JACQUES Maghoma was delighted to end his 11-match Football League goal drought on Saturday, but was left wondering what might have been if another effort had not been chalked off.
The midfielder gave Burton Albion a 31st minute lead at Chesterfield when he latched onto a Calvin Zola flick-on from Dean Lyness’s goalkick and buried a low shot into the far corner, but the Spireites deservedly earned a share of the spoils thanks to a 74th minute Marc Richards header after they had laid siege to the Brewers goal after the interval.
However, the outcome could have been different if the referee had not ruled out another Maghoma effort three minute into the second half.
Spireites keeper Tommy Lee did superbly well to keep out a Zola header, but the ball was bundled into the back of the net by Maghoma.
The referee, however, ruled it out for a foul and the 25- year-old had no complaints.
He said: “I wasn’t offside because I started behind Calvin, so I think he must have gave it because I kicked it out of his hands to be fair.
“It was a good call by the ref but I was a bit disappointed because that two-goal cushion would have helped us out a little bit more to control the game second half because they came out all guns blazing.” Despite that disappointment, it was a welcome return to goalscoring form for Maghoma, who bagged four goals in the opening nine games of the campaign.
He did score in the 3-3 FA Cup first round draw with Altrincham at the start of November, but his last league goal was in the 1-0 win at Southend United on October 2.
“Yeah, it’s good to be back on the scoresheet, but most important, we got a good result away from home against a really good team to be fair,” he said.
“I’m glad I got my goal — I was due one after a long period without scoring, so I’m buzzing with that.
“I just haven’t been finding the back of the net, you know, and I’m glad I got that today.
“We’ve been doing a bit of shooting the last couple of days and my shooting has been accurate, so it paid off today.” Chesterfield had won their last four in the league, so the Brewers can very much look at it as a point gained rather than three dropped on their travels.
Said Maghoma: “They’ve come down from League One and we’ve played here before, you know, I’ve always enjoyed playing against Chesterfield in recent years.
“It was a good point and hopefully we kick on again on Friday against Barnet.
“We did more than enough to deserve the point.
“They played well second half, so a draw was a fair result.” Manager Gary Rowett again went with just Zola up front away from home, with Maghoma and Cleveland Taylor charged with providing support out wide, and the Congolese midfielder felt the system worked well.
He said: “The way they play, they like to play through the middle with Mark Randall, who likes to drop deep and control the play.
“We’ve played that system before with Calvin up top on his own we saw it work away at Crewe (in the FA Cup), another team who like to pass it, and we beat them.
“The plan was to work around that and counterattack quick when we won the ball back, and I thought we did that really well today.
“This system probably gives me a bit more licence to attack.
“With a 4-4-2 there is probably a bit more responsibility to defend, but I don’t mind any type of system.
“I play for the team and whatever system we play on a Saturday, it makes no difference, I’ve got to keep that same level of performance in my game and go out there to help the team win the game.
“Especially coming here to Chesterfield and the way they play, the system that they play, they like their wingers to come inside and they’ve got loads of rotation in midfield.
“They probably overload the midfield, so the way we play with a three in midfield and with me and Cleve (Taylor) who play out wide, it kind of restricted them going through the middle.
“The plan was to force them out wide and really get tight and stop crosses, and I think we did that well again today, and hopefully we can carry that on.
“It was another good away team performance.
“The defenders defended well and we played some good football at times, so I’m really happy with that.”
The Brewers visit League Two bottom side Barnet on Friday night, but Maghoma has warned against complacency.
He said: “I would probably say it’s harder playing against teams at the bottom because they probably want to get a win and go on a run.
“Chesterfield, I think they haven’t lost in five including this game, so we did well to come here and get a point.
“Barnet will be no different, we’ve got to go out there with the same intensity and play well, press them, and get goal to win the game, and defend well as well.”
LEAGUE Two strugglers Bristol Rovers have sacked manager Mark McGhee.