A brace from Laurence Maguire and a late penalty from Akwasi Asante sealed a big win for Chesterfield as they came from behind to win 3-1 against local rivals Notts County.
It was a lively start to the game considering the circumstances. A win for either side would have been massive ahead of the occasion.
Alex Whittle was victim to a late challenge by Frank Vincent just a few minutes in which almost set the tone for where this match was heading. Tackles were always going to fly in with it being a local derby.
The first big chance of the game fell to the visitors. It was phenomenal play by County with some trickery from Callum Roberts on the wing. This eventually led to a ball being pumped into the Spireites box. However, Kyle Wootton couldn’t get enough on it to force it past Scott Loach.
Just 20 minutes after he first went down, Whittle took another bump and couldn’t continue. Joe Quigley came on to replace him.
On the half an hour mark, Chesterfield came knocking again with another dangerous set piece. This time it was captain Jamie Grimes who headed over.
But just as Paul Cook’s side seem to be taking control of the match, Notts County go 1-0 up after 40 minutes. Out of absolutely nowhere, Elisha Sam hit one into the top right corner.
The hosts did respond well and continued playing their football and had another bunch of close chances just before the break.
However, it was that belter from Sam that sent County into half-time 1-0 up.
Cook’s men came out in the second half fighting and looking a threat. Balls were being fired into the box with Quigley causing a little trouble, one moment in particular where they caused a problem was when Jeff King put a cross in just begging for Quigley to stick his foot out and connect with the ball.
Just a few moments later, King was involved once again. He cut in from the right onto his left foot and curled an effort towards the left hand corner, but it was a much needed save from Vitezslav Jaros that denied him.
It was on it’s way and it finally came around an hour in. Laurence Maguire nodded the ball in at the back post to level the scores for the hosts. The pressure finally mounted on the visitors and there was no avoiding this one. An in swinging ball towards the back post with Maguire leaping like a salmon rising above all to head home.
The hosts continued to attack, with County not really getting a sniff at goal in the second half. Saido Khan had a powerful effort tipped over by Jaros forcing a corner, which wasn’t his first attempt from distance of the day. Seeing him play in a more advanced role further up the field was good to see.
With four minutes to go, the Spireites were ahead! It was Maguire again! Somehow the ball got knocked into the back of the net! They’d been a threat from set-pieces all night long and this shows just that.
Just as things couldn’t get much better, as the clock hit 90', Chesterfield were awarded a penalty, which Akwasi Asante very coolly converted, 3-1.
That was that, with Chesterfield keeping the pressure on league leaders with that huge win and crucial three points.