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Match Report


Posted Sat 01 Jan 11 at 18:28 PM

Spireites 4 Hatters 1

Chesterfield made one enforced and one voluntary change to the starting line-up from their last game, against Torquay, three weeks ago. Mark Allott reported unfit with a tight hamstring, so Dean Morgan came in to take his place. Danny Whitaker and Derek Niven made up the central midfield pairing, with Morgan going wide left.Craig Davies came back in at the expense of Jordan Bowery.

Stockport kicked off, attacking the Karen Child Kop. Morgan looked hungry from the start and fired a powerful low cross from close to the County goal on 4, which Glennon got down well to hold at his near post.

To begin with, the Hatters played with a neatness and purpose that belied their lowly league position. A Williams shot was deflected for a corner on 5 and the ball wasn't conclusively cleared; Niven appeared to win a firm tackle fairly but was judged to have fouled, presenting the visitors with a free kick some 25 yards out. Williams struck it well, curling it goalwards until Tommy Lee leapt out from behind the defensive wall to turn the ball onto the post in brilliant fashion.

Play ebbed and flowed in the first periods, and it was during one of their periods of ascendancy that Chesterfield took the lead, after fourteen minutes. Morgan played a pass exchange with Lester before blasting a cross that eluded men in the box, but Talbot kept it alive; it came back to Morgan and his delightfully weighted cross invited - or rather, compelled - JACK LESTER to leap unmarked on the corner of the six yard box, to head sweetly home.

Five minutes later, though, County were level. A long ball out of defence eluded Breckin and let Donelly run free. Lee came out and saved his shot well, but the ball ran loose to Mattis. His attempted clearance thundered involuntarily off Lee and back past Mattis, into the Chesterfield net.

County played the better stuff for a period. Fletcher ran past Ford & into box only to see Mattis cut out his cross for corner after 24 minutes. Craig Davies was booked for simulation after appearing to be upended by Turnbull on 26, and Donnelly wasted a good chance by blasting over from inside the penalty area on 33.

Prior to that, Morgan had injured himself going in for a 50-50 ball. After lengthy treatment to his ankle he was replaced by Ian Morris, on 34. County's Williams was booked for a foul on Drew Talbot after 38; from the free kick, Ian Breckin headed inches wide of Glennon's right-hand post.

Half time: 1-1 attendance: 7542 (879 from Stockport)

County had set themselves up to play as Burton did in November and Chesterfield struggled to combat that until Morris took a more central role in midfield alongside Niven and Whitaker, while Davies ploughed a lonely but unselfish furrow up the left. Davies and Lester swapped passes on 48 and Davies got into the box, lifting the ball over Glennon, but Craig's chip wasn't quite high enough, and the keeper's hand flew up to deflect the ball away from goal.

Lester went down under a challenge in box after 53: there was no penalty, but no action for diving, either. Drew Talbot was having a louder say in proceedings and a cross came off Turnbull for a corner; Morris drove the ball goalwards but it deflected for another corner. Suddenly, however, Morris had to intervene on halfway as County threatened to break from this.

Turnbull was replaced by Vincent on 56.

County threatened with quick breaks but Chesterfield refused to be intimidated into relenting their pressure. The home side's enterprise and persistence was rewarded on 61 when Morris crossed for JACK LESTER, outside the box and with his back to goal. Lester turned to face two markers but slipped the ball past the pair, and into the box. A third defender came to challenge, but Jack did enough to beat him before lifting the ball over the advancing Glennon and into the net, restoring Chesterfield's lead with a brilliantly executed goal.

Five minutes later, JACK LESTER completed his hat-trick. Talbot flicked the ball into space and chased it, leaving his marker way behind. He crossed; Davies met it with a great header but Glennon pulled off a wonderful save. Lester took over and belted the ball past Glennon from around ten yards. It was Chesterfield's first Saturday hat-trick in the league without the assistance of a penalty since Dave Waller's against Rotherham in 1987-8, and the first time Town fans had seen two hat-tricks in a season for twenty years.

Stockport replaced Pulis with Simpson after 70 minutes. Glennon made another great save from Lester after Davies had played him in on 74.

Hunt replaced Mattis and Bowery replaced Lester after 80 minutes; the strength of the stadium roof was sorely tested by the ovation that accompanied Jack's exit.

County made their last swap, replacing Fletcher with Salem on 83. As Chesterfield played the ball about in some comfort, Whitaker turned with the ball and ran at the County defence; he worked the ball to CRAIG DAVIES, who got himself back into the goalscoring groove with a fine drive from around 20 yards after running the ball across a couple of defenders.

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