Simons cannot prevent Chesterfield defeat
Bermuda midfield player Rai Simons featured in Chesterfield’s 1-0 defeat away to Port Vale in a Sky Bet League One relegation battle yesterday.
The 20-year-old came on as a 57th-minute substitute at Vale Park for United States Under-23 international and former Leeds United winger Gboly Ariyibi and immediately got stuck in with a cross that was cleared away.
Simons was back in the thick of the action minutes later when he had a shot blocked and then blasted over the bar from just outside of the penalty box as Vale tried to cling to their slim advantage.
Experienced former England Under-21 winger Jerome Thomas, now 33, scored the game’s only goal in the 61st minute, which ultimately separated the sides.
The former West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace player’s shot deflected off Ian Evatt, the Chesterfield captain and former Queens Park Rangers defender, and went over the visitors’ Scottish goalkeeper, Ryan Fulton.
Port Vale’s eighth league win of the season left them in 17th in the table, nine points adrift of the relegation zone, while the Spireites remain two places off the bottom in 22nd.
The Derbyshire club are in the relegation places on goal difference, on 21 points along with Bury, who are 20th — one place above the drop zone — and Shrewsbury Town.
Simons has had to wait for his opportunity to make an impression for Chesterfield after losing his place in the starting line-up.
“It has been a tough time for me personally,” he told Chesterfield’s official website. “As I haven’t been involved, I was lacking in match fitness and match sharpness, so I am just trying to play a simple game and get a feel for the match at a first-team pace.”
The former North Village youth player featured primarily as a striker prior to his absence, but has played in a deeper role since his return, a position that he feels suits him better.
He scored four times in his maiden Sky Bet League One season last year, but has yet to open his account in this campaign.
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