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League Two

Day to remember for Humphreys

22 September 2013

Ritchie Humphreys could not hide his delight after his 30th-minute volley secured league leaders Chesterfield a 1-0 win at second-placed Oxford, less than 24 hours after the birth of his second child.

The 35-year-old left back darted into the box and met Eoin Doyle's left-wing cross with a beautifully-timed volley into the far corner from ten yards, for his first goal for his new club, who he joined in the summer.

Humphreys said: "No one likes to pick up a left back when he's going on a long run like that. It was a delightful ball in to me from Eoin.

"It's been an amazing few hours for me."

Chesterfield boss Paul Cook sent his goalkeeping coach Eric Nixon out to speak to the media after what was a sixth clean sheet in eight games from the Spireites.

Nixon said: "It's fantastic for us to get another clean sheet, but most of all to get the three points.

"Congratulations to Ritchie and his wife for their new arrival. He took the goal well and we felt we could have had a few more as well.

"We played some fantastic football throughout the game, and with respect to Oxford I thought we were comfortable today.

"It's been a great start to the season with these six clean sheets in eight, but we're keeping our feet firmly on the ground and are not getting carried away with ourselves."

Chesterfield's cause was helped by Oxford losing their skipper, Andy Whing, to a red card after 67 minutes for a dangerous tackle on Doyle.

Nixon said: "It was a bit of a rash tackle, but we've all been there."

However, Oxford manager Chris Wilder insisted referee Trevor Kettle should have brandished yellow rather than red.

Wilder said: "I thought the tackle on Dave Kitson a few minutes earlier was no different, and I didn't think Andy's was a red card.

"He slid in, it was a sliding tackle, and he didn't mean to take the man.

"I thought the referee made a very quick decision on it. He should have taken a moment and then given the correct decision, which was a yellow.

"Having Andy Whing missing three games now is more important, and that's a big blow to us."

However, Wilder said he could have few complaints about the final result, and was very impressed with Chesterfield.

"I thought they were street-wise but as well as that they're the best side we've played by a million miles.

"I said in my programme notes it's one of the most talented squads that's been put together in this league for many years, and after seeing them against us, I haven't changed that opinion.

"That said, we under-performed and didn't turn up on the day, collectively and individually.

"We didn't ask enough questions of them, and we lacked a bit of belief."

Chesterfield might have added further goals in the game with U's keeper Ryan Clarke stopping a near-post effort from Tendayi Darikwa in the first half and turning aside Jay O'Shea's drive late on.

Deane Smalley drove wide from a good position for Oxford, and also headed against a post late on, but once Whing was dismissed, Oxford were always up against it as Paul Cook's team maintained their four-point lead at the top of League Two, this time from Fleetwood, who have taken over in second place.

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