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Match Discussion: Game 10 - The Spireites (A)

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Game 10 - The Spireites (A)

Team: Chesterfield

Date: 21/11/2020

Where: Technique Stadium

What line-up should Neal Ardley opt for? What will be the key areas for the Magpies to get a victory? What do you think the final score will be?

Have your say below, join in with the Pride of Nottingham match discussion.

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We got what we deserved last night. Halifax were unlucky not to be level before they actually did from what was an awful piece of defending. This team is not getting the basics right and we are being punished. It's the same excuses rolled out after the ever increasing number of below par performances. The team are not correcting their mistakes. Have they lost confidence in NA? I think that may well be the case. I hate to say it but this game has defeat written all over it. 2-1 to Chesterfield after another poor performance is my prediction and we'll have a managerial vacancy before Monday. I want NA to succeed because we need stability but he's testing the loyalty of his most ardent supporters. 

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I have to admit, Neal Ardley failing to get a result here would cause me to start doubting him. I don't think he's lost the dressing room, but I am starting to feel more thought going into games would help. Had Notts beat FC Halifax, it would have been a blessing and, given us some much needed points. Losing or drawing to Chesterfield would be a poor result, unless the players played well and, Chesterfield made a proper game of it.

Defensively we need to be more switched on for the whole game.

@menzinho mentioned recently the midfield partnership of Jim O'Brien, Michael Doyle and, Jake Reeves.

I think there's too much pressure on this area to work consistently, it leaves the question if Matty Wolfe can come in to ease this.

I've felt for some time that the reliance on Michael Doyle to play every game isn't something that would work, it's either him or O'Brien for me. Yet I do feel we need some stronger competition in this department. 

Chesterfield are extremely poor, but our rivalry should lift them for the occasion. If we played to our potential, I think it would be easier but cracks are starting to appear on the flanks and, in the middle. A win could give everyone a boost in confidence, but I do feel it's highlighting areas where improvements could ease the situation with Ardley.

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I am not looking forward to this.

Chesterfield are not a good side, unless they've changed drastically from last season (I doubt it, glancing at their signings), and their main tactic will be to lump it up to that lanky player up front. It is an utter dross tactic, but it will no doubt work against us as some of our players aren't up for the fight. 

Chesterfield to beat us 2-1. 

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lineup (3).png

This is my line-up. 

Don't know the state of McCrory and perhaps harsh to drop Brindley, but he's the only one in that back line that has a decent replacement. Out-of-form Lacey and Rawlinson only starting because the two alternatives are terrible. 

Doyle is only starting because there isn't an alternative (unless this Wolfe loanee fella is any good).

JOB is playing there because the alternative is Enzio. I would play Thomas there but it seems he is unwell.

Sam was decent the other night and got his goal. Probably doesn't warrant another start, but there isn't any alternative to an out-of-form Wootton. 

This line-up again highlights the lack of quality in depth of our squad. Once you look at the amount of starters that are out-of-form, there's nobody to bring in to freshen it up. Crawford we let go, Booty is injured and we let go, I would even bring Mitch Rose in at this stage! We have no winger backup whatsoever. I would have picked Shields should we have made his move permanent. 


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i think notts will win but i dont see the performance being great, i do feel there will be a few goals.

think wootton will get on the scoresheet. doyle too.

notts has to attack them but defend like lions at the back, its not the best start but i have faith in neal ardley. i want him to succeed because being a manager is not easy, having all these interferences does not make it easier.

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Chesterfield have sacked their manager, John Pemberton, let’s hope this doesn’t spark a performance from them. They are poor, like really poor - I had a look on their forum and from about 20 predictions only 1 has predicted a win! 😆 That said I’m not feeling confident going into this one. 🙄

As for the team. I like a 4-3-3 but if feels like we’re playing players slightly out of position but then part of me thinks they’re professional footballers so they should be able to adapt. Could Rodrigues drop into a 3-man midfield? It needs something more too it. Maybe we just need to go back to a 2! I’d like to see Wolfe, some Barnsley fans seemed to think he wasn’t far off getting in their team.

I’d argue this game could be ideal for Turner, just stick to Denton as Chesterfield’s game pretty much revolves around them hitting it long to him – stop him and you stop them. (And there’s no worries about pace with Denton!) Maybe he can redeem himself here. However with Pemberton gone they might try something else…

I think there will be goals in this game. 2-2. Roberts and Wootton to score. It should be an easy win, but I just can’t see it the way we are playing at the mo. (Obvs hope I’m wrong and we stroll to another 3-0).

