Town survive edgy first-half to progress

JOB done and as a confidence builder it was ideal.

Derek Davis

JOB done and as a confidence builder it was ideal.

There is little more a team can do but score three goals and keep a clean sheet even if the opposition are 50 places lower in the pyramid.

Okay, the performance, especially in the first half could have been better but that would be doing Chesterfield a disservice.

The Spireites worked extremely hard and showed some decent quality as they stretched Ipswich's defence, closed down their midfield and kept the attack at bay.

Ipswich were not helped when Tommy Miller got caught early on and even though he continued until the half hour mark he was clearly struggling.

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Chesterfield showed their ambition by getting at Town at every opportunity, playing balls through to the big Scott Boden, and slipping in the small but swift Jamie Ward.

But The Blues defence were on tip- top form with Iv�n Campo showing his years of experience and although he almost got caught a couple of times he was always able to play his way out of trouble.

When the back line was breached Richard Wright was sharp and alert and mopped up, especially when Ward got clear and the keeper tipped around a post.

Ward even tried his luck from a good 40 yards when he saw Wright off his line and tried to chip him but the effort drifted wide.

With 16 goals to his name this season Ward has caught the eye of many a scout and even though he didn't score, the former Aston Villa youth player showed why he is being tipped for bigger things.

He will have been inspired by Jon Walters who was bought from Chester by Town after he impressed in the FA Cup, after they too got a second chance when Bury were kicked out for fielding and ineligible player.

Certainly Chesterfield were trying to make the most of their second chance after Droylsden were expelled for playing Sean Newton when he was supposed to be serving a suspension.

The Spireites up-tempo approach made Town, and their supporters edgy.

John Gorman was screaming instructions from the sidelines, but there was no sign of first team coach Bryan Klug.

Town needed the half-time team talk and got the breakthrough four minutes into the second half when Phil Picken used a forearm to block an Alan Quinn cross.

Referee Gary Sutton, who had replaced Keith Hill in the 17th minute, had little hesitation in awarding the penalty and it is unlikely the original referee would have done anything differently.

Jon Walters powered the penalty down the middle of the goal and celebrated by waving a boot to the crowd.

Moments after the penalty Chesterfield almost snatched an equaliser but Wright was equal to Ward's best effort.

It was the first ever meeting between the two sides, separated by 50 places in the football pyramid, and it was often scrappy but the goals when they came were of good quality.

The second came from a superb build up and composed finishing and relieved some pressure.

Danny Haynes, on for Miller, had added pace to the attack. He played in a cross for Quinn to nod down and Pablo Counago showed terrific skill in a tight space to beat the luckless Tommy Lee from close range.

The Chesterfield keeper's 30th birthday celebrations were further ruined when substitute Jon Stead rounded off the scoring two minutes from time with another exquisite piece of calm finishing, with Walters the provider.

Chesterfield threw on Darren Currie and got a good reception from Town fans. He added some quality in terms of passing but Ipswich were coping more comfortably well before the third goal.

Alex Bruce got a run-out, which prompted the predictable chorus of 'sign him up' when David Wright limped off early.

The two forced changes meant Jordan Rhodes and schoolboy Connor Wickham never got a call from the seven-man bench.

At 15 years and 278 days, Wickham would have become Town' youngest ever debut-maker, beating Jason Dozzell's record.

He may get another opportunity later this month.