Stewart maintains a tradition

Click to follow
The Independent Online
TREVOR HAYLETT

reports from Wembley

Chesterfield 2

Bury 0

John Duncan had a fair idea who would turn out to be his Wembley winners in Saturday's Third Division play-off final. After all Tony Lormor and Phil Robinson had accounted for a healthy portion of the goals on their promotion surge after Christmas.

As for Billy Stewart, there really can be no surprise to learn of a Chesterfield goalkeeper covering himself in glory. Stewart caught the eye and just about everything else going in a splendidly composed performance on Saturday, beaten only by Tony Rigby's free-kick which slammed against a post. This particular last line of defence is long and illustrious. Gordon Banks, Bob Wilson, John Lukic and Steve Ogrizovic, who all hail from the Derbyshire town, would have been proud of him, Chris Marples and Andy Beasley, too.

The last named, the latest custodians of a goalkeeping dynasty, were the regulars who had helped keep the Second Division dream alive before injuries took a hand and Stewart was summoned from Northampton Town reserves to help out. It was a shrewd piece of business by Duncan, the Chesterfield manager, and promotion 10 years after he had first achieved the feat with the Saltergate club was his reward.

If some of the celebrations passed him by it is because Stewart, who was starting only his second game for the team, is uncertain how long he will be around to enjoy the party. He remains on loan and is free to talk to other clubs. "Billy's a very good keeper with a superb temperament and I am delighted for him today," Duncan said.

Stewart excelled in that critical period following his side's 23rd minute opener, smothering bravely at David Pugh's feet, pushing away Phil Stant's header and then reacting sharply to repel Chris Lucketti's attempt from a corner.

Chesterfield's second goal also followed a long throw from Nicky Law, the captain whose cool authority and control at the back offered Bury not the slightest encouragement. It also spared the occasion from an inquest dominated by controversy.

Eighteen minutes earlier Robinson was clearly offside and distracting Gary Kelly from Lormor's left-foot jab. The fact that the referee initially credited Robinson with the goal only compounded the error, leaving aside the question of whether Andrew Morris had handled the ball before it reached Lormor.

Goals: Lormor (23) 1-0; Robinson (41) 2-0.

Chesterfield (4-4-2): Stewart; Hewitt, Carr, Law, Rogers; Robinson, Curtis, Howard (Perkins, 77), Hazel; Lormor (Davies, 85), Morris. Substitute not used: Brown (gk).

Bury (4-4-2): Kelly; Woodward, Lucketti, Jackson, Stanislaus; Mulligan (Hughes, 61), Daws, Rigby, Pugh; Carter (Paskin, h-t) Stant. Substitute not used: Bracey (gk).

Referee: P Alcock (Surrey).

Comments