Spireites win comfortably in FA Trophy

Despite going a goal down early on, the Spireites found their feet and coasted to a 6-1 win at home to Southport in the Isuzu FA Trophy.

As expected, the Spireites dominated possession in the opening exchanges of the game, however, could not make their early possession count.

The away side had the first clear-cut chance of the game inside the opening five minutes, courtesy of a counter-attack started by Jack Doyle, however his cross was met Miguel Freckleton, who saw to it that the ball was cleared from the danger zone.

The game was halted at the 12th minute mark, with Southport’s Bradley Holmes going down injured for the travelling side, play was resumed in the 14th minute.

It took just 17 minutes for the visitors who opened the scoring for the afternoon. Niall Watson created the goal, with the winger cutting inside from the left and pulling it back for Richie Bennett, who turned inside the box and slotted it with precision into the bottom left-hand corner to give Southport the lead.

James Berry did fantastically to create an opportunity for himself on his left foot, however Chris Renshaw ensured that the Spireites were unable to level the scoring this time with an impressive save. This chance was followed by a five-minute spell of Spireites pressure.

As the heavens opened, so did the Spireites’ chances of progressing to the fourth round, with a 31st minute cross from Jeff King finding the feet of Michael Jacobs, who found the back of the net to equalise for the Spireites.

This was then followed by another opportunity for the Spireites, with King standing over a free kick from 25 yards out, the skipper fired a devilish shot which forced Renshaw to pull of a fantastic save to his right, forcing a corner for the hosts.

A 44th minute goal-mouth scramble, leading to a composed finish from Harley Curtis suggested that the Spireites would go into the interval ahead. Berry and Quigley couldn’t convert due to heroic defending from the visitors; however, it was the 21-year-old who had the coolest head in Derbyshire to give the Spireites the lead!

The Spireites went into half time with a narrow lead after an entertaining half of football.

Chesterfield began the second half as they ended the first, dominant. The first half chance of the half came via an audacious lofted pass from Ryley D’Sena which found Jeff King, who couldn’t find a teammate with the final pass.

The 59th minute saw the third Chesterfield goal come from a piece of individual brilliance from James Berry. The winger picked up the ball from 30 yards out, and proceeded to make a darting run, taking on multiple Southport defenders before firing past Renshaw. A splendid way to strengthen the Spireites’ superiority.

The visitors came agonisingly close to getting one back with 15 minutes left to play, with another fantastic run and cutback from Watson presented itself to Bennett, who’s shot was blocked.

In the 78th minute, Liam Jessop’s cross went over Renshaw’s head and managed to find the net to further strengthen the Spireites grip on the game.

Another breakaway presented itself for the Spireites in the 80thminute, with Marshall starting the move at great pace, and managing to find youngster Jessop, who’s cool finish added a fifth goal to the hosts’ tally and made the final ten minutes comfortable viewing for the home side.

Ali Mohiuddin made it six for the Spireites in the 94th minute, as he curls the ball into the top left corner to round off a splendid performance from the hosts.

The short-trip home will be a pleasant one for the Spireites this evening as they progress to the fourth round of the competition comfortably.

The Spireites will now look ahead to next Saturday’s trip to Hartlepool, as they look to bolster their title credentials.

Spireites: Boot, Jacobs (Marshall), Freckleton, Berry(Mohiuddin), King ©, Sheckleford, Curtis, Quigley (Jessop), Hooper, D’Sena, Abudu

Unused Subs: Tyrer, Horton, Mandeville, Dobra,

Attendance: 2,159