It's been an eventful week for the Bees. It started with them lying in fifth place in the Second Division as a result of last weekend's victory. Tuesday evening saw them progress to the second round of the Worthington Cup and a chance of a lucrative tie thanks to a last minute winner from youngster Kevin O`Connor against First Division Norwich City. Then today came the sensational news that the Bees had received the plum tie of the round when they were drawn away to Newcastle United and it was completed when they returned from Saltergate with three points in the bag which moved them into third place. The icing on the cake was for many the fact that it meant the Bees were ahead of their neighbours QPR in the League for the first time in 36 years.
So to today's match. The Bees made just the one change from Tuesday's starting line up bringing in Stephen Hunt for the injured Ijah Anderson. Manager Steve Coppell jigged the side around a bit playing a back five with Gavin Mahon playing central to Darren Powell and Ivar Ingimarsson.
Those three central defenders had a torrid afternoon quelling raid after raid from the home side who were desperate to regain face following a 3-6 home mauling on the opening day of the season. That was particularly the case in the second half when the Bees forward forays were limited to pumping the ball forward whenever necessary and hoping either Kevin O`Connor or the fit again Ben Burgess could do something with it.
The Bees had made the perfect start when from the kick off they pressurised the home side into conceding a free kick just outside he area when Paul Gibbs was impeded. Up stepped "Captain Fantastic" Paul Evans and with a gaping hole seemingly to the keepers left, he curled the ball over the wall and into the bottom of the net to the right of the keeper. Yet another class free kick from Evo.
But the avalanche never materialised and the Bees effectively had to hold onto what they had for the remainder of the match. But they did it well and with increasing assurance as the game wore on.
The Bees did have chances albeit limited. In the 15th minute a long throw from Michael Dobson was flicked on by Burgess, and O`Connor saw his far post header fly over the bar. Then in the 29th minute an absolute peach of a ball from Jason Price was played into the path of O`Connor. But home keeper Nathan Abbey wasted no time in coming to the edge of his area and just managed to get to the ball ahead of the Bees attacker. As the half wore on The Spireites started to put more and more pressure on, but the Bees held firm.
Five minutes into the second half Oli Gott who had rarely been over extended, was in tip top form to fingertip the ball over from Ian Breckin`s powerful header.
On the hour mark Evans tried his luck from thirty yards but the ball flew well wide of the mark.
Chesterfield were now commanding the proceedings but the heart of the Bees defence, with Ivar Ingimarsson outstanding, were keeping everything at a distance. The odd breakaways rarely looked convincing although Jason Price's run in the 81st minute looked ominous for the hosts until he blasted his shot well wide of the goal.
Five minutes from the end a Danny Williams corner elided Oli Gott and from an acute angle Breckin fired his header just over.
In the final minutes of the game, both sides had chances to add to the single first minute strike. First a bad clearance by Abbey let in O`Connor wide on the left. But he rolled his shot from an acute angle into the side netting. The goal kick was cleared long to the other end whereupon Williams cross from the right was met by a David Reeves` header which cannoned off the crossbar and into Oli`s waiting hands.
A minute later the whistle was blown and the Bees had secured the full three points and had secured their best start to a season for 16 years.
The only down side to the afternoon was the booking of four Bees.three of them for supposed timewasting, Price, Mahon and Gibbs, and one for not putting his football boot on when instructed by referee Brandwood.Hunt.
Bees: Gottskalksson, Dobson, Powell, Mahon, Ingimarsson, Gibbs, Price, Evans, Hunt, Burgess, O`Connor. Subs unused: P Smith, Partridge, Williams, Theobald, Hutchinson.
Attendance: 3,571 Bees fans 350.