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Chesterfield Win at League-leaders Walsall

17 October 2015

Two fantastic headers saw Chesterfield to a resolute 2-1 win at top-of-the-table Walsall, where chance taking and rearguard action was the order of the day.

Within five minutes the Spireites were in front when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake peeled off his marker and connected with Sam Morsy's cross to score his first goal since August with a controlled header in the box.

Second half and despite waves of Walsall attacks the Spireites lead was doubled after 54 minutes when Dan Gardner's cross was ceremoniousy thumped home by the head of Ian Evatt in front of the joyous away fans.

The second goal seemed to calm visiting nerves before Mark Preston pulled one back for the Saddlers in added time, but the Spireites held on to complete a terrific away performance and claim the three points.

The game was only a minute old when Walsall frontman Tom Bradshaw had a great chance to open the scoring. After being played through on goal by Romaine Sawyers, he got his shot away but Spireites keeper Tommy Lee made a fantastic save.

Only four minutes later and the deadlock was broken and it was Chesterfield who got the goal.

After patient build up play between the midfield, the ball was played out to Morsy who produced a fantastic delivery for Ebanks-Blake to powerfully head home into the top corner.

After conceding, the home side started to control possession and probe the Spireites defence but they continued to hold firm.

In the 24th minute the hosts came close to equalising when Rico Henry took aim from 25 yards, but his low drive fizzed past Lee’s post.

Four minutes later, Walsall came even closer to levelling the game when Bradshaw met Jason Demetriou’s low ball in but his near post-strike was again fantastically saved by Lee.

The ever-impressive Lee was called into action again in the 28th minute when he superbly tipped Sam Mantom’s fierce drive onto the post and the Spireites managed to clear their lines.

The hosts continued to dominate possession but the Spireites stood firm to take an advantage into the half time break.

Walsall started the second half like they ended the first and in the 47th minute they came within a lick of paint away again from equalising. Captain Adam Chambers took aim from outside the box and with the help of a deflection off a Spireite defender, the ball came back off the post.

The Spireites reacted well and a Morsy-led counter attack almost led to a second Chesterfield goal but Lee Novak’s shot from the corner of the box went wide.

Chesterfield grabbed the all important second goal in the 54th minute through a powerful header from Evatt who rose highest to meet a Gardner corner to send the travelling Spireites into raptures.

As the second half wore on, the Spireites continued to frustrate the home side and kept the ball well, not allowing Walsall to pen them back in their own area and it was only an effort from inside the box from Chambers in the 75th minute which really tested Lee.

With full time fast approaching, the hosts finally managed to beat Lee and found a route back into the game.

After good pressure on the Chesterfield defence, substitute Jordan Cook headed against the bar and Matt Preston reacted quickest to poke the ball over the line. The Spireites managed to see the game out to record a fantastic away win for Dean Saunders's side.

Walsall: Etheridge (gk), Demetriou, Taylor (Morris 74'), Downing, Chambers (c), Mantom (Lalkovic 66'), Bradshaw, Sawyers, Henry, Preston, Flanagan (Cook 46')

Subs not used: Baxendale, Forde, MacGillivray, Kinsella

Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Jones, Raglan, Evatt, Talbot - Morsy (c), Herd, Gadrner O'Shea - Novak (Simons 88'), Ebanks-Blake (Dieseruvwe 88')

Subs not used: Cairns (gk), O'Neil, Hird, Banks, Ariyibi

Goals:

Chesterfield: Ebanks-Blake 5', Evatt 54'

Attendance: 4,766 (399 away fans)

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