Youngsters triumph in ten-goal thriller

Three goals in the opening ten minutes was just the beginning of a hectic ten-goal thriller as the Chesterfield U21s beat Gainsborough Trinity 7-3, two weeks after the Spireites’ 6-1 victory in the reverse fixture. 

Whelan’s third-minute header from a corner opened the scoring.

Chesterfield’s lead last only two minutes as Gainsborough equalised after working an indirect free-kick. 

This was short-lived, however, with Murphy retaking the lead for the Spireites just a minute later.

Murphy was able to poke home into an empty net, with O’Connor drawing the keeper off his line.

With the game quietening down, and both teams settling into the Mini Shield match-up, provider-turned-goalscorer O’Connor rocketed in an effort for Chesterfield’s fourth after 23 minutes.

The young Spireites were not done there. Following a plethora of chances, Blakeley finally added to Chesterfield’s tally.

The right-back made an attacking run from full-back and was smartly found by the midfield, leaving Blakeley to slide the ball under the onrushing keeper.

Gainsborough pegged Chesterfield back just after the half-hour mark, converting from the penalty spot – the last action of the first half.

It was the visitors who drew first blood in the second half but a beautifully crafted goal from the Spireites cancelled it out.

A stunning cross to the back post from Blakeley found Wood (60) to plant a header past the Gainsborough keeper, retaining Chesterfield’s two-goal buffer from the half-time break.

With 19 minutes left to play, Roache powered home a header, giving the keeper no chance, and putting Gainsborough out of sight. 

The visitors weren’t going down without a fight, but it was slipping away from them.

With Gainsborough pushing up the pitch, with only pride left to fight for, Blakeley sent another fizzing cross into the box, with a yellow shirt diverting the ball into his own net.