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Club News

Oldham Athletic Flashback

14 November 2015

Ahead of the Spireites' home fixture against Oldham Athletic in League One this weekend we look back at a previous meeting between the sides, in 2002 at Saltergate.

Chesterfield have met Oldham on multiple occasion with the sides often being in the same division. In more recent times there have been numerous Johnstone's Paint Trophy ties as well, but this league game is one fans will likely remember.

Chesterfield 4-2 Oldham Athletic – January 12, 2002

Back in the Division Two 2001-02 season both Chesterfield and Oldham were aiming for consolidating mid-table finishes. Chesterfield had been promoted the previous season after finishing third in Division Three; they would have won been runners-up if it hadn't been for financial difficulties. Oldham on the other hand finished 15th in Division Two the previous season surviving relegation by seven points.

However, by Christmas Oldham were coping fine and were holding a top half place whereas Chesterfield were struggling just above the relegation zone. 

Manager Nicky Law left for Bradford City on New Year’s Eve 2001 and the responsibility of keeping Chesterfield in Division Two was down to club physio Dave Rushbury.

Even though Chesterfield were hovering just above the drop zone they came into the game following a draw against Brighton and a victory over Notts County in Law’s last game in charge. Oldham were in brilliant form winning three consecutive games and keeping three consecutive clean sheets before they visited Saltergate.

Chesterfield managed to come from two goals down to pull off an impressive comeback and give Rushbury the perfect start to life as Spireites manager. 

Oldham started the better of the sides and took advantage of a shaky start from Chesterfield under the new regime. Paul Murray managed to put the visitors ahead inside the first 15 minutes as he rifled home a powerful effort from the edge of the area.

The visitors continued to control the game and extended their lead in even quicker fashion in the second half, when David Eyres scored. Some good football from Oldham managed to give Eyres an opening and he slid the ball past Nathan Abbey.

However, Oldham’s second goal seemed to light a fire in the home side and they soon pulled a goal back. Mark Allott managed to give Chesterfield a fighting chance when he finished from close range just before the 50th minute.

The Spireites comeback was on and they soon levelled the game. Allott was involved again this time providing an inch-perfect cross for Glynn Hurst whose header found the top corner. With Chesterfield equalising, Saltergate got behind the home side and when former Spireites man David Reeves missed a good chance for the Latics a Chesterfield victory looked even more possible.

It wasn’t long until the home side took the lead after being two goals down. Jamie Burt managed to power his low effort into the bottom corner with 25 minutes left and complete the comeback. 

The Spireites did add another when Hurst grabbed his second of the afternoon. He sprinted away from the Oldham defence before calmly sliding the ball into the net in stoppage time to complete an amazing comeback for the home side.

The comeback in Rushbury’s first game was a sign of the fight Chesterfield would show throughout the season, eventually avoiding the drop and finishing in 18th, eight points clear of relegation. Oldham finished ninth - eight points from a play-off positions.

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