Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve Harris previews the game at Plainmoor
TORQUAY UNITED VS CHESTERFIELD FC – NATIONAL LEAGUE
Date: 12th November 2022
Torquay: D, L, L, W, D, D
Chesterfield: W, W, D, W, W, W
Torquay: Aaron Jarvis/Will Goodwin (5)
Chesterfield: Jeff King (6)
HEAD TO HEAD
Year founded: 1866
Nickname: The Spireites
Last season’s league finish: 7th in National League
Division Four/Division Three/League Two:
Winners: 1969-70, 1984-85, 2010-11, 2013-14
Division Three North:
Winners: 1930-31, 1935-36
Football League Trophy:
MANAGER: PAUL COOK
Currently in his second spell as manager of Chesterfield, Paul Cook returned to the Spireites in February 2022, following the departure of James Rowe.
After making his name as a manager with Southport, Sligo Rovers and Accrington Stanley, Cook took charge of Chesterfield in October 2012. He led Chesterfield to the League Two title in the 2013/14 season, which they then followed up by reaching the League One play-offs in the 2014/15 campaign, where they were beaten by Preston North End.
Cook then left the Spireites to take charge of Portsmouth, who he guided to the League Two title in the 2016/17 season before taking charge of Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2017.
In the 2017/18 campaign, Cook steered Wigan to the League One title and guided them to the sixth round of the FA Cup, a run which included wins over West Ham United, AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City before they lost to Southampton. Cook remained in charge of the Latics until July 2020, after they bravely battled against relegation from the Championship despite being hit with a 12-point deduction for entering Administration.
A ten-month spell in charge of Ipswich Town then followed for Cook before he returned to the Technique Stadium.
PLAYER TO WATCH: KABONGO TSHIMANGA
The Plainmoor faithful first came across Kabongo Tshimanga during their title winning season in National League South, when he found the back of the net for Oxford City in their 7-2 defeat to United in January 2019. His exploits in National League South brought him to the attentions of Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard who snapped him up for the Wood in the summer of 2019. Tshimanga continued to find the back of the net for Boreham Wood in the National League and has attracted the attentions of numerous Football League clubs, but instead opted to join the Spireites in the summer of 2021.
He ended an injury hit 2021-22 campaign with 25 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions – and saw a potential move to Birmingham City collapse on the 2022 summer transfer deadline day.
Date of Birth: 22nd September, 1997 (25 years old)
Birthplace: Kinshasa, DR Congo
Height: 1.80 m
Former Clubs: MK Done, Aldershot, Throttur, Yeovil, Boston United, Oxford City, Boreham Wood, Chesterfield
NL Stats 22-23: Played 12, Goals Scored 4, Yellow/Red 0/0
Chesterfield: Joe Quigley, Lucas Covolan
Torquay 2 – 0 Chesterfield
7th May 2022
A Stephen Duke-McKenna strike and Armani Little’s 15th goal of the season from the penalty spot saw Torquay United dent Chesterfield’s play-off chances in their final home game of the 2021-22 season.
The Gulls enjoyed an early spell of pressure which saw Duke-McKenna test Spireites keeper Scott Loach with an angled shot inside the opening minute.
United then continued to threaten as skipper Asa Hall and veteran front man Danny Wright both forced saves from Loach.
The Gulls’ defence was called into action on 21 minutes, as Chesterfield’s Liam Mandeville was denied by a late saving tackle from Ali Omar.
Hall went close again for United in the 26th minute when he connected with a corner from Little, only to be denied by the reflexes of Loach – who palmed his effort behind for another corner.
Seven minutes before half-time, Wright blasted over for the Gulls – after the Spireites failed to clear a free-kick from Little.
In the second half, Chesterfield came out with a renewed sense of purpose as Jamie Grimes nodded a Jeff King corner wide in the 48th minute.
However, United regrouped as a Duke McKenna cross found Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, who headed over on 53 minutes.
On the hour mark, Gulls’ sub Chiori Johnson, who had replaced Hall who had suffered a facial injury following a challenge from Jim Kellerman, teed up Ben Wynter for a 30-yard strike which sailed wide.
In the 70th minute, United finally made their dominance count when Duke-McKenna cut onto his left foot to drill home, after being teed up by Wright.
Six minutes later, Joe Lewis had an angled effort deflected behind as the hosts continued to dominate.
The closest that the Spireites came to finding an equaliser came on 79 minutes, when sub Danny Rowe hit the upright with a free-kick from 35-yards.
With nine minutes remaining, the Gulls doubled their lead from the penalty spot through Little, after he was upended in the box – as United ended a four-match winless run.
Torquay United (4-4-2)
Shaun Donnellan – Lucas Ness – Mark Ellis- Dylan Crowe
Dillon De Silva- Tom Lapslie – Asa Hall – Stephen Wearne
Aaron Jarvis – Will Goodwin
Jeff King – Jamie Grimes – Tyrone Williams – Bailey Clements
Liam Mandeville – Darren Oldaker – Tom Whelan – Armando Dobra