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O'Shea the Hero as Spireites Revival Gathers Pace

26 November 2016

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Two goals from Jay O'Shea, the second a stunning freekick, gave the Spireites a second win of the week with a 3-2 Proact success over Bristol Rovers.

Rovers were ahead four minutes in when Peter Hartley struck from close range, with Ian Evatt levelling before with a similar effort before a crunching O'Shea header put the hosts ahead before the break.

O'Shea added his second and the Spireites' third not long after the restart with a brilliant freekick though Billy Bodin got a Rovers second with 76 minutes gone.

At a bitterly cold Proact Stadium it was Rovers who started the better of the two teams, good link up play down the right hand side between Jermaine Easter and Matty Taylor resulted in a strike from Taylor which Evatt did well to block at the near post.

In the third minute Rovers made their early pressure count, Hartley latched on to a flick on from a long free kick and prodded home from six-yards out, leaving Ryan Fulton with no chance. 

Fulton then had to react smartly to a Chris Lines header at the far post, but the attempt lacked the direction to trouble the ‘keeper.

The Spireites responded with good work from winger Reece Mitchell down the left-hand side of the box led to a half chance, but Jake Beesley couldn't quite connect with the fizzing cross and the Rover’s keeper’ Kelle Roos smothered the loose ball.

Mitchell then latched on to a breakaway ball, ran clear of the Rovers defence and played in Beesley but the youngster’s powerful strike from the edge of the box was straight at Roos who parried clear.

The Spireites then grabbed the equaliser their mounting pressure deserved. In the 28th minute O’Shea swung a curling freekick to the back stick which was met by Tom Anderson, his header was forced towards goal by Connor Dimaio and Evatt was on hand to hook the ball over the line from close range.

And six minutes later Danny Wilson’s men took the lead. Captain Gary Liddle looped an inviting cross towards the in form O’Shea who, from eight yards out placed a perfect header wide of the flying Roos and in to the right hand corner.

The last action of a first half that the home team grew in to impressively went the way of Gboly Ariyibi. In stoppage time Beesley again linked up well with the impressive Mitchell and slotted a precise through ball in to the path Ariyibi but the winger’s strike lacked the pace to trouble Roos.

The second half started in magnificent fashion for the Spireites. Beesley won a freekick just outside the Rovers area, O’Shea lined the ball up and curled a sublime shot in to the top right-hand corner of the Rovers goal. It was a freekick of the highest quality from the midfield maestro and his sixth goal in six games.

Rovers threatened an immediate comeback with two chances in quick succession. Firstly, Fulton had to get down sharply to a Taylor snapshot from ten yards out and then moments later Lockyer headed wide from a deep corner.

With 57 minutes on the clock Taylor was presented with a golden opportunity to haul his side back in to the game but the Rovers striker could only direct his powerful header wide of Fulton’s left-hand post when it looked easier to hit the target.

Rovers continued to press, Stuart Sinclair forced his way in to the Spireite’s area, fell to the ground under the challenge of Evatt but shouts for a penalty from the away fans and players alike fell on deaf ears as referee Andy Haines waved the claims away. Ellis Harrison then saw his goal-bound effort grabbed by Fulton who did well to react to the close-range header.

On 76 minutes Billy Bodin fired Rovers back in to the game. The ball bobbled around the Spireites' box and fell invitingly to the second-half substitute who smashed the ball past Fulton from 12 yards out.

Darrell Clarke’s men smelt blood and continued to push for the equaliser, creating a series of half chances. Harrison again came close but Fulton timed his smothering dive at the feet of the striker to perfection too snuff out the danger.

With five minutes of added time on the board the Spireites defended manfully and nullified Rovers' attacking threat and secured another vital three points. 

Chesterfield: Fulton (gk) - Evatt, Anderson, Liddle (c) - Donohue, O'Neil, Dimaio (Nolan 70'), O'Shea (Gardner 85'), Ariyibi, Mitchell - Beesley (Evans 70')

Subs not used: Allinson (gk), Dennis, Maguire, German

Bristol Rovers: Roos (gk) - Brown, Hartley, Lockyer, Leadbitter, Clarke, Sinclair (Bodin 63'), Lines, Easter (Montano 63'), Taylor, Gaffney (Harrison 70')

Subs not used: Puddy (gk), McChrystal, Colkett, James


Chesterfield: Evatt 28', O'Shea 37' 49'

Bristol Rovers: Hartley 4', Bodin 76'

Attendance: 6,330 (934 away fans)

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