Chesterfield secure a 3-1 victory at Fleetwood in the first-leg of the Northern Area Final in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The away side went in front through Ian Evatt’s first goal since returning to the club, before Sam Morsy doubled the advantage only minutes later with a smart finish on the edge of the hosts’ area.
Fleetwood did pull one goal back before the break, as the home side’s David Ball sent an unstoppable header past Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee. The final goal came mid-way through the second half, as Jimmy Ryan’s sensational effort from range left Scott Davies with no chance of stopping it.
Spireites boss Paul Cook named an unchanged side from Saturday’s 3-1 win at home to Bristol Rovers.
In the opening moments, Fleetwood had the ball in the back of the net courtesy of Alan Goodall’s glancing header only for it to be ruled out for off-side. Seconds had passed before Charlie Taylor was booked for simulation on the edge of the visitors’ area.
Jon Parkin met a Nathan Pond cross from deep but the header went disappointingly wide of the post. Antoni Sarcevic’s ferocious effort sailed wide of Lee’s post, as part of a very bright start to the game from the Cod Army.
Against the run of play, Chesterfield took the lead. A Gary Roberts free-kick with immense swerve found Ian Evatt, who’s slight touch on the ball left Davies stranded with only 21 minutes on the clock. The opening goal was a real blow for the home side, as only three minutes had passed before the Spireites went two goals in front. Davies dropped the ball under a challenge from Ollie Banks and Morsy was there to net the follow-up.
With only seven minutes left to play in the first period, the home side thought they’d pulled a goal back through Parkin’s smart back-heeled finish. However, after consultation with the linesman the referee decided that the goal would not stand. Parkin was awarded a yellow card for such intense protests at the decision.
On the stroke of half-time, Fleetwood grabbed a deserved goal. Ball’s powerful header left Lee helpless to stop it.
After the restart, Taylor unleashed a powerful effort at goal which was held comfortably by Lee. On 52 minutes, Drew Talbot replaced Dan Gardner.
Just past the hour mark, the Spireites got their third and final goal of the night. Jimmy Ryan won the ball in a challenge and rifled the ball from range on the half-volley into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. On 68 minutes, the hosts’ Mikael Mandron replaced Ball.
A lull in proceedings followed after such a frantic contest, with each side’s defence holding firm. On 74 minutes, Stewart Murdoch was replaced by Gareth Evans.
With 14 minutes to play, Marc Richards took to the field in place of Doyle. Only eight minutes had passed before Sam Hird entered proceedings at the expense of Ryan.
In the final seconds of normal time, Lee was booked for wasting time prior to taking a goal-kick.
It was then announced that there would be five minutes of additional time.
However much the Cod Army tried, their efforts to reduce the two-goal deficit failed as the Spireites left Fleetwood with a more than respectable result.