Chesterfield 2 Rushden & Diamonds 0

By Steven Dove

A goal in each half condemned Rushden & Diamonds to their fourth away defeat on the spin over inform Chesterfield.

Diamonds slipped behind as early as the third minute when Glynn Hurst pounced from close range to score his sixth goal of the season.

And things never improved for Diamonds throughout the 90 minutes as a second-half penalty from David Reeves wrapped up all three points for the home side.

Diamonds welcomed Stuart Gray back into the starting line-up after three months on the sidelines through a groin injury. He slotted in at left-back whilst Ritchie Hanlon returned to the bench.

Chesterfield were without on-loan Leeds star James McMaster who failed a late fitness test on an injury picked up in the win over Peterborough United.

Chesterfield, having picked up back-to-back wins over QPR and Peterborough, started in a positive manner and broke the deadlock immediately.

Steve Blatherwick’s cross was met by the head of Reeves who guided an unstoppable shot past Jamie Ashdown and into the corner of the net.

Diamonds nearly responded in a matter of seconds but David Bell’s header struck the woodwork.

That would be Diamonds’ best chance of a lack lustre performance from Brian Talbot’s team. Chances were few and far between as Chesterfield stayed in complete control of proceedings.

Reeves and Hurst were threats from start to finish and Diamonds were unable to retain possession for long spells.

Chris Brandon squandered a chance to extend Chesterfield’s lead on 15 minutes and Mark Hudson also went close with an effort which flew straight into Ashdown’s arms.

Chesterfield thought they should have had a penalty just after the half-hour mark when Reeves when tumbling down inside the area from a Barry Hunter challenge.

Diamonds struggled to break through the Chesterfield defence and a Onandi Lowe free-kick, which failed to test Carl Muggleton, was one of few chances for the visitors.

The second-half never improved for Diamonds as Chesterfield continued to bombard the visitors goal.

Reeves was denied by a flying save from Ashdown on 50 minutes whilst Brandon also went close with a shot which flew inches wide.

In a bid to turn things around, Paul Kitson and Ritchie Hanlon were thrown into action and although Andy Burgess and Rodney Jack both had chances, this was always going to be Chesterfield’s day.

Chesterfield extended their lead in controversial style when Reeves blasted home from the penalty spot. However, Diamonds would have felt hard done by after Brandon seemingly handled prior to the decision in rewarding a spot kick.

Diamonds continued to push forward but never looked like troubling Muggleton who had enjoyed a quiet afternoon.

Diamonds must now regroup and get back to winning ways ready for their forthcoming home games against Sheffield Wednesday and Tranmere Rovers.

Chesterfield: Muggleton, Uhlenbeek, O’Hare, Blatherwick, Allott, Hurst, Hudson (Innes), Davies, Brandon, Reeves (Robinson 85), Evatt.

Subs not used: Dawson, Payne, Richmond, Robinson, Innes.

Booked: Brandon (29)

Diamonds: Ashdown, Mills, Hunter, Jack, Burgess, Gray (Hanlon 68), Sambrook (Dempster 78), Bell (Kitson, 60), Hall, Lowe, Roget.

Subs not used: Talbot, Story

Booked:

Referee: Mr M Thorpe

Attendance: 4,361

Diamonds’ MOTM: Gary Mills

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