REPORT: Spireites fall short in thrilling play-off eliminator at Meadow Lane

Chesterfield went ahead twice in the game but a 90th minute Notts County winner meant late heartbreak for James Rowe’s men.

Rowe made one change to the starting eleven that were victorious at Halifax. Alex Whittle came in, replacing Joel Taylor.

Notts County looked to capitalise on an early Chesterfield error. A poor header from Gavin Gunning allowed Kyle Wooton through but James Montgomery did well to deny him.

The home side were putting the Spireites under pressure and found success multiple times on the left through Calvin Miller.

However it was Chesterfield who took the lead in the 28th minute through Danny Rowe’s free-kick. The thunderous effort from around 30 yards, beat Sam Slocombe in the County goal who got a glove to it.

The hosts responded with an almost immediate equaliser. Ruben Rodrigues won the ball in a dangerous position and took it round Montgomery for Wooton who bundled home.

Not long before the break Chesterfield regained their lead through Liam Mandeville who slotted in Jack Clarke’s low cross from the left.

Chesterfield were dealt with a couple of injury blows not long into the second half. Goalkeeper Montgomery was struggling and with no ‘keeper on the bench he miraculously continued. Manny Oyeleke was forced off and replaced by Jak McCourt.

With 20 minutes to go the Magpies drew level once again through Wooton. Mark Ellis powerfully headed Rodrigues’ corner back into the danger area and Wooton stabbed home from close range for his second goal of the game.

The away side had a huge chance to get their noses back in front when substitute Nathan Tyson went one-on-one with Slocombe. The County ‘keeper made himself big and denied the Chesterfield man.

However it was late heartbreak for the Spirietes in the 89th minute when Ellis headed home at the back post from a free-kick which saw Meadow Lane erupt.

Town went agonisingly close with the last kick of the game. The ball was cleared off the line by County after a goalmouth scramble.

Notts County will travel to Plainmoor on Saturday to take on Torquay United in the play-off semi final. Meanwhile for Chesterfield, attention turns to preparation for the 2021/22 National League season.

Chesterfield: Montgomery; Evans, Gunning, Maguire; Carline, Weston, Oyeleke (McCourt 58’), Whittle (Taylor 78’); Clarke, Mandeville; Rowe (Tyson 66’).

Unused Substitutes: Yussuf, Whelan

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