Unbeaten in three sounds so much better than the record of no wins in seven prior to Accrington, doesn’t it? With that in mind it’s Friday Night Lights time as City enter the usual hectic Christmas period looking to build on the 3-2 win in East Lancashire with the visit of promotion favourites Chesterfield. Danny Coles is out for a couple of months and, by dint of being a left-sided defender, it was youngster Jordan Moore-Taylor who played at Accrington in preference to Pat Baldwin. Baldwin will instead be vying with Scot Bennett for a starting berth with Moore-Taylor expected to keep his place. Tom Nichols was the two-goal hero on Saturday and he will expect also to keep his place against the team that saw him open his account for City in 11/12. With top scorer Alan Gow also in fine form in front of goal (penalties aside!) this will mean John O’Flynn and Sam Parkin need to be content with a place on the bench unless Tisdale goes with a more adventurous line up.
Chesterfield, managed by ex-Accrington boss Paul Cook, started the season keen to emphasise why many bookmakers and pundits had installed them as promotion favourites, winning seven and drawing one of their first eight league games. The wheels fell off slightly, losing 1-0 at home to deadly rivals Mansfield and then squandering a 3-0 half-time lead to lose 4-3 at Morecambe, and form has been patchy ever since, their 2-0 win over that lot down the A38 on Saturday their first in five games in all competitions. Despite their slightly more inconsistent form the Spireites sit in second place behind Oxford. Cook has been given license to assemble a very impressive squad, keeping hold of the likes of Marc Richards while adding players like Sam Morsy and Gary McSheffrey, while in Drew Talbot they possess probably the outstanding full-back in the division.
Last season saw City come out empty-handed against Chesterfield, the latter extending City’s wretched October by winning 1-0 at the Park (Atkinson) before Jack Lester signed off in style with a double on the last day of the season in a strange 4-0 win (O’Shea and Richards the other goalscorer) which saw City completely dominate the first half only to be 3-0 down at the break. City have a poor record in general, recording just 10 wins in the Football League to Chesterfield’s 20 (10 draws).