An FA Cup second round clash this weekend…
Saturday, 5th December 2015 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
The Emirates FA Cup Second Round
It’s an all-League One affair in the FA Cup second round this weekend. Both teams are currently without a manager; Chesterfield parted company with Dean Saunders last Saturday, while Dean Smith left Walsall for Brentford on Monday. The Saddlers reached this stage after beating Fleetwood 2-0, while Chesterfield thrashed non-league FC United of Manchester 4-1. The Spireites won the league meeting 2-1 in October.
Chesterfield: 16th – P20 W7 D2 L11 F25 A35 PTS23
Walsall: 3rd – P20 W11 D6 L3 F35 A19 PTS39
LAST FIVE COMPETITIVE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
LAST TIME OUT:
Saturday, 28th November – Chesterfield 0-4 Swindon – League One
Chesterfield parted company with manager Dean Saunders following this comprehensive defeat – their fourth in a row. Nicky Ajose scored a brace, while Louis Thompson and Jon Obika were also on target for the rampant Robins.
Team:Lee, O’Neil, Raglan, Evatt, Jones (Herd 57’), Morsy, Banks, O’Shea, Ariyibi, Simons, Novak (Dieseruvwe 51’).
Subs not used: Hird, Gardner, Ebanks-Blake, Chapman, Wood.
Tuesday, 1st December – Shrewsbury 1-3 Walsall – League One
Walsall began life after Dean Smith with an impressive derby win over ten-man Shrewsbury. Larnell Cole fired the Shrews ahead before Milan Lalkovic equalised on the stroke of half-time. And after Town’s Ian Black was sent off, Paul Downing and Jordan Cook’s first goals of the season secured back-to-back wins.
Team:Etheridge, Demetriou, Downing, O’Connor, Henry, Chambers, Morris (Baxendale 94’), Evans, Lalkovic (Forde 77’), Sawyers, Bradshaw (Cook 27’).
Subs not used: Taylor, Mantom, MacGillivray, Preston.
Chesterfield wins: 30
Walsall wins: 32
17th October 2015 – Walsall 1-2 Chesterfield – League One
The Saddlers were knocked off top spot after losing at home to Chesterfield. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake’s early header put the Spireites ahead before Ian Evatt converted Dan Gardner's corner to make it 2-0 on 54 minutes. Matt Preston pulled a goal back in stoppage time, but Chesterfield held on to condemn the Saddlers to a first defeat in seven league matches.
CHESTERFIELD CARETAKER MANAGER:
Mark Smith – The 55-year-old was placed in caretaker charge following Dean Saunders’ exit last week. Smith, who is Chesterfield’s academy manager, has also had caretaker spells at Notts County and Sheffield Wednesday. He spent ten years as a player with the Owls, winning two promotions, and was named their Player of the Year in 1981.
CHESTERFIELD STAR MAN:
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake – Chesterfield’s seven-goal top scorer netted in their 2-1 win over Walsall in October. The 29-year-old striker made his name at Wolves, where he stayed for five years and won the Championship title in 2008/09. An ex-Manchester United youngster, Ebanks-Blake is a two-time Championship Golden Boot winner and has also played for Plymouth, Ipswich and Preston.
VIEW FROM THE CHESTERFIELD CAMP:
Mark Smith (on Saturday’s match) – “There’s not the pressure of chasing the three points and there’s the bonus of possibly being in the third round with the big boys. Then who knows? Pull out Manchester United and I may get a rise! I was in a similar caretaker position at Notts County and we drew Aston Villa, who had the likes of Dwight Yorke, in the third round and we drew before losing the replay.”
WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Top-scorer Tom Bradshaw is out with an ankle injury. Midfielder Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Richard Clark (from Northumberland).
STAT OF THE DAY:
Walsall are hoping to reach the FA Cup third round for the first time since the 2007/08 campaign.
SATURDAY’S FA CUP FIXTURES: (3.00pm unless stated)
Barnet vs. Newport
Leyton Orient vs. Scunthorpe
Millwall vs. Wycombe
Northampton vs. Northwich Victoria
Portsmouth vs. Accrington
Sheffield United vs. Oldham
Stourbridge vs. Eastleigh
Yeovil vs. Stevenage