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Match Reports

REPORT: Gardner Screamer Seals Crucial Win

14 January 2017

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Dan Gardner's rocket saw off Coventry City at the Proact in a 1-0 Chesterfield victory.

An aggressive start from the Spireites almost saw Kristian Dennis open the scoring in the fifth minute. Jay O’Shea had chased down a nervy pass back and forced Lee Burge into a mistake, Dennis latched onto the loose ball but Burge recovered to block. 

Gardner took the second chance of the match, firing a loose ball from the edge of the Coventry area past the right post and into the away stand. 

The Spireites half hadn't seen much of the ball in the opening 15 minutes, but the home side’s defence was carved open by a mixture of Stuart Beavon and George Thomas. The latter jinked past two defenders but his shot failed to trouble Ryan Fulton. 

O’Shea’s cross-field ball split the Coventry defence and landed perfectly at the feet of Liam O’Neil, the full-back took a touch and cannoned it towards Burge, but instead sent it high and wide. 

For all their domination Chesterfield couldn't open the scoring, O’shea’s curled free-kick found the head of Ian Evatt, but dipped just over the crossbar. 

Chesterfield thought they should have had a penalty when O’Shea’s cross appeared to strike a Coventry hand on its way to Ched Evans, but the referee waved calls away. 

After a period of more sustained possession, Kyle Reid jinked inside and laid the ball for Kevin Foley, but his long range strike clipped the foot of Stuart Beavon and drifted wide. 

Another free-kick for the Spireites this time found the head of Sam Hird, but the captain’s powered header was caught low by Burge. 

Stuart Beavon latched onto a loose ball moments from half time and launched it at goal from distance, his shot was powerful but sailed past Fulton’s left post. 

Marcus Tudgay thought he had broken the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half. Thomas’ strike deflected to the striker who found the back of Fulton’s net, but a look to his right showed the official’s flag raised for offside. 

Kyel Reid charged at the Chesterfield defence, the winger feigned to his left and then thrashed it at Fulton, but it flashed past the post. 

Ryan Haynes won the ball deep into Chesterfield territory and dashed between the home side’s back two before fizzling a weak effort wide. 

Some slick interplay from the Coventry midfield carved open the Spireites defence once more and Reid looked to finish it off, but again sent it sailing past the post. 

It took a spectacular effort from the recalled Gardner (77) to finally break the deadlock, the number seven was set up by O’Shea and rifled it into the top right-corner. 

Just over 10 minutes remained as Chesterfield worked to preserve their lead and Fulton spilled an effort from Coventry, but luckily Dion Donohue was there to mop up the leftovers. 

Chesterfield were defending deep into their own half but had a great chance to double the lead after a long-ball from Evans found Dennis. The striker charged forward and passed to Gboly Ariyibi but Coventry recovered and his shot was blocked. 

11 minutes were added onto to the 90 after the injury to Anderson, and Coventry thought they had equalised in the first. Thomas found himself with only the ‘keeper to beat at the back-post but fluffed his half-volley wide. 

The Chesterfield defence were under constant pressure as the match drew deeper into injury time. 

Donohue and O’Neil had both already made vital clearances when a long throw looked to have beaten the defence, however Evatt was there to volley it away for the Spireites and confirm a massive three points. 

Chesterfield: Fulton, Hird (C), Evatt, Gardner, Evans, O'Neil, Nolan, Donohue, Dennis, Anderson (Ariyibi), O'Shea.

Subs: Allinson, Ebanks-Blake, Mitchell, Angel, Maguire, Simons

Coventry: Burge, Willis (C), Rose, Clarke, Reid, Reilly (Stevenson), Beavon, Tudgay, Haynes, Thomas, Foley (Dion Kelly-Evans).

Subs: Gadzhev, Turnbull, Lameiras, Charles-Cook, Devon Kelly-Evans. 

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