Spireites lose in play-off semi-final

The Spireites’ season came to an end after a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Solihull Moors in their National League play-off semi-final.

Paul Cook only made one change to the team that defeated FC Halifax Town in midweek which was enforced – Joe Quigley came in for Danny Rowe.

Solihull looked to make their home advantage count early on with Kyle Hudlin coming close. The tall attacker latched onto Ryan Barnett’s cross, but he saw his header well saved by Scott Loach.

Despite the hosts’ early positive play, Chesterfield opened the scoring. A brilliant over the top through ball found Liam Mandeville, who found Joe Quigley and the striker lashed home past Joe McDonnell.

Unfortunately, the lead only lasted seven minutes; Callum Maycock threaded the ball through to Andrew Dallas, who prodded the ball into the back of the net.

Hudlin continued to cause problems to the Chesterfield back line. A ball over the top of the defence found the striker, but his effort was dragged well wide of the goal.

The home side took the lead with ten minutes of the first half to go when Alex Gudger poked the ball past Loach from a couple of yards.

The Spireites almost found a equaliser late in the half. Jeff King’s powerful effort was originally spilt by McDonnell before Laurence Maguire’s rebound was cleared off the line. There were huge shouts of handball immediately after, but referee Thomas Kirk was unmoved.

Chesterfield started the second half with a point to prove as they looked to get back into the match. King and Jim Kellermann both saw shots fail to test the goalkeeper.

Calvin Miller managed to break through on goal with a chance to shoot, but unfortunately McDonnell pulled off a great save.

Hudlin responded back in kind a minute later. Similar to the chance at the other end, it was time for Loach to make a very good block to deny the Solihull man.

On the stroke of the hour-mark, the hosts opened a two-goal lead. Harry Boyes’ corner was powerfully headed past Loach by Callum Howe.

Cook responded to the goal with two substitutions as Joe Rowley and Alex Whittle replaced Kellermann and Maguire respectively.

Tom Denton came on with the last roll of the dice, but there wasn’t to be a late comeback and Solihull progressed to the final.

Chesterfield: Loach; King, Williams, Grimes ©, Maguire(Whittle 61); Kellermann (Rowley 61), Whelan; Mandeville(Denton 82), Khan, Miller; Quigley.

Unused Substitutes: McCourt, Tyson.