Spireites through to play-off semis

Spireites through to play-off semis

The Spireites secured a play-off semi-final spot after beating FC Halifax Town 2-1 at The Shay thanks to goals from Danny Rowe and Jeff King.

Paul Cook made three changes with Calvin Miller, Laurence Maguire and Tom Whelan coming in for Alex Whittle, Curtis Weston and Tom Denton.

With a big atmosphere, Chesterfield started brightly. King’s cross was cleared as far as Liam Mandeville, but the midfielder skewed his shot wide of the goal.

Chesterfield continued to press for the opening goal; a short corner routine found Saidou Khan who turned his man before his effort ricocheted off Rowe.

Miller, who returned to the starting line-up in place of Alex Whittle, was proving to be dangerous down the left wing. He made a burst into the box, but his effort was deflected inches wide of the goal.

The deadlock was broken from the resulting corner. King’s pinpoint corner found Rowe and the strike gleefully headed beyond Sam Johnson and sent the away end into delirium.

After the opener, the game became scrappy and feisty with a few yellow cards being shown by referee Scott Tallis.

Halifax grew into the game as the half progressed, but the Spireites’ defence held firm and refused to let anything past them.

With minutes of the first half left, Martin Woods swung in a free-kick for the home side that Niall Maher headed goalwards – Scott Loach pulled off a brilliant save to keep the scores level.

Despite Chesterfield starting the second half as the better team, the hosts had the first chance of the half. Matt Warburton sent his curling effort over Loach’s crossbar.

Liam Mandeville had a great chance to double the lead when he latched on to a long ball. Unfortunately, the midfielder struggled to get the ball out of his feet and his tame shot was gathered by Johnson.

The second goal wasn’t far behind though. Rowe played a searching over to King and the wing-back made his way to the edge of the are before lashing his effort into the back of the net.

The two-goal lead only lasted for two minutes as Halifax found a route back into the game. Billy Waters found substitute Matt Stenson with a cross and the latter proddedhome from close range.

Despite the constant pressure from the Shaymen, Chesterfield held firm and secure their spot in the play-off semi-finals and a game away at Solihull Moors on Sunday.

Chesterfield: Loach; Williams, Grimes ©, Maguire; King, Kellermann, Whelan, Miller (Whittle 77); Mandeville, Khan(McCourt 89), Rowe (Tyson 71).

Unused Substitutes: Rowley, Denton.