Chesterfield were eliminated from the Checkatrade Trophy, after a 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood Town at the Highbury Stadium this evening.
Goals in either half from Jack Sowerby and Alex Reid sealed the Cod Army's progression into round three, in a match which also saw Chesterfield goalkeeper Joe Anyon forced off with an arm injury and be replaced by defender Laurence Maguire for the final stages of the encounter.
The Spireites had the first real chance of the game, when the returning Matt Briggs crossed from the left flank, striker Chris O’Grady managed to get in front of his marker before heading an effort just wide of Chris Neal’s goal.
But it was Fleetwood who took the lead, when in the 17th minute when Sowerby charged down the left flank, his cross was intercepted by Scott Wiseman, who laid the ball off to Bradley Barry inside the area, the Spireites full back then hesitated allowing Sowerby to nip in and shoot through the legs of Anyon.
Moments later Fleetwood almost doubled their lead when a fine pass from midfield saw Ashley Hunter get in behind the Town defence, Hunter set himself, before placing the ball to the right of Anyon and then hitting the post, Wiseman then managed to put the loose ball out for a corner kick.
Chesterfield responded well after that, seeing a lot of the ball in the Fleetwood half, with their best chance falling to Barry, who from Joe Rowley’s corner volleyed straight at Neal when unmarked.
The hosts who had the final chances of the first period, firstly through Sowerby, who skipped past Wiseman before shooting at Anyon. And then after a long ball caused problems for the Town defence, Jordy Hiwula could only shoot directly at the former Scunthorpe United man.
Jack Lester made two changes at half time, with Andy Kellett and Louis Reed replacing Reece Mitchell and Diego De Girolamo.
And it was Kellett who could have made an immediate impact when he was only denied a shot on goal from a Barry cross by Harvey Rodgers’ sliding clearance.
The Spireites saw plenty of the ball after that and despite the introduction of top goal scorer Kristian Dennis from the substitutes bench, were unable to create any clear cut chances.
Lester’s night was to end with further frustration when Anyon was forced off the field of play with an arm injury, after coming out bravely at the feet of Alex Reid.
That meant Maguire had to play the final few minutes in goal and he immediately made an impact, pushing a header around the post from an Reid.
However, the makeshift goalkeeper could do nothing a minute from time when Reid was played in inside the area before firing emphatically into the net to seal the Cod Army’s passage into the next round.
Fleetwood Town: Neal (C), O’Neill (Biggins 46’), Hiwula (Reid 64’), J. Maguire, Rodgers, Godswill, Hunter, Schwabl, Sowerby (Nirrenold 58’), Sheron, Cargill.
Substitutes not used: Crellin (gk), Donohue, Higham, Kerrigan.
Chesterfield: Anyon, Barry, Wiseman, L. Maguire, Briggs, Mitchell (Kellett 46’), Dimaio (Dennis 79’), Weir (C), Rowley, De Girolamo (Reed 46’), O’Grady.
Substitutes not used: Parkin (gk), Binnom-Williams, Hird, Wakefield.
Attendance - 372