Ahead of the Spireites' visit to Roots Hall this weekend we look back at a memorable trip to Southend and the Essex coast in 2011.This will be the first time the Spireites and the Shrimpers will have met at Roots Hall in the league since early 2014 when the sides were in League Two.
Southend United 2 - 3 Chesterfield – Saturday, January 8, 2011
The 2010-11 season marked Chesterfield’s fourth consecutive season in League Two after narrowly missing out on the play-offs in the previous season.
As for Southend, they were adjusting to life in the fourth tier after being relegated from League One at the end of the 2009-10 season, their second relegation in four seasons.
Heading into the fixture Chesterfield were unbeaten in their last three outings and sat top of League Two. The Spireites had also only lost one away league game from their first eight of the season.
Southend on the other hand had only won three of their last 11 league games and were coming off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Cheltenham Town.
The game would be one centred on referee Roger East who awarded three penalties during the contest. Chesterfield were first to benefit when Danny Whitaker scored from the spot. Deane Smalley doubled the visitors lead before a long-range effort from Craig Easton pegged the Spireites back.
However, a second penalty came the way of Chesterfield and in a similar fashion to the first Whitaker finished well. Southend would get a penalty of their own in the final minutes of the game which Barry Corr scored.
The game started at a lively pace and Chesterfield soon had an opportunity to open the scoring when they were awarded a penalty after 12 minutes for Easton’s challenge on Jack Hunt. Whitaker stepped up and slotted the ball past Glenn Morris to give the visitors the lead.
Southend were rattled and the Spireites took advantage of their early dominance by doubling their lead not long after. Whitaker was again central to the goal as he played the ball in to Smalley who calmly slid the ball home and it looked as though Chesterfield could run away with it.
However, after a quick start the visitors began to stutter and Southend slowly crept back into the game. They made this change in momentum count when Easton unleashed a thunderous 25-yard strike which rose into the top corner of Tommy Lee’s goal.
But Chesterfield didn’t let this goal affect them as they immediately went on the attack in order to restore their two-goal lead and just after the hour mark the Spireites were awarded another penalty as Whitaker was brought down in the area by Ryan Hall. The midfielder stepped up and scored the penalty he had earned to give Chesterfield a 3-1 lead.
The Shrimpers continued to attack and tried to mount a comeback with Matthew Patterson coming close before being subbed off for Kane Ferdinand.
Their persistence soon paid off when Corr was pushed down inside the box by Ian Breckin. Much like Whitaker had done twice for Chesterfield, Corr converted the penalty with seven minutes left. This led to a nervy finish for John Sheridan’s Chesterfield, however they held out for a well-earned victory.
The win meant the Spireites opened up a five-point lead at the top of League Two over nearest rivals Rotherham United. Meanwhile the loss for Southend meant they sat in 17th place, seven points above the relegation zone.
Of course the Spireites would go on to win the League Two title in the 2010-11 season by five points whilst Southend finished in 13th place.
The Spireites team that day: Lee (gk) - Robertson, Breckin, Ford, Talbot - Hunt, Mattis, Morris, Smalley, Whitaker - Allott.
Subs: Redmond, Lowry, Niven, Clay, Boden, Bowery, Lester