Chesterfield gave themselves a massive boost in the fight for a play-off position with a solid 1-0 win away at Bradford City last night, moving up to sixth in what is still a very closely contested League One table.
Striker Byron Harrison took advantage of some sloppy Bradford defending right at the end of the first half, latching onto Gary Mackenzie’s poor headed back-pass and rounding the keeper for his first Chesterfield goal after initially struggling to find his feet at the club.
Bradford’s best chance to equalize came in the 89th minute, with Tommy Lee making a good save to deny a late Tony McMahon goal.
Goal scorer Harrison was an unexpected starter, with Armand Gnanduillet pulling out of the starting line-up after suffering a minor injury in the warm up, just minutes before kick-off.
Defender Sam Hird found the back of the net for the second consecutive game only for it to be ruled offside. Hird scored a late header to secure the Spireites a 1-0 win at home to Walsall on Saturday, a game which by manager Paul Cook’s own admission was thoroughly underwhelming.
Last night’s performance was much the opposite though as the Spireites showed a renewed vigor against a strong Bradford side to prove they could have what it takes to finish in the play-offs, with Cook heaping praise on defenders Ian Evatt and Sam Hird.
Chesterfield’s next game is away against bottom of the league Yeovil Town on Friday, a must win game if they are to hold on to their position as Rochdale sit just one point behind the Spireites, with a game in hand.
Bradford, now in 10th place, travel to 11th place Doncaster on Friday and could do with a win if they are to have any hopes of a play-off push, with the league being so tight that every game can make a huge difference.