a good strike, but Diamond got a touch on the ball that would have took it wide, only for the ball to deflect into the net off the lurking Dennis, and it was 3-1 and game over.

The Cobblers had their moments in this game, and on another day could have got something out of the match.

Jak McCourt

They didn't play badly exactly, but they didn't play well either, and there were too many players simply not on their game, not at their best, and making uncharacteristic errors.

A look at the bigger picture, and it is clear the Cobblers have enjoyed an good start to life in Sky Bet League One.

Eight games in, they have lost just once and sit 11th in the table, and that is a scenario I am sure most Cobblers fans would have taken if they were offered it before a ball was kicked this season.

Now Page and his players need to make sure this loss is simply a blip.

And the team's recent history suggests that is exactly what it will be.


Adam Smith - didn't have a chance with any of the goals, and wasn't particularly overworked otherwise 6

Brendan Moloney - not the Irishman's greatest game, but he was steady enough as he always is. Mistake gifted Chesterfield possession before the third goal 6

Zander Diamond - understandable hesitation for the first goal proved costly, and goals two and three deflected off him, but the Scotsman was the pick of the Town defence, and the pick of the team with some crucial tackles and blocks - CHRON STAR MAN 7

Lewin Nyatanga - steady performance from the Barnsley loan man, who didn't do too much wrong on a day the defence was too often exposed 6

Dave Buchanan - had his hands full with lively Chesterfield winger Gboly Ariyibi, but seemed a little subdued throughout 6

Jak McCourt - there is no denying the Liverpudlian's combative strength, but he does push it with referees every game. A little isolated at times too 6

Matt Taylor - got around the pitch well, and with his sweet left foot is always a threat with pot shots from around the edge of the area. Pick of Town's forward-thinking players 7

Paul Anderson - getting stronger with every game, and will be delighted to get his first goal for the club, but there is surely more to come 6

Harry Beautyman - did his best to get in and around Alex Revell to offer attacking support, but it was a struggle. Whole-hearted as always 6

Kenji Gorre - carried the ball well on a couple of occasions, but his decision making in the final third is questionable, and he now looks to be short on confidence. Taken off at half-time 6

Alex Revell - should have been awarded a penalty after just four minutes when he was pushed in the back, but this was a frustrating afternoon for the striker, who was isolated too often 6


Sam Hoskins (for Gorre, 46m) - struggled to make an impression 6

Marc Richards (for Beautyman, 61 ) - added a physical presence in attack 6

John-Joe O'Toole (for McCourt, 80m)

Rob Page
The travelling Cobblers fans were in good voice at Chesterfield
Sam Hoskins
Chesterfield boss Danny Wilson and assistant Chris Morgan
Jak McCourt