Chesterfield claim vital three points at home to Morecambe.
A first-half header from Jay O’Shea was enough to seal a 1-0 victory over Jim Bentley’s men, as Morecambe never looked like troubling the Chesterfield goal for the whole duration of this contest.
Spireites boss Paul Cook made four changes from Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Mansfield, with Jimmy Ryan, Jay O’Shea, Mason Bennett and Eoin Doyle taking the places of Sam Hird, Ollie Banks, Gary Roberts and Marc Richards.
In the opening moments, the visitors’ Padraig Amond met a cross at the back-post but the striker directed his headed effort straight into the arms of Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee. Doyle broke free of the Morecambe defence, although the Irishman dragged his shot low and disappointingly wide of the post.
With 18 minutes on the clock, the Spireites took the lead courtesy of O’Shea’s looping header after the midfielder peeled away from his marker to meet an inviting cross from Doyle. With the home side in front, there was an immediate drop in tempo and very few chances were created in the time that followed.
On the stroke of half-time, Ritchie Humphreys – making his 700th professional appearance and captain for the night – sent a cross from deep straight over Barry Roche’s crossbar.
After the restart, Bennett fed the ball to Doyle who brought the ball under control before firing straight at Roche from an awkward angle. On 56 minutes, Jack Redshaw replaced Marcus Marshall.
Just past the hour mark, the home side opted to make a double substitution. Roberts replaced Bennett whilst Richards took to the field in place of Doyle. Only moments after making the alterations, the hosts’ appeals for a penalty were turned down by the referee after a supposed hand-ball by a member of the Morecambe defence.
On 68 minutes, Jack Sampson entered proceedings at the expense of Amond. A mere two minutes had passed before the home side made their third and final change, as O’Shea was replaced by Banks.
Kevin Ellison drove towards the Chesterfield goal before unleashing a ferocious effort that sailed narrowly wide of post. Roberts played a short pass back to Sam Morsy, who tried a shot from distance that crashed against the crossbar and out for a goal-kick.
It was announced that there would be three minutes of additional time.
Chesterfield made it through the three minutes of added time without a scare, and will now turn their attentions to the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.