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Chesterfield's curious contradiction of form

Chesterfield's curious contradiction of form
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Martin Allen's side are on their worst ever winless league run of 19 games – but are 12 games unbeaten.

Chesterfield's draw with Bromley on Tuesday night continued a bizarre run of form which sees the Vanarama National League side setting seemingly contradictory records.

Martin Allen's side are on their worst ever winless league run of 19 games, a sequence which has dropped them into the relegation zone.

But nine straight league draws – matching the record for the top five divisions in English football – have also contributed to a run of 12 games unbeaten in all competitions, the Spireites' longest in 12 years.

Chesterfield's run of form
(PA Graphic)

When the latter figure was put to Allen by Spireites Digital ahead of the Bromley game, he first checked "What is it?" before sighing: "Oh, blimey.

"I can't say I'm proud of that. I'd like to be able to sit here and say it was 12 wins, but no, I'm not proud of it."

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the strange set of statistics.

19 league games without a win

Chesterfield have not won a league game since August, when they beat Braintree 1-0 before 3-2 losses to Barrow and Salford sparked a six-game losing run.

Barnet, Hartlepool, Leyton Orient and Boreham Wood all won 1-0 before draws with Dover and Dagenham partially stopped the rot.

The Spireites lost 3-0 to Gateshead and 3-1 to Maidenhead, the only times in the current run they have been beaten by more than a single goal, before their form took its strangest turn yet.

Nine league draws in succession

Allen's men drew 1-1 with Maidstone and 0-0 with Fylde before successive 1-1 draws with FC Halifax Town, Wrexham, Sutton and Harrogate.

A goalless draw with Chesterfield left them still searching for a win and when they drew 1-1 with Eastleigh last Saturday, it saw them match both their own longest winless run in the league and the record for the fifth tier or above of eight successive draws, set by Woking between March 8 and April 21, 2003.

They remained winless against Bromley on Tuesday, but Zavon Hines' last-minute penalty at lesat ensured a 1-1 scoreline and a ninth successive draw.

12 games unbeaten in all competitions

That sequence of draws, combined with progress in the FA Cup, makes for another significant sequence.

Having seen off first Fylde and then Billericay – the latter, almost inevitably, after a replay – it is 12 unbeaten for Allen and his side in all competitions.

That is their longest such sequence since the 2005-06 season, when they went 14 unbeaten in League One with three wins and 11 draws on their way to a 16th-placed finish.

Attempting to assess the run of form, Allen continued on Spireites Digital: "It is confusing. I've said to them sometimes you've got to go through some tough times, the good times will come and it will make the good times even sweeter.

"With these players, I'm sure we can get the results we all crave, and break not a 12-year record of being unbeaten, but I think we can get a run of wins going."

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