It’s a long journey to Southend but a convincing 4-0 win will have made that journey home seem so much shorter. The Spireites put in a dominant performance throughout and led 2-0 at the interval thanks to two clinical strikes from Danny Rowe. He bagged his hat-trick from the penalty spot after Saidou Khan had made it three in the 49th minute.
The fourth goal sadly triggered a protest and a pitch invasion. Thankfully the interruption had no negative impact on the Spireites’ control of the game as they coasted comfortably home through the remainder of the action to seal a morale-boosting victory.
Both teams came into today’s fixture desperate for three points. In midweek the Shrimpers’ second win of the season kept them out of a relegation berth; whereas Chesterfield conceded late on in Wales to drop from second to fifth place. So, a lot to play for!
The Spireites made just one change from the XI that started against Wrexham. In came Calvin Miller to replace the injured George Carline. On the bench Manny Oyeleke made a welcome return and Nathan Tyson stepped in for the suspended Stefan Payne.
By kick off the sun had burned off the remaining morning haze to make it a warm start, with temperatures set to rise further. Both teams started energetically but, initially, both struggled to retain possession.
The Spireites went close after Gavin Gunning headed Jeff King’s ball into the box, against the post. No follow up was possible as the flag had already been raised
Soon after, Rowe won a second corner on right, but Gunning couldn’t direct his header as accurately this time as the effort flew over the bar from 12 yards.
There wasn’t long to wait before the Spireites went ahead. Rowe received from the right and struck a low shot from twenty yards that sneaked just inside the left upright.
The Shrimpers went close from the restart as Benji Kimpioka almost capitalised on a mix-up in the Spireites defence but Fraser Kerr was alert enough to clear well.
Kerr took a knock and had to be replaced by Jamie Grimes after 32 minutes.
Rowe looked likely to double his tally a few minutes later as he picked up wide, 30 yards out, and went on a mazy run, riding several challenges, into the box but lost possession as he was about to shoot.
That setback didn’t matter because a couple of minutes later Rowe received inside the area, took one step, turned 180 degrees and fired another low angled drive into the far left corner. So coolly done!
Nathan Ferguson went close for United moments later, but the ball broke and allowed Rowe to set up Tshimanga with a clear opening, instead he blasted into the side-netting when Khan was waiting, more centrally, to poke home.
Southend made a double substitution at the start of the second as Terrell Egbri and Rhys Murphy entered the fray. Murphy should have made an immediate impact when he latched onto James Dunne’s neat free-kick, found himself clear through but hit wide.
Southend will rue that miss when soon after the Spireites went three ahead. Khan hit home from Jeff King’s well weighted pass from the right.
The Shrimpers made their final change just after the hour mark as Sam Dalby replaced Hamzad Kargbo.
Another enforced Chesterfield change took place after Khan pulled up in pain and Liam Mandeville took his place. The final substitution soon followed when Oyeleke replaced Curtis Weston.
Great goalkeeping from Scott Loach denied the home captain, James Dunne who was on target with a strong blast from 12 yards.
Spireites: Loach, Miller, Maguire, Gunning, Kerr (Grimes), King, Weston (Oyeleke), Kellermann, Khan (Mandeville), Rowe, Tshimanga
Unused substitutes: Whittle & Tyson
Attendance: 4,625 (375)