Heads High After Narrow Defeat

Youngsters so close

Chesterfield 2 (Ebanks-Blake 24, Dennis 76)

Wolves 1 (Herc 74)

Although they suffered a narrow defeat at Chesterfield in this Checkatrade Trophy tie, the Molineux youngsters can hold their heads up high after a display that ended with a much more experienced home side clinging on to the slender advantage they held.

Despite playing for an hour with ten men following the dismissal of Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Wanderers fully deserved to at least take the game into a penalty shoot-out but it wasn’t to be.

Chesterfield included six first team regulars in their team whilst Wolves fielded youngsters apart from Ebanks-Landell and Nouha Dicko.

It was a familiar face to Wolves supporters that was close to giving the Spireites a second minute lead. Dan Gardener delivered a dangerous centre that Sylvan Ebanks-Blake headed powerfully just a few inches over the bar.

Home keeper Lloyd Allinson had to race from his area to clear from Connor Ronan and then he had to save at the feet of Dicko who had latched onto a long through ball.

Gardener carved out an opening for himself in the 15th minute but Aaron Simpson got across to clear before the winger could get his shot away.

In the 22nd minute Dicko forced the ball over the line after Allinson had failed to hold on to Ronan’s low shot but the offside flag was raised.

To compound the disappointment Chesterfield took the lead two minutes later after Ian Evatt had nodded down Jon Nolan’s corner to Ebanks-Blake who scrambled the ball home from six-yards.

After Ronan had fired over the bar from 20-yards, Wolves’ task grew even tougher on 29 minutes when Ebanks-Landell was show a straight red card for a high tackle on Nolan who was up immediately and didn’t require any treatment.

Aaron Hayden was sent on to partner Connor Johnson in central defence with Morgan Gibbs-White the player ‘sacrificed’.

A slip by Jon Flatt caused problems in the visitors defence. The keeper’s clearance was intercepted by Connor Dimaio but Connor Johnson was alert to the danger and he managed to clear.

Ronan’s free-kick was then deflected the wrong side of the post by the wall after Diicko had been fouled outside the home area.

In first half stoppage time Dion Donahue was booked for tripping Dicko. Ronan’s free-kick was was again deflected for a corner which was scrambled away as the half came to a close.

Half-Time: Chesterfield 1 Wolves 0

Five minutes after the restart, Ebanks-Blake spurned the chance of a second when he collected Rai Simons low cross with his back to goal. The striker swivelled and got in a powerful shot which flew over the bar.

Will Randall almost grabbed an equaliser seconds later forcing a fine save from Allinson after taking a return pass from Bright Enobakhare.

Ebanks-Blake was close again as he hooked a shot over his shoulder but, again, over the bar.

Flatt then had to be at his best to turn away a vicious cross-shot from Donahue whilst, for Wolves, Donovan Wilson, on as a substitute for Dicko, saw his shot bounce clear off a defender following a Ronan corner.

The ten men deservedly pulled level in the 74th minute through Christian Herc. Appeals for a penalty after Herc had gone down under a Liam Graham were waved away by the referee but the midfielder wasn’t to be denied and he curled home a sublime effort from the edge of the area moments later.

Fortune was with Chesterfield when they regained the advantage just two minutes later as substitute Kristian Dennis’s speculative shot, which was going straight to Flatt, struck Johnson and looped over the stranded keeper.

The Wolves youngsters hit back and Allinson made a tremendous save from Aaron Collins’s cross-shot. Collins had only been on for two minutes after replacing Enobakhare. From Ronan’s corner there was a brief scramble before Wilson headed against the far post.

In the 90th minute Collins was tripped by Lawrence Maguire in the box. Collins took the spot kick himself but although he sent Allinson the wrong way, the ball struck the inside of the post and rolled away before being cleared.

Chesterfield: Allinson, Evatt (capt), Gardner, Raglan, Dimaio, Nolan (Maguire 80), Donohue, Simons (Dennis 61), Ebanks-Blake, Ariyibi (Daly 45), Graham.

Unused subs: Fulton, Beesley, German, Ofoegbu.

Booking: Donahue (45+2 – foul).

Wolves: Flatt, Simpson, O’Hanlon, Gibbs-White (Hayden 31), Johnson, Ebanks-Landell, Ronan (capt), Herc, Enobakhare (Collins 82), Dicko (Wilson 65), Randall.

Unused subs: Odoffin, Burgoyne, Leak, McKenna.

Sending-Off: Ebanks-Landell (29 – late tackle).

Referee: S. Stocksbridge.