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Stunning Spireites Out-Shine High-flying Bolton

17 December 2016

The Spireites put in one of the best showings of the season as Liam O'Neil's first half strike saw them to a 1-0 Proact win over high-flying Bolton Wanderers

After absorbing early pressure the Spireites lead when O'Neil scored his second goal in two games with a smart half-volley in the box, following his goal at Peterborough last week.

Zach Clough had openings either side of the break but unable to take them the Spireites saw out a stunning win with a professional and mesured second-half performance to end Bolton's streak of five straight wins.

Lloyd Allinson was on hand to stop Sammy Ameobi from snatching an early lead, the winger’s cross appeared to be curling into the far corner but the Spireites ‘keeper pushed it wide. 

Wanderers went even closer just minutes later, Lawrie Wilson flashed a ball low across the box but Zach Clough somehow scuffed it wide from close range.  

Jay O’Shea and Ched Evans were looking to make things happen for the Spireites, but neither could make their way past the hoard of yellow men in the Bolton box. The latter cut inside from the left and stuck a shot out of frustration that was blocked and cleared.  

It took a thunderous strike from O’Neil (27) to shock the game into action. Gboly Ariyibi’s cross was met on the penalty spot by the on-coming midfielder who cracked it into the corner. 

Confidence was cursing through the veins of every Spireites player after the opener, O’Shea let his freekick run short to Evans whose laced shot went narrowly wide.  

Ariyibi picked up the ball from 30 yards out and turned his marker but thumped it past both Ben Alnwick and the post. 

Bolton had been rattled but gained their composure temporarily as Gary Madine ditched his man in the box to meet a cross from the right. The former Spireite took a touch and angled it at Allinson who both saved and held the ball. 

Clough slipped away from Gary Liddle to meet a guided through ball and go one-on-one with Allinson. The ‘keeper made himself large and somehow denied the attacker to keep their lead going into half time. 

With only minutes of the first half to go Wanderers were sending the ball long. Ameobi received the ball, turned once, turned twice and snapped a shot at Allinson but Tom Anderson dived to get his head in the way. 

O’Neil thought he had grabbed a second after Conor Dimaio sparked a counter attack, the midfielder fizzled a shot from inside the box but it went the wrong side of the post. 

The home side picked up from where they left off in the first half, Ariyibi was dominating the left-hand side and lofted a cross in-towards Evans but it drifted just over his head. 

The Spireites were frustrating an impatient away side and Ameobi could not make his way through the midfield so resorted to drilling a shot from distance that was easily held by Allinson. 

Clough drifted into the box unnoticed by the Chesterfield defence but was found by Tom Thorpe, the forward thought he could level but a last ditch challenge from Anderson saw him fling it wide. 

Aggressions were rising as the match creeped into the final 20 minutes, O’Shea, Dimaio and Anderson all took to the deck in Bolton’s fight for an equaliser. 

The away side were enjoying a lengthy spell of possession but could not make their way past a stubborn Chesterfield defence and Ameobi was forced to hammer in from range again, once more it sailed wide. 

The home side were pinging passes around the Wanderers' midfield and Liddle tried to set Dimaio for the final strike but the midfielder was fouled. Evans directed the freekick at Alnwick who safely gathered. 

Dion Donohue’s cross nearly tricked Alnwick as it curled towards goal, but the ‘keeper recovered to knock it over the crossbar. 

The Spireites' injuries had added four minutes onto the clock and a long ball forwards fell for Chris Taylor but the midfielder mis-controlled the ball and Allinson collected. 

Desperate to hang on to what would be an impressive victory, Evans pressed and harried at every ball in order to ensure Bolton could not throw it forward. 

Wanderers finally got the ball upfield and it pinged around the Chesterfield box, Spearing snatched at a volley that went way over the bar as the final whistle was drowned out by Spireites supporters' cheers. 

Chesterfield: Allinson (gk) - Evatt, Anderson, Liddle (c) - Donohue, O'Neil, Hird, Dimaio, Ariyibi - O'Shea, Evans

Subs not used: Parkin (gk), Gardner, Mitchell, Dennis, Simons, Beesley, Morrison

Bolton Wanderers: Alnwick (gk) - Beevers, Vela, Spearing (c), Clough (Anderson 88'), Madine, A. Taylor, Ameobi, Wilson (Proctor 88'), Wheater, Thorpe (C. Taylor 73')

Subs not used: Turner, Moxey, Osede, Henry

Goals:

Chesterfield: O'Neil 26'

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