Our fourth meeting against the Spireites this season...
Saturday, 12th March 2016 (Kick-off 3.00pm)
Sky Bet League One
Jon Whitney's first match as Walsall's interim head coach is a trip to revitalised Chesterfield. The Saddlers have faced the Spireites three times already this season; Chesterfield won 2-1 in the reverse league fixture, while Walsall prevailed in the FA Cup meeting on penalties after a replay. The Saddlers are searching for their first win in seven, while Danny Wilson’s Spireites are unbeaten in five.
Chesterfield: 18th – P35 W12 D5 L18 F46 A54 PTS41
Walsall: 4th – P34 W16 D11 L7 F49 A33 PTS59
LAST FIVE LEAGUE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
LAST TIME OUT:
5th March – Southend 0-1 Chesterfield – League One
Lee Novak’s last-minute winner moved Chesterfield six points clear of the relegation zone. David Worrall went close for Southend when he struck the post, but Novak’s neat 89th-minute finish earned the Spireites victory.
Team:Lee, O’Neil, Hird, Anderson, Donohue, Liddle, Ariyibi, Banks, Dimaio, John (O’Shea 83’), Novak.
Subs not used: Gardner, Ebanks-Blake, Chapman, Simons, Talbot, Slew.
5th March – Walsall 1-3 Barnsley – League One
Walsall parted company with head coach Sean O’Driscoll following a comprehensive defeat against in-form Barnsley. Ash Fletcher fired the Tykes in front, Tom Bradshaw equalised but two goals in six second-half minutes from Josh Brownhill and Harry Chapman sealed the win.
Team:Etheridge, Demetriou, O’Connor, Downing, Taylor, Chambers, Mantom, Forde, K Morris (Lalkovic 66’), Sawyers (Hiwula 66’), Bradshaw (Cook 77’).
Subs not used: Roberts, Preston, Flanagan, B Morris.
Chesterfield wins: 30
Walsall wins: 32
15th December 2015 – Walsall 0-0 Chesterfield (5-3 pens) – FA Cup second-round replay
Walsall booked an FA Cup third-round trip to former manager Dean Smith's Brentford after beating Chesterfield on penalties. Chances were at a premium in a tense 120 minutes, with Kieron Morris going closest for the Saddlers when he rattled the bar. In the shoot-out, Walsall converted all five spot-kicks, with Paul Downing scoring the winning penalty after Sam Morsy had fired over.
Danny Wilson – The 56-year-old succeeded Dean Saunders as Chesterfield manager on Christmas Eve 2015. Vastly experienced, Wilson has managed eight different clubs – including both Sheffield teams - and taken charge of over 1,000 competitive matches, winning two promotions. The ex-Northern Ireland international was named the 1997 LMA Manager of the Year after guiding Barnsley to promotion to the Premier League.
CHESTERFIELD STAR MAN:
Lee Novak – The 27-year-old, who is with Chesterfield on a season-long loan from Birmingham, has scored 14 goals in all competitions this term, including nine in his last 11 outings. The in-form Newcastle-born striker spent four years with Huddersfield, where he won promotion from League One in 2012. He started his career with Gretna and also played for Newcastle Blue Star and Gateshead before moving into the Football League.
VIEW FROM THE CHESTERFIELD CAMP:
Danny Wilson (on the Spireites’ dramatic 1-0 win at Southend) – "I felt the least we deserved was a draw, but we were menacing on the counter-attack. We were very clinical in the final moments and it was a great time in the game to score. It's knocked the stuffing out of Southend, but it was nothing that we didn't deserve.”
WALSALL TEAM NEWS:
Striker Jordan Cook (hamstring) is a doubt. Midfielder Isaiah Osbourne (knee) is a long-term absentee.
STAT OF THE DAY:
Walsall's last win at Chesterfield came on 12th September 1998 at their old Saltergate ground.
SATURDAY’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES (3.00pm unless stated)
Barnsley vs. Southend
Blackpool vs. Coventry
Bradford vs. Doncaster
Burton vs. Fleetwood
Colchester vs. Wigan
Gillingham vs. Crewe
Peterborough vs. Port Vale
Rochdale vs. Bury
Sheff Utd vs. Oldham
Shrewsbury vs. Scunthorpe
Swindon vs. Millwall