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This is dire. No disrespect meant to Chesterfield, but they have to be the worst footballing side I've seen this season. 

As expected, we are making them look good and not punishing them. At the back they (Chesterfield) are all over the place, defense always about 4 foot away front our front men. Wootton again has been anonymous in the first half, any ball that goes up to him he has lost. If I were Ardley, I'd be looking at taking him off and bringing Sam on.

Our midfield decided to drop right off, as if we're playing Juventus or something. We've tried a couple of times to self destruct again, Doyle both times I think, who is being overrun and we need fresh legs in that middle (we don't have any). 

Their right midfielder, Cropper, has Kelly-Evans' number and is beating him regularly. For the goal, DKE was daydreaming and miles off his man. Enzio was doing his usual prancing about. DKE is also on a yellow, so if Chicksen is fit, we should probably be seeing him sooner rather than later.

If we lose this, against a Chesterfield side as poor as this one, I really do despair. 

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That was a terrible performance.

It will surprise nobody that the same problems highlighted previously were all there again. Slow, boring build up that inevitably breaks down. The midfield 3 were woeful, even by recent standards. If you could have subbed all of them off, you would've. Doyle's build up play is so slow that somebodies dad who Chesterfield recruited to play up front and they called 'Denton' was picking his pocket. Embarrassing. Him and O'Brien cannot play together. O'Brien was atrocious, gave the ball away repeatedly and can't defend. Reeves was just as bad. That brings us to another problem previously highlighted: no central midfielder on the bench to bring on. Not one. 

We started fairly brightly. We created a bit, Roberts hit the post, Enzio curled one past the post that wasn't too far away and we looked like we could build it up. We got the goal and then..... we stopped. Stopped creating, stopped pressing, stopped everything. Our midfield was so deep they were on our centre backs toes. It was a matter of time before they scored, and score they did. 

Ardley needs to change the way this team are playing and the selection. 

As I said at HT, Chesterfield are the worst team I've seen this season. According to their commentators aswell, that was a good performance from them. Deary me. Any half decent side would've destroyed us today. As much as our tactics are **** and the football is rubbish, I couldn't bare to watch that hoofball to Tom Denton all season. To make it worse, his strike partner was even worse than Wootton. Their winger who I think normally plays RB, looked a good player and had the beating of our left hand side until Rodrigues came on and gave him something to beat. He's on-loan I think. How they let us score that 2nd, I will never know.


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We started well first 20 minutes. Created chances and played like we know we can. We then sat back and allowed them onto us for no reason. There was no need top sit back and allow the pressure. Our midfield frustrated me a lot today. You can't play Reeves, Doyle and O'Brien as a three together again. They're too slow with the ball and the intensity is lacking. 

Once Rodri and Sam came on we started pressing again and we showed a lot more intent going forwards. There was some nice link up play. Poor defending for their second but great character shown to keep going until the end and react to Tuesday's late goal against us. We have understandably come out the other side of covid slow because, when you've not played for a while and the season is stop start, then it can take time to settle down again and get match fitness, sharpness and your rhythm back.

Today's performance wasn't great and we need to be better with our tempo and being brave when going forward. However, the character shown clearly indicates a great togetherness within the squad and results like this, where you don't play well but pick up wins and score late on, can turn seasons around. 

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The performance might not have been the best, poor game all round but the points are important.

People say they want Notts to be able to win ugly, well they have.

This season will be largely hit and miss in my opinion, but its important that good results start to come. Winning, playing regularly [without breaks/gaps] will only be a blessing. The fixtures are going to come much faster now, so this helps to lift the club. Very happy with the win. Disappointed that we are still sluggish in our play but hopeful.

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I'm delighted that we got out of jail and grabbed the points after what sounded like a very poor display. It could just prove a false dawn, with us carrying on in the same vein next week and getting beaten. But sometimes, a really jammy win like that can provide a welcome injection of confidence and prove a catalyst for the kind of run that would transform our season. I really hope it's the latter.

In his interview, NA was also critical of the team despite us winning. Now he needs to take the lessons from yesterday, change a couple of things around (not least our ponderous midfield) and try to take some momentum into the next match.

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