Late penalty secures victory

A Danny Rowe brace gave the Spireites a vital three points as they beat Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 to welcome supporters back after over 14 months.

A sell-out crowd of 2,950 fans entered the Technique Stadium for the first time in over 14 months in one of the biggest games of the season.

Manager James Rowe made three changes after the goalless draw against Wealdstone last weekend with Gavin Gunning, Joel Taylor and Curtis Weston returning to the starting line-up.

Josef Yarney, Jak McCourt and Adi Yussuf made way with the latter two dropping to the bench.

Chesterfield created a flurry of chances within the first ten minutes; the first of which was cleared off the line by Paul McCallum after a goalwards shot by Evans.

Evans came close again to opening the scoring, rising highest to meet Liam Mandeville’s corner but Elliott Justham provided a strong hand to tip the ball over the bar.

Carline struck the side-netting from another Mandeville corner and Jack Clarke sent his effort wide of the goal in the 11th minute.

However, the away side took the lead against the run of play just before the half hour mark as Liam Gordon prodded home from close-range.

Joel Taylor forced Justham into a great save to deny an immediate equaliser. He danced past the Dagenham & Redbridge defence before firing a low effort that was well saved by the feet of the goalkeeper.

The Spireites were not behind for long though and were back on level terms in the 38th minute. Laurence Maguire lifted the ball to Rowe and the striker lashed the ball home and sent the 2,950 supporters into raptures. The score stayed level going into the half time break.

The first quarter of an hour of the second half failed to produce any chances for either side.

Curtis Weston was sent through on goal just after the hour-mark with just the goalkeeper to beat; however, the midfielder took one too many touches and the ball rolled into Justham’s arms.

Just eight minutes later, Taylor was impeccably sent through on goal by Rowe but lashed his shot over the crossbar.

The visitors were reduced to ten men with just over ten minutes to go when Joey Jones received a second booking after a foul on Joe Rowley.

Four minutes later, Chesterfield were awarded a penalty after a Callum Reynolds handball. After a couple of minutes of arguing, Rowe placed the ball on the spot and sent Justham the wrong way to double his tally for the day.

The Spireites bravely held onto the lead and secured the three points, going into the final day still in the play-off hunt.

Chesterfield: Montgomery, Carline, Evans, Gunning (C), Maguire, Taylor, Weston (McCourt 65), Oyeleke, Clarke (Rowley 57), Mandeville (Whelan 87), Rowe.

Unused Substitutes: Tyson, Yussuf.

Attendance: 2,950