Chesterfield come from behind to seal victory at Hartlepool.
Eoin Doyle had the final say in this contest, as his superb effort at the beginning of the second period sealed victory after Liam Cooper cancelled out the opening goal from the hosts’ Luke James in the first-half.
Spireites boss Paul Cook opted to make four changes from last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Newport, with Nathan Smith, Sam Hird, Dan Gardner and Marc Richards replacing Ritchie Humphreys, Jimmy Ryan, Gary Roberts and Jay O’Shea.
In the opening moments, Sam Morsy tried his luck from range but the ball just went wide of the post. Jack Compton fired over the crossbar from close range, following good inter-play from the home side.
Gardner drove forward and attempted a cross that cannoned off the crossbar and behind for a goal-kick. With 24 minutes on the clock, Hartlepool took the lead after James broke free of the visitors’ defence and calmly finished past Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee.
A mere six minutes had passed before the scores were levelled, courtesy of Cooper’s quick reactions from a corner-kick to stab the ball past Andy Rafferty. Chesterfield’s Smith tried his luck with a curling effort from the left-hand side that sailed narrowly wide of the post, as the away side looked the side in the ascendancy.
On the stroke of half-time, Gardner fed the ball through to Daniel Kearns who’s reactions let him down and the midfielder ultimately lost possession.
Only three minutes had been played in the second period before the Spireites took the lead, as Doyle’s curling effort – that many assumed was a cross – evaded Rafferty in the Hartlepool goal. Doyle was involved once again, although on this occasion the Irishman volleyed wide of the post from six yards.
Just before the hour mark, Hartlepool’s record appearance holder and current Chesterfield player Humphreys entered proceedings at the expense of Kearns. The away side made a very bright start to this half, and as a result maintained full control for the majority of time that followed.
Armand Gnanduillet latched onto a through-ball from Doyle in the latter stages of normal time, before firing straight at Rafferty who saved comfortably. The home side failed to trouble Lee in the full four minutes of added time, as the Spireites left Victoria Park with all three points and their title chances firmly back on track.