Terrell Forbes was the unlikely hero as his goal five minutes from time finally sunk a spirited Accrington Stanley side, who fought back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to finally succumb to a 4-3 defeat in a pulsating encounter on a crisp autumn evening in Derbyshire. The right-back found himself with the goal at his mercy following Jack Lester's cross and he made no mistake from close range to finally secure all three points for Tommy Wright's side, who have now won all three home games under his tenure.
The Spireites raced into a two-goal lead inside the opening 11 minutes, firstly through Lester's audacious chip before he turned supplier for strike-partner Marc Richards to glance home his first goal in royal blue, but the visitors pulled one back before the break through the impressive Rommy Boco before defender Peter Murphy squared things up 13 minutes after the restart. Lester then added his second, sweeping home Tendayi Darikwa's centre before Benin international Boco again hauled Stanley level with a 20-yard thunderbolt.
Stanley left-back Michael Liddle then got himself dismissed for a needless lunge on Lester in the 83rd minute and Forbes made him pay by slamming home a late winner.
Caretaker manager Wright opted not to make any changes from the side that comfortably dispatched of 10-men Wycombe on Saturday, with 36-year-old Lester retaining his place up front alongside Richards after bagging his third goal of the campaign against the Chairboys. Huddersfield loanee Atkinson waited just 13 minutes to open his account for the Spireites and he was again employed in the heart of midfield, but the injured Danny Whitaker remained sidelined for the visit of the Lancastrians.
Stanley had been in imperious form on the road thus far this season - picking up seven points from their three games - and they choose to switch the teams around after winning the coin toss. They started much the brighter too and were unfortunate not to open the scoring after just five minutes when Charlie Barnett met Lee Molyneux's cross at the far post before clattering his shot against the bar. It was an early let off for the hosts, but just two minutes later they found themselves in front through the ever-reliable Lester, who showcased his predatory instincts superbly. It was Stanley skipper Luke Joyce who was culpable, as his attempted header back sold Ian Dunbavin short and the veteran hit-man lofted the ball over the stranded keeper with an audacious lob that tickled the paint of the upright on its way in.
Yet again, it was another lightening start from the home side, something that is fast becoming a hallmark of Wright's side and similarly to Saturday's win against Wycombe, it took just four minutes for the Spireites to double their advantage. The sigh of relief around the Proact was palpable as this time Lester turned provider for his strike-partner Richards to finally score his first goal for the club since his summer switch from Vale Park.
Richards' toil and endeavour hasn't gone un-noticed in previous outings, often leading the line without a reward to show for his efforts but he glanced into the far corner unmarked from close range after a sublime cross as every one of his team-mates rushed to congratulate him on finally breaking his duck. Lester had the ball in the net again moments later, sweeping home Forbes' near-post cross but the assistant referee's flag was raised as the ball had run out of play.
The rampant hosts had completely knocked the wind out of Stanley sails and midway through the first-half, Town had their second goal of the evening ruled out when Richards was harshly adjudged to have impeded Dunbavin. There was certainly no time to pause for breath and merely 60 seconds later the visitors found themselves back in the game courtesy of winger Boco, who somehow managed to stoop low enough to steer Barnett's cross into the far corner past the outstretched Richard O'Donnell.
It served to invigorate the visitors, as their extra man in midfield had begun to help them dominate possession and on-loan Rotherham midfielder Danny Schofield unleashed a range effort narrowly over before captain Sam Hird had to be alert to deny Barnett's near-post effort. At the other end, Richards just failed to connect sufficiently with Lester's fizzing ball across the goal-mouth and Drew Talbot mis-cued wide as this thrilling contest continued to warm the cockles of everyone's hearts on what was one of autumn's coldest nights so far.
The interim boss could afford to be pleased with his side's application in the opening 45 minutes, but with the score delicately poised his side would almost certainly need a third to finally put the final nail in Accrington's coffin. And with his side trailing, Paul Cook plumped to make a double change 10 minutes after the restart, introducing Piero Mingoia and Matt Whichelow for Barrett and Molyneux respectively.
Accrington began the second-half much more purposefully and Cook's change paid dividends almost immediately when the Italian winger, on loan from Watford, delivered a sumptuous ball towards the back post which found Murphy to stab home and haul the visitors level. Stanley were now showing why they had been so impressive on their travels as they continued to move the ball well, but just as his opposite number's change had, Wright's substitution also worked wonders on the hour mark.
The Scotsman's response was to introduce Darikwa for the ineffective Craig Westcarr and the Spireites youngster was the protagonist as Chesterfield regained the lead courtesy of Lester, who swept home his delightful low cross with a confident finish. But there was another twist in the tale, as the French-born Boco was not to be outdone and with 76 minutes on the clock, he wriggled free of Atkinson before unleashing an unstoppable left-footed drive into the far corner to add his second and Stanley's third.
It was a tough pill to swallow for the hosts, but with eight minutes left Town's visitors were reduced to 10-men for the second successive match as Liddle recklessly scythed down Lester with a thunderous challenge and referee Mr. Craig Pawson deemed it worthy of the harshest punishment. And unbelievably, just two minutes later the home side finally clinched the points when Forbes smashed home Lester's cross to clinch their second successive league win.
Chesterfield (4-4-2) - O'Donnell; Forbes, Trotman, Hird (c), Ridehalgh; Talbot, Atkinson (Allott 88), Togwell, Westcarr (Darikwa 62); Richards, Lester (Randall 88).
Unused Subs - Wilson, Clay, Boden, Hazel.
Bookings - Lester (67)
Goals - Lester (7, 66) Richards (11) Forbes (85)
Accrington Stanley (4-2-3-1) - Dunbavin; Lindfield, Murphy, Nsiala, Liddle; Joyce (c), Schofield; Barnett (Mingoia 55), Molyneux (Whichelow 55), Boco; Amond (Sheppard 73).
Unused Subs - Dawber, Eckersley, Dixon, Hatfield.
Bookings - Joyce (67) Nsiala (90+4)
Sent Off - Liddle (83)
Goals- Bocco (28, 76) Murphy (58)
Referee - Mr. Craig Pawson
Attendance - 4,359 (90 away)