Chesterfield bowed out of the F.A. Cup in the second round after a 3-1 defeat against Southend.
The home side’s early lead after Tendayi Darikwa’s finish at the back-post was cancelled out immediately through Marc Laird’s header. Southend went in front on 17 minutes after Anthony Straker’s header went in off the post.
Passage to the third round was all but guaranteed for the Shrimpers with five minutes left to play, after ex-spireite Kevan Hurst finished smartly past Tommy Lee from the edge of the area.
Spireites boss Paul Cook made one change to the side from the defeat at Newport, with Darikwa taking the place of the suspended Liam Cooper and Sam Hird dropped back into defence.
In the opening moments, the visitors’ Barry Corr directed his header straight into the arms of Lee when he should have scored. The first goal came three minutes in, after a low cross from Gary Roberts was neatly finished by Darikwa.
There was only nine minutes between the first and second goal. Laird put his header into the bottom right-hand corner of the net following a Southend corner.
Due to injury, Ritchie Humphreys replaced Roberts with 16 minutes on the clock. Seconds later, the Shrimpers took the lead. The unmarked Straker headed past Lee to cap off a superb comeback.
For the majority of the first period, Chesterfield created very little and were second to every ball. A low corner found Ollie Banks in the area, but his shot was deflected away from goal.
On the stroke of half-time, the home side were awarded a free-kick 20 yards from goal. Jay O’Shea stepped up to take it, although his effort was always rising over Southend goalkeeper Daniel Bentley’s crossbar.
After the break, the Spireites came out with renewed vigour. Drew Talbot’s headed attempt just clipped the crossbar.
On 64 minutes, Southend’s Mark Phillips replaced the injured Rob Kiernan after a lengthy delay. Four minutes later, Marc Richards took to the field in place of O’Shea. Banks then rifled a shot wide of the post from the edge of the area.
With 15 minutes remaining, Eoin Doyle was introduced for Callum McFadzean. The away side were awarded a penalty soon after, as Armand Gnanduillet was judged to have fouled an opposition player inside the area. Corr took the spot-kick, but Lee was there to pull off a diving save to his left-hand side.
Gnanduillet forced a superb acrobatic save from Bentley with a header, after a lofted pass from Darikwa. On 83 minutes, Conor Clifford was replaced by Adam Thompson.
Against the run of play, Southend got their third. A dazzling run from Straker that beat two Chesterfield defenders led to Hurst recieving the ball and smartly finishing past Lee.
The two-goal cushion took the sting out of this contest, as the Shrimpers gladly ran down the clock closer to full-time. It was then announced that there would be six minutes of additional time.
The last opportunity fell to the substitute Richards, which was reminiscent of last Sunday at Newport, but this time he put the ball high and wide of the post.