Chesterfield were knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of Southend United as the Shrimpers came out 3-1 winners.
Tendayi Darikwa gave the Spireites an early lead in the third minute, but they were immediately pegged back as Marc Laird nodded the visitor’s level.
Anthony Straker put the Shrimpers ahead within 20 minutes and Chesterfield-born winger Kevan Hurst put the game beyond doubt as Chesterfield bowed out of the competition.
The Spireites made one change to the side that was defeated by Newport County last weekend. Liam Cooper who received a red card against the Exiles was replaced by Darikwa, which meant Sam Hird dropped back to partner Ian Evatt in defence.
It only took three minutes for Chesterfield to get themselves ahead. Neat play by Jay O’Shea and Gary Roberts saw the latter cross for Darikwa who prodded home at the far post.
Minutes later, Evatt received the first booking of the game after bringing down Southend winger Anthony Straker as he looked to break from midfield.
The Spireites lead didn’t last long as Southend started to come back into the game and forced an equaliser. Laird managed to get in front of his defender and nodded the ball home at the front post from an inswinging John White corner.
Chesterfield were forced into their first substitution of the game as Gary Roberts limped off with an injury; he was replaced by Ritchie Humphreys.
With the game less than 20 minutes old, the visitors turned the game on its head and took the lead. Former loanee Kevan Hurst’s pinpoint cross found the head of Straker and he guided it past Tommy Lee to give the visitors the lead.
With little atmosphere in the ground, the Spireites were finding it hard to break down a tight Southend defence.
As half time approached, Armand Gnanduillet won a free kick in a shooting position. O’Shea stepped up to take but his effort was too high and went harmless over the bar.
The referee made himself unpopular with the home support and especially manager Paul Cook as Callum McFadzean was brought down next to the dugouts but the official only gave the Southend defender a talking to.
The second half commenced with the North Derbyshire side looking to attack from the outset. Jimmy Ryan smashed a cross into the box which just evaded everyone and minutes later, Drew Talbot’s superb header nicked the top of the crossbar and unfortunately went over.
After a lengthy stoppage for the injury of Rob Kiernan, Chesterfield made their second substitution of the afternoon as Marc Richards replaced Jay O’Shea.
Ollie Banks was posing a threat in attack and on 70 minutes, the midfielder unleashed a rasping drive which just went the wrong side of the crossbar.
Chesterfield made their third and final change as they brought on Eoin Doyle in place of McFadzean to offer more in attack.
The visitors were awarded a penalty with 15 minutes remaining as Gnanduillet was adjudged to have fouled a Southend defender. Barry Corr stepped up for the Shrimpers but Lee dived the right way and kept the ball out.
After giving away the penalty at one end, the Frenchman nearly made up for the error by equalising, however Dan Bentley did superbly to keep it out. Darikwa crossed for Gnanduillet but Bentley pulled off a
dramatic save to parry the striker's effort.
Southend put the game beyond doubt five minutes before the end as Hurst extended the visitors lead. The winger picked up the ball just inside the area, turned his defender and placed it past Lee in the bottom corner.
Deep into the six minutes of added time which were announced, Richards had a shot that went harmlessly over the bar and the referee signalled the end of Chesterfield’s FA Cup dreams this season.
Chesterfield: Lee; Talbot, Evatt (c), Hird, McFadzean (Doyle 75'); Ryan, Banks, Darikwa, O'Shea (Richards 68'), Roberts (Humphreys 16'); Gnanduillet.
Subs not used: Chapman, Togwell, Devitt, McSheffrey.
Southend United: Bentley, White (c), Coker, Laird, Prosser, Timlin, Corr, Straker, Hurst, Kiernan (Phillips 64'), Clifford (Thompson 83').
Subs not used: Smith, Eastwood, Reid, Payne, Edwards.
Goals: Chesterfield (Darikwa 4') 1 - 3 Southend United (Laird 12', Straker 17', Hurst 85')
Attendance: 4,067 (356 Southend United)