CHESTERFIELD will be without leading marksman Jack Lester when they play host to York City this afternoon.
Lester will serve the second of a third-match suspension against the Minstermen following his red card in a 1-1 home draw with Burton earlier this month.
The 37-year-old veteran has scored eight goals this season – with all of them coming at the club’s Proact Stadium – despite only seven of his 24 outings coming as starts.
He was last named in a first XI on October 27 but, whether the former Nottingham Forest striker is on the pitch from the opening blast of the referee’s whistle or available to be hailed off the bench, he remains an important attacking option for the Spireites. Ex-Port Vale and Barnsley forward Marc Richards normally leads the line in Paul Cook’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation and he is expected to retain his starting position despite being substituted with a tight hamstring muscle during Friday’s 3-0 defeat at Southend.
If Richards is ruled out, though, Scott Boden will fulfil the role despite a record of just two goals in his last 24 appearances.
Former Arsenal, Fulham and West Ham midfielder Luis Boa Morte, now 35, will also be hoping to start despite recent hamstring niggles and being withdrawn after 66 minutes at Roots Hall.
Centre-back Neal Trotman will play no part and has been on the transfer list since mid-November but Cook has no other personnel concerns.
He has, however, promised several new faces during the January transfer window.
The defeat at Southend was the biggest of the season and heaviest since a 4-1 League Two home reverse against Scunthorpe in March.
Prior to that result, however, Cook’s team were unbeaten in five League fixtures, taking 13 points from a possible 15.
Chesterfield have also avoided losing any of the last four matches at their 10,400-capacity, three-season old stadium, beating visiting trio Hartlepool (6-1), Oxford (2-1) and Cheltenham (4-1) before the 1-1 draw against Burton.
Chesterfield (probable): Lee, Talbot, Hird, Cooper, Smith, Togwell, Randall, Darkiwa, Boa Morte, O’Shea, Richards.
YORK CITY’S last League visit to Chesterfeld was on the opening day of the 2000/1 campaign when they lost 4-1 after taking a first-minute lead through Peter Duffield.
The line-up on August 12, 2000, was: Fettis, Edmondson, Potter (Hall), Swan, Hobson, Sertori, Hulme, Agnew, Conlon, Duffield, Fox (McNiven).
In total, they made 38 Football League trips to Saltergate, winning five times and drawing ten. Their biggest success was 3-0 in 1954/5 and the last victory was in 1991/2, when Glenn Naylor (2) and Ian Blackstone netted in a 3-1 victory.
Since then, City have failed to beat the Spireites home and away in the League in 13 attempts – five draws and eight defeats.
It happened on Boxing Day
1952: A Bootham Crescent crowd of 11,380 saw City beat Tranmere Rovers 2-0. Steve Griffiths (penalty) and Billy Fenton were on target and City were third in Division Three North.
1957: Arthur Bottom and Johnny Powell scored in a 2-2 home draw against Hartlepools United. The attendance for this Northern Section affair was 10,795.
1958: City were third in the Fourth Division following a 1-0 home victory over Barrow in front of 10,382. Ernie Wardle was the marksman.
1961: John Stainsby scored both goals in a 2-1 Fourth Division win at Doncaster Rovers.
1964: A 7-1 thrashing of Chesterfield at Bootham Crescent with Paul Aimson (2), Andy Provan (2), Norman Wilkinson, Billy Rudd and Derek Weddle on the scoresheet. The crowd was 6,216 and the club were third in the Fourth Division.
1973: City extended their unbeaten League run to 18 games with a 1-1 home draw against Grimsby Town watched by 5,890. John Woodward netted from the penalty spot and they were third in the Third Division (League One).
1984: Burnley were beaten 4-0 at Bootham Crescent with Dale Banton (2), Keith Houchen and Gary Ford, pictured, the scorers. The attendance was 6,397 and City were in the top half of the Third Division (League One).
1992: Leading the Third Division (League Two), City came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Cardiff City with Ian Blackstone (2) and Paul Barnes the scorers.
2005: A 3-1 home win over Scarborough in front of 4,921. On target were Andy Bishop, Clayton Donaldson and David McGurk.
Compiled by David Batters