REPORT: Spireites return to National League summit

Chesterfield returned to the top of the National League after Kabongo Tshimanga’s hat-trick and a goal from Saidou Kahn condemned Weymouth to a 4-0 defeat at the Technique Stadium.

Tshimanga fired the hosts into a 2-0 lead by the break. The striker secured his third in the second half before Khan rounded off the dominant performance with a goal of his own.

Chesterfield manager James Rowe said: “We were accomplished and professional. Many times, when a team goes down to ten men, it can be a sticky afternoon.

“Really enjoyed the second half performance. We want to continue to score goals and we want to entertain the crowd. They came out in their numbers again. Fitting to remember those who sacrificed so much for us to be here today.”

The breakthrough came for Chesterfield from the penalty spot; Tshimanga cut the ball back for Khan, who saw his effort on goal handled on the line by Ollie Harfield. Referee Paul Marsden had no choice but to show the defender a straight red card. Tshimanga assumed responsibility and calmly slotted the spot kick down the middle of the goal.

On the stroke of half time, the Spireites doubled their lead. Jim Kellermann picked the ball up in the penalty area and fired a powerful shot at goal, which Fitzsimons got a hand to. Tshimanga was first to the rebound and tapped home for his 15th goal of the season in all competitions.

The second half produced more of the same and it wasn’t long until the hosts found another goal. Kellermann’s effort was directed into the path of Tshimanga, who rounded Fitzsimons and bundled the ball home.

The striker thought he notched a fourth of the game just after the hour mark. Khan headed across goal and the striker nodded home from point-blank range, but the linesman’s flag was raised to signal offside.

Chesterfield eventually found their fourth goal 15 minutes before time; Khan latched onto a poor clearance from the Weymouth defence before lashing home for his sixth of the season.

Substitute Stefan Payne believed he had scored his first league goal for the Spireites when he slid the ball home from Khan’s cross, but the assistant had his flag raised once again.

Weymouth manager Brian Stock said: “It’s a hard enough place to come with 11 men. They’re top of the league and flying high. For me, one of the key aspects was to try and keep them quiet in the first 15-20 minutes.

“A couple of mistakes led to the goal. For me, it’s not a deliberate handball. I think it’s very harsh. He’s on the line and it’s come at pace. As soon as he sent Ollie Harfield off, it’s an uphill battle."

Chesterfield (3-4-2-1): Loach 7; Williams 8, Grimes 8, Croll 7; King 8, Weston 7, Oyeleke 7 (McCourt 51, 7), Whittle 7; Kellermann 7 (Mandeville 76), Khan 9; Tshimanga 10 (Payne 66, 7).

Unused Substitutes: Kerr, Tyson.

Attendance: 5,862

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