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Chesterfield Win Late with Novak at Southend to Extend Run

5 March 2016

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Chesterfield stretched their unbeaten run to five games after a late Lee Novak goal claimed a 1-0 win over Southend United at Roots Hall.

It was goal-less at half time but with the Spireites performing well after David Worrall had hit the post early on for the Shrimpers.

It seemed to be heading towards a stalemate until a Spireites break in the 89th minute saw man of the match Ollie Banks find Novak in space and the striker finished low to win the game for the visitors.

The hosts nearly took the lead within the first two minutes when Worrall twice had golden opportunities. He first met a fine Will Atkinson cross he could only watch as his header came back off the post, the rebound fell to Worrall again but he could only tamely fire into Tommy Lee’s gloves.

The Spireites grew into the game and with 12 minutes gone they had their first efforts on the Southend goal with Banks curling an effort towards goal but Daniel Bentley made the save before Declan John fired over from the resulting cross.

With 20 minutes gone, Gboly Ariyibi showed good skill to beat his man and play Banks into the area but he could only hit his cross into Bentley’s hands.

Just over the half hour mark, Liam O’Neil burst down the right-hand side, fired a cross in which Novak met but again Bentley thwarted the Spireites.

Connor Damaio then had an effort at goal after more good work by the impressive Banks but his strike was saved by Bentley.

The Spireites continued to control the game as the half wore on but were unable to create any clear cut chances before the break.

The second half continued in the same vein as it was the visitors who were making the running and they had their first effort of the half in the 51st minute. O’Neil and Banks again linking up well with the latter delivering but John could only flick over.

This seemed to boost the hosts as it was their turn to pile the pressure on, Jack Payne did well before firing in a cross but Tyrone Barnett couldn’t get the shot away.

Just after the hour mark, Barnett again came close when he met a cross but his powerful header was saved by Lee, who claimed the ball bravely at the second attempt.

The game then went through a scrappy period, with both teams unable to create any clear cut chances on a deteriorating Roots Hall pitch.

With just over five minute of the game remaining, the home side felt they should have had a penalty after substitute David Mooney went down in the box; but the referee waved away the protests.

The game seemed to be petering out into a well-earned point for the Spireites but in the 89th minute Novak sent the travelling faithful, and the bench, into raptures when he ran onto a Banks through ball to finish with ease past Daniel Bentley.

As the home side pushed for an equaliser, Bentley came up for a corner; but when the Spireites dealt with it, Jay O’Shea had an effort from 75 yards, but unfortunately it drifted wide.

The Spireites held on to record their second impressive away win in a week to extend their unbeaten run to five games.

Southend United: Bentley (gk) - White (c), Coker, Wordsworth, Worrall (Hunt 29'), Payne, Atkinson (McQueen 66'), Bolger, Barnett (Mooney 79'), Deegan, Barrett

Subs not used: Thompson, Timlin, Smith (gk), Loza

Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Donohue, Hird, Anderson, O'Neil - John (O'Shea 79') Banks, Liddle (c), Dimaio, Ariyibi - Novak

Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Gardner, Ebanks-Blake, Simons, Talbot, Slew


Chesterfield: Novak 89'

Attendance: 7,518 (375 away fans)

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