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Clucas Hammers Iron in Extra Time

13 January 2015

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Sam Clucas proved to be the FA Cup hero for the Spireites as he scored a double in extra time in a 2-0 victory over Scunthorpe United.

With minimal opportunities throughout the 90 minutes, the tie headed into extra time, where Clucas was able to get on the end of an Eoin Doyle cross to give Chesterfield the upper hand after 105 minutes.

As the clocked ticked on, Clucas then put a gloss on the scoreline as he smashed the ball into the top corner from 25 yards to set up an FA Cup fourth round fixture at Derbyshire rivals Derby County.

Following on from Saturday’s emphatic 3-0 victory over Port Vale on Ernie Moss Day, an unchanged Spireites side welcomed Scunthorpe United in their pursuit of the FA Cup fourth round.

A frantic opening minute saw Chesterfield come within inches of taking the lead early on as Tendayi Darikwa was able to latch on to a Gary Roberts cut back, but after his fierce effort looked destined for the back of the net, the Iron's number one Sam Slocombe denied the full-back his second goal of the season.

Armand Gnanduillet has recently impressed in front of goal and the Frenchman came close to breaking the deadlock seconds after Darikwa’s strike, but Slocombe handled his firm header well after a Roberts corner kick to keep the tie level.

Despite having to come from two goals down in the initial tie, the Spireites maintained their belief of attack being the best form of defence, and this nearly paid dividends as the ever-present Roberts created space for Doyle down the right, but the forward's unbalanced shot was spectacularly tipped round the post.

It appeared to be only a matter of time before Paul Cook’s side took the lead as Scunthorpe posed minimal problems for the hosts, but yet again Slocombe was on hand to deny Chesterfield, as his parry from Gnanduillet stopped him from netting his second goal in as many games.

Teams often get punished for not scoring when they are on top, so when Isiah Osbourne’s inch-perfect lofted ball found the feet of Lyle Taylor, the striker had the goal at his mercy but his lob landed harmlessly in with the visiting fans.

Chesterfield restarted after the break in the same fashion as the first-half, this time the prolific Doyle going close following Darikwa’s through ball, but he fired off target from 18 yards.

However, United also started brightly in comparison to their first half performance and could have taken the lead on the hour mark, as after a wayward Tommy Lee clearance, Madden picked up the loose ball from range before dancing through the Spireites defence, but dragged his shot narrowly wide.

The Spireites reacted well to the first sign of sustained pressure from the visitors as they continued to look a threat going forward, with Sam Hird the latest man to fall victim to an impressive stop from Slocombe as he saw his header instinctively pawed way.

A force field appeared to be guarding the Iron's goal line as this time it was the calm head of Charlie Raglan who tried his luck from range, but after a slight deflection off of a Scunthorpe man, a stranded Slocombe stood and watched on as the ball trickled wide of the post.

With neither side able to break through, the game headed into extra time with tired legs set to play a huge part in the tie. It was United who came the closest to potentially scoring the decisive first strike as substitute Terry Hawkridge struck the ball from the edge of the area, but Lee was equal to it.

A switch in formation from Cook at the end of 90 minutes saw Gnanduillet become the focal point of the attack, and once he was slipped through on the angle following a cute Sam Clucas pass, he set himself but smashed high and wide.

That missed Gnanduillet opportunity however was forgotten moments later as the first goal of the evening finally arrived just shy of half-time in extra time, as the ball was worked to Doyle down the right and he played an inviting low ball across the six yard box for an onrushing Clucas - who expertly placed the ball into the goal to give the Spireites the lead.

Inevitably, the visitors responded in the final 15 minutes as they dug into the final bursts of energy that remained in the tank, and they were unlucky not to equalise following a clever Alex Davey back-heel, but Lee parried the ball away.

However, United’s fate was sealed with four minutes of the 120 remaining and it was that man Clucas again, as he picked up a loose ball from range and picked out the top corner to fire the Spireites into the next round of the FA Cup.

Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Darikwa, Raglan, Hird, Clucas - Boco (Jones 91’), Humphreys (Ryan 81’), Morsy (c), Roberts - Doyle, Gnanduillet

Subs not used: Wright (gk), Gardner, O’Shea, Evatt, Talbot

Scunthorpe: Slocombe (gk) - Nolan (Sparrow 46’), Davey, Llera, Williams - Boyce, Bishop (c), Osbourne (Hawkridge 94’), McSheffrey (Adelakun 56’) - Madden, Taylor

Subs not used: Weaver (gk), Canavan, Wootton, Mosanya

Chesterfield goal scorer(s): Clucas 105’, 120'

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