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Chesterfield Hit Shrewsbury for a Magnificent Seven

2 January 2016

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A stunning display of attacking football saw the Spireites to a 7-1 start to 2016 as Jay O'Shea and Rai Simons scored doubles and Lee Novak a brilliant hat-trick.

After a quiet opening spell, O'Shea lit up the Proact with a beauty as he half-volleyed home from Liam O'Neil's cross, finding the top corner from 18 yards. Before half time the lead was doubled as O'Shea made no mistake with the Spireites' first penalty of the season, drilling down the middle from 12 yards.

The half wasn't over yet however and on the stroke of the interval Novak trebled the fun with another peach, stroking home from inside the box from an Ariyibi assist.

On 66 minutes the Shrews pulled a goal back when Zak Whitbread stabbed home in a goalmouth scramble, before substitute Rai Simons made an instant impact when within seconds of his introduction he was played into space by Chris Herd and rattled home another brilliant finish.

Ariyibi was fouled for another penalty 81 minutes in and Novak assumed responsibility, blasting home emphatically to bring up five for the home side, Simons then netting his second clinically before Novak banged home his hat-trick goal late on at a rocking Proact Stadium, the first seven-goal haul ever for the Spireites at their new home.

Danny Wilson made two changes in his second game as Chesterfield manager, in came Charlie Raglan for the injured Ian Evatt and Lee Novak replaced Richard Wood after his loan spell was cut short. 

Elsewhere, goalkeeper Tommy Lee was making his 300th appearance for the club after eight years with the Spireites. 

It was the hosts who registered the first chances of the game. O’Shea collected the ball in the middle of the park, found Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who played a quick one two with Novak, then found Ariyibi in the box but his effort fell wide. 

Shrewsbury had a chance of their own when Shaun Whalley linked up with James Collins, but his effort was weak and the ball landed in Lee’s hands. Chesterfield were straight on the counter as Novak fed in Ebanks-Blake who twisted and turned but his shot came to nothing. 

It was end-to-end stuff at the Proact with both teams looking to stamp their authority on the game and again Chesterfield were attacking looking to release the pressure around the ground. Skipper Sam Morsy cleared a Shrewsbury corner, found Ebanks-Blake who ran into the area but his touch was too heavy. 

The game settled down after a frantic start. Both teams were struggling to create any real clear-cut chances.

After 28 minutes it was the Spireites who broke the deadlock. After some good build up play, the ball landed to Liam O’Neil’s feet, he played a great cross into O’Shea and his outstanding first-time volley went straight into the top left corner of the net. 

Chesterfield didn’t stop there. Novak did well to find space in a packed midfield, and made a great run, passed into Ariyibi who went into the area but his shot deflected into Mark Halstead’s hands. 

With the game edging ever closer to half time, the Spireites were rewarded with a first penalty of the season. Ariyibi’s long ball up field landed to Novak who dribbled left and right, found Morsy who was tripped inside the area. Midfielder O’Shea stepped up from 12 yards and slotted home making it 2-0 to Chesterfield.
The visitors were down the other end trying to respond quickly. Whalley’s cross-shot was well tipped over by Lee. 

With the game into first half injury time, the Spireites added another goal to the scoreline. Aryibi’s pin-point cross was met by Novak and his shot went straight in with chants of "Danny Wilson’s blue and army" ringing round the Proact. 

Chesterfield started the second as they ended the first. It was Ariyibi at the forefront of things and his great cross fell to O’shea. His first shot was well saved by Halstead but had another bite of the cherry but his effort sailed way over the bar. 

Despite being 3-0 down, the Shrews were still trying to find a way back in. Vernon’s long-range effort was saved by Lee and Chesterfield cleared. 

Midway through the second half the visitors did find a way back. A corner was whipped-in and caused confusion in the box. Shrewsbury had three goes at goal but all were blocked by Lee, however defender Whitbread got his foot onto the ball and grabbed a goal back. 

The visitors were growing into the game and again Vernon tested Lee again but his shot was easily saved. 

Despite the pressure Chesterfield added a fourth. Sam Hird picked up the loose ball, passed to the substitute Simons who thumped home a fantastic effort from outside the area.

Just seven minutes later and the Spireites were at it again. Ebanks-Blake’s darting run inside the area came to a halt after Junior Brown fouled the striker and Chesterfield won a penalty; the defender also received his marching orders after a second yellow.
With O’Shea substituted, Novak took the penalty and scored making it 5-1 to the hosts. The fans were buzzing and the feelgood factor was back at the Proact. 

With Shrewsbury dead and buried, the Spireites just kept going. Morsy won a loose ball on halfway, slipped in Novak but he was denied his hat-trick by Halstead. 

However, more was still to come and it was Simons who added further gloss to the scoreline. He found space in the area and shot home, making it 6-1 and sending the fans crazy. 

With just a minute to go, Lee Novak got his well-earned hat-trick. Simons who was excellent after coming on and fed the ball into Novak on the wing. The striker sprinted into the box, turned a Shrews defender and slotted the ball into the far right corner, bringing up the magnificent seventh for the Spireites. 

Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Donohue, Hird, Raglan, O'Neil - Ariyibi (Gardner 84'), Morsy (c), Herd, O'Shea (Simons 72') - Novak, Ebanks-Blake (Harrison 82')

Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Onovwigun, Dieseruvwe, Maguire

Shrewsbury Town: Halstead (gk) - Brown, Ogogo (Lawrence 29'), Gerrard (Smith 29'), Collins, Black, Cole, Grandison, Vernon, Whitbread, Whalley

Subs not used: Burton (gk), Barnett, Akpa Akpro, Knight-Percival, Clark


Chesterfield: O'Shea 28' 40' (pen), Novak 45' 81' (pen) 89', Simons 73', 87'

Shrewsbury Town: Whitbread 66'

Attendance: 6,233 (414 away fans)

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