Chesterfield cruise to a convincing 4-1 victory at Cheltenham.
Dan Gardner opened the scoring with a smart finish from just inside the area, before Eoin Doyle put his side two in front after firing the ball past Scott Brown from close range.
A wonderful effort from Ollie Banks that left Brown with no chance of stopping it put yet even more daylight between the two teams. The visitors’ fourth goal came courtesy of a glancing header from Liam Cooper, following a driven corner-kick from Gary Roberts.
The home side did grab a consolation through a Byron Harrison header, although the Robins were powerless to alter the outcome of this game.
Spireites boss Paul Cook made two changes from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Wycombe, with Banks and Gardner taking the places of both Sam Hird and Jay O’Shea.
In the first few moments, Terry Gornell cut inside and fired a low effort at goal that was held comfortably by Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee. The visitors’ Gardner attempted a speculative shot from distance that sailed high and wide of the crossbar.
On the counter-attack, the Spireites took the lead. Gardner met a Roberts cross on the half-volley and rifled the ball past Brown with only 25 minutes on the clock. Seconds had passed before the away side doubled their advantage. Doyle latched onto a through-ball from Banks and the Irishman fired the ball over a hapless Brown and into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Banks got in on the act with a superb curling effort from the edge of the area that completely stunned the Robins. Unbelievably, Cooper lost his marker and met a driven corner-kick from the enigmatic Roberts before directing the ball magnificently past Brown to net his side’s fourth goal in the space of seven minutes.
On the stroke of half-time, Ashley Vincent’s effort at goal from an awkward angle was tame and trickled dismally wide of the post.
After the restart, Jermaine McGlashan lost his marker and fired a rasping effort into the side netting. McGlashan was involved yet again, although the ex-Aldershot winger couldn’t convert after going one-on-one with Lee. On 55 minutes, the visitors’ Armand Gnanduillet replaced Banks.
Moments after the substitution, the home side pulled a goal back to reduce the deficit to three after Byron Harrison met a corner-kick with a powerful header at the front-post. On 70 minutes, Hird took to the field in place of Gardner.
Sam Morsy tested the Cheltenham goalkeeper with a ferocious effort from the edge of the area that was superbly palmed behind for a corner-kick. Vincent met a lofted pass from McGlashan on the right-hand side, but the striker was to be denied by a magnificent diving save from Lee.
With 12 minutes of normal time left to play, Cheltenham made two alterations. Zack Kotwica replaced Vincent, whilst Jamie Cureton entered proceedings at the expense of Harrison.
Gornell squandered a glorious opportunity to net a second for the home side, after the striker met a lofted cross and shot disappointingly wide of the post from close range. On 86 minutes, either side opted to make a change. The visitors’ Jimmy Ryan was replaced by Sam Togwell and Jason Taylor took to the field in place of Sam Deering.
It was then announced that there would be three minutes of additional time.
For the duration of time added on, neither side managed to create an opportunity as the Spireites claimed maximum points from this impressive away display.