REPORT FROM CHESTERFIELD SITE
IT'S ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SPIT!
The Stags went home with the points after a late, late winner. Ebdon had given us the lead from the spot but the turning point was the dismissal of ex-Stag Shayne Bradley, reportedly for spitting at an opponent.
Neither side siezed an early initiative. Hurst had a shot easily saved after two minutes and The Spireites were denied a penalty on five after the ball was handled on the corner of the penalty box. A free kick outside was given but nothing came of that.
Curtis went into the book on 12 – his third yellow in successive games – for a foul on Ebdon. Lawrence had a shot held on 18 and the Spireites' best move of the game thus far saw Payne play a 1-2 with Brandon before sending a left foot shot narrowly wide from 20 yards. Pilkington was forced to make a fine save after Ebdon and Hurst worked a shooting chance on 28, and Chesterfield went ahead on 37. A Howson cross was clearly handled by Gadsby and EBDON stepped up to tuck the spot kick away. The lead lasted only four minutes, though, before Disley equalised, carrying the ball into the box before shooting past Williams.
Chesterfield started the second half brightly, with Hurst looking to find Ebdon but just missing out, and Booty shooting just over from 25 yards. A Croden cross after 50 minutes was missed by a statuesque White but the ball took a defelction on its way over. Gadsby knocked the ball back for Day, who put an easy chance just wide. Reeves worked the ball to Hurst on 51 but the ball wouldn't come down for him and a Mansfield man was able to get in and clear.
The Spireites made a double substitution on 66 minutes. Rushbury replaced Booty and Shayne Bradley came on for Reeves. Bradley lasted only three minutes or so before being sent off, reportedly for spitting at an opponent as they waited for a Chesterfield free-kick. Up to this point, Chesterfield had enjoyed some sort of superiority, overall, but after that Hurst was left to plough a lonely furrow up front, relying on Brandon to get forward to support whenever he could. Soon after the sending off Disley went in two-footed on Ebdon and was booked, and White was booked for a clumsy foul on Howson. A Lawrence cross hit the back post and came out as the player wheeled away to celebrate a goal, and agility in the box from Rushbury nearly played Ebdon in. Hurst ran through to pick up the ball after a powerful Edwards tackle had sent it spinning forward, but he was closed down. With the game in the fifth minute of the four that were added on a Mansfield cross from the left was not dealt with by the defence, who had all moved towards the near post. This left Lawrence unmarked to tuck in the winner.
Until the sending-off, Chesterfield were the most likely winners. After that, neither side looked to have enough to make a killer blow. Still, The numerically-inferior Spireites should have been safe enough, since The Stags' forwards looked too lightweight for this division. The addition of Curtis to their midfield has allowed Disley, Lawrence and Corden to get forward with more purpose, though, and that proved to be enough here. Curtis should have walked after a reckless challenge left O'Hare in a heap – whether intentional or not a reckless challenge should earn a yellow, and that would have been his second of the day. But the replacement ref, who replaced the bloke who replaced the man in the programme, was inconsistent. Bradley will learn, one supposes, but that's no consolation for a defeat that was as unnecessary as it was keenly felt.
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