Chesterfield go top of National League with deserved win against Ebbsfleet United - how the action unfolded

Chesterfield visited Ebbsfleet United on Saturday. (Photo: Submitted)
Chesterfield visited Ebbsfleet United on Saturday. (Photo: Submitted)

Armando Dobra’s first goal of the season on 82 minutes, created by substitute James Berry, secured the three points at Stonebridge Road as the Spireites recorded their first clean sheet of the campaign at the ninth attempt.

It looked like being a frustrating afternoon for the Blues who totally dominated the game but they saw Michael Jacobs hit the woodwork twice and they were denied by several good saves by man of the match goalkeeper Mark Cousins.

Town, who have now won four on the bounce, had to see out seven minutes of added-on time with 10-men after Jacobs was shown his second yellow card of the match. He will now be suspended for the match against Halifax on Tuesday night.

Chesterfield, who were unchanged from the win against Dagenham and Redbridge, almost opened the scoring early on when Jacobs hit the woodwork and then Cousins made a smart save with his legs as Liam Mandeville tried to finish the rebound.

The Spireites, who were changing formation in and out of possession, were camped inside the Ebbsfleet half and Cousins continued to be the busier of the keepers as he comfortably saved a tame effort from Dobra before Tom Naylor then flicked a header over the bar.

Town’s dominance was interrupted as Mike Jones was forced off twice with a head injury and then the hosts had their first dangerous attack as Omari Sterling-James curled wide from the edge of the area after cutting in off the wing.

The Blues got into some dangerous areas on the counter-attack but the final ball was lacking and they almost paid the price when a sloppy pass from Jamie Grimes was pounced upon by Dominic Poleon but Tyrone Williams made an excellent recovery tackle.

Chesterfield finished the half strongly as Cousins made another good save down to his left to stop Ryan Colclough’s shot from finding the bottom corner.

The Spireites’ dominance continued in the first 15 minutes of the second-half and so did Cousins’ heroics.

First, after some quick play around the box, Jacobs struck the ball across goal but it hit the post and bounced back out.

Soon after, Cousins made himself big to block from Dobra, and then he did the same to deny Will Grigg, before Jones’ follow-up was blocked.

Chesterfield were fully dominant as the game approached the 70-minute mark but they could not get past Cousins, who made two more excellent stops from Mandeville and then Williams.

Cousins made another save as he parried Jacobs’ free-kick before he was eventually beaten on 82 minutes when substitute Berry, just like he did last week, came off the bench to make another big impact with a driving run and cross down the left for Dobra to finish from close-range.

During seven minutes of added-on time, Jacobs was sent off after collecting his second yellow card of the game, but Chesterfield got what they deserved.

Chesterfield: Tyrer; Mandeville, Williams, Grimes, Freckleton; Jones, Naylor; Jacobs, Dobra (Banks 90), Colclough (Berry, 78); Grigg (Quigley, 82).

Unused subs: Palmer, Curtis.