Chesterfield 1 Tranmere 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 12 October 2002

Chesterfield defender Stuart Howson ensured that his side's good run continued with a scrappy late winner.

Howson struck five minutes from time to shatter Tranmere in a game they should have won easily. The visitors missed a host of gilt-edged chances to end their dismal run of five successive away defeats.

Chesterfield had now lost just one in seven and had not conceded a league goal at home since August 13.

The visitors started brightly and after eight minutes striker Simon Haworth forced Carl Muggleton into making a good save when he turned and shot low from the edge of the box.

The tall frontman was involved again 14 minutes later when he tried to chip Muggleton from 40 yards after Mark Hudson had given the ball away in the centre circle.

However the Spireites keeper recovered and produced a comfortable save.

Gary Jones then volleyed straight to Muggleton from ten yards and Haworth shot across the face of goal after Danny Harrison had sent him charging down the right.

The home side finally had their first effort on target five minutes before the break when manager's son, Andy Rushbury's low strike was easily saved by John Achterberg.

The game followed a similar pattern after half time and on 52 minutes Alex Hay missed Rovers best chance when he blazed high and wide following good work by Haworth.

The visitors were punished for their wastefulness in front of goal late on when Howson popped up in the box to force Rob Edwards' volley over the line with his thigh and lift his side to seventh in Division Two.

Afterwards Chesterfield boss Dave Rushbury said: "Credit to Tranmere because they came and worked very hard with a good game plan, but we ground out the result against all odds and I was delighted.

"That could be one of our most important wins of the season."

Rovers manager Ray Mathias said: "I've never seen a game so one-sided but we couldn't stick the ball in the back of the net and if you can't do that you get punished.

"But credit to the lads because they played with commitment and their attitude compared to other recent game was different class.

"I can't have a go at them after that performance. The luck just wasn't with us when it mattered."

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