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Chesterfield Thrill in Comeback to Beat Barnsley

8 August 2015

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A swaggering comeback saw the Spireites turn a half time deficit into a glorious 3-1 win as they made a perfect start to their 2015/16 Sky Bet League 1 season.

It was Barnsley who got their season off to a goal-scoring start as four minutes in Conor Wilkinson showed quick feet and shooting prowess to score from just inside the Spireites' box.

The home side pushed with energy before the break and got their just rewards just after it as on 49 minutes Jay O'Shea finished off a flowing attack to level matters.

Still pushing, two minutes of Spireites magic saw the home side ahead and then 3-1 up as first a Sylvan Ebanks-Blake swivel and then a Sam Morsy curler put Chesterfield in control, a control they would maintain until the final whistle of a cracking first match of the season.

After a cagey start to the first half by both, the visitors went ahead in the fourth minute following a swift counter attack lead by Arsenal loanee Dan Crowley, who played in fellow loanee WILKINSON who calmly finished past Tommy Lee.

The Spireites responded well to the setback and quickly went on the front foot in search of an equaliser, Sam Hird had the best chance when he met a Dan Gardner cross but his near-post header was saved well by Barnsley 'keeper Adam Davies.

A frantic first half continued when Barnsley had a great chance to double their lead, but Sam Winnall could only hit his shot straight at Lee from eight yards out.

The hosts continued to force the issue when the ever-impressive Gboly Ariyibi surged down the left-hand side and forced his way into the box, but he couldn’t squeeze his near post effort past Davies.

Wilkinson again had a good chance to add to the visitors' lead on the half hour mark after the ball was worked to him in the box, but his goal bound effort was blocked by Spireites captain Morsy.

Chesterfield ended the first half with a couple of chances to equalise, the best fell to Gardner after he tried his luck from 25-yards with a rasping drive, but Davies managed to tip his effort over the bar. 

Right on the stroke of half time, the Spireites almost equalised once again after Ollie Banks met a corner and his header fell to Hird but Davies foiled his attempts to prod home.

The second half started as the first half ended with the Spireites frequently peppering the Barnsley box with crosses and they eventually equalised in the 48th minute through man-of-the-match O'Shea. 

Dan Jones did well down the left hand side, his low cross found summer signing Ebanks-Blake who held the ball up superbly and found O'SHEA who fired into the back of Davies’ net with style.

Barnsley almost regained the lead just past the hour when captain Alfie Mawson headed against the post from a tight angle after meeting a fine cross into the box. The hosts went up straight up the other end on the counter attack, but Ebanks-Blake couldn’t make firm contact from Ariyibi’s low cross and he fired over the bar from close range.

The Tykes again had a good chance when George Smith’s cross into the box was met by the unmarked Josh Scowen, but he couldn’t guide his header on target. 

The game then dramatically swung in the Spireites favour following two quick-fire goals, the first by debutant EBANKS-BLAKE after he bundled in from six-yards after a well worked Gardner corner which Ian Evatt headed down following a deflected shot by O’Shea. 

From kick-off and MORSY put the game beyond doubt when his curled effort went in off the inside of the post with just over 20 minutes to go, Ebanks-Blake was once again involved after he forced an error from the defender which allowed Morsy space.

Chesterfield comfortably saw the game out with and recorded a moral-boosting opening-day victory, a perfect way to get the season started at a sunny Proact Stadium.

Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Jones, Evatt, Hird, Talbot (Raglan 75') - Ariyibi (Dieseruvwe 90'), Banks, Morsy (c), Gardner - O'Shea, Ebanks-Blake (Gnanduillet 80')

Subs not used: Cairns (gk), Humphreys, Harrison, Onovwigun

Barnsley: Davies (gk), Scowen, Smith, Roberts, Mawson (c), Pearson, Nyatanga, Hourihane, Winnall, Crowley (Williams 57'), Wilkinson (Watkins 57')

Subs not used: Townsend (gk), Rothwell, Maris, Digby, Phenix

Goals:

Chesterfield: O'Shea 49', Ebanks-Blake 72', Morsy 73'

Barnsley: Wilkinson 4'

Attendance: 8,117


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