Spireites Pulverise Port Vale.
Chesterfield cruised to a 3-0 victory over Port Vale at the Proact Stadium on #ErnieMossDay, with goals coming courtesy of Armand Gnanduillet, Irish talisman Eoin Doyle from the penalty spot and ‘surprise of the season’ Charlie Raglan.
Spireites boss Paul Cook named an unchanged side from Tuesday’s draw against Scunthorpe in the third round of this year’s FA Cup.
In the opening moments, Mark Marshall advanced down the right-hand side before crossing to the head of Louis Dodds who failed to hit the target. Just 13 minutes had been played when Cook's men took the lead, as Gnanduillet used his towering presence to connect with Romuald Boco’s cross and head past a flailing Chris Neal from a matter of yards.
A vital part of the visitors’ attack, Marshall broke free once again and found Dodds with a driven cross only for the striker’s first touch to bring the move to an abrupt end. Adding extra spice to this contest, Michael Brown lunged straight at the ankles of Gary Roberts and controversially, only ended up with a yellow card.
Sam Clucas advanced from left-back, played a lofted ball towards several fellow members of the attack but Neal had the courage to come forward and pluck the ball from the air and gather possession. On the stroke of half-time, Boco unleashed a volley from just outside the area that a member of the visitors’ defence blocked in its path towards goal.
Immediately after the break, Boco found himself behind the Port Vale back-line and decided to pass across goal rather than try his luck when one-on-one with Neal and as a result gave up possession. Unorthodox from Sam Morsy, as he took up free-kick duties on this particular occasion and fired straight at the four-man wall which eventually cleared any remaining danger.
On the hour-mark, the Spireites were awarded a penalty after Doyle went to ground under a challenge from Freddie Veseli. As expected, the Irishman stepped up and sent Neal the wrong way to continue his usual reliability from the spot and ultimately double his side’s advantage.
Moments after claiming a two-goal lead, Morsy sensed an opportunity to add a third and unleashed a forceful effort that prompted Neal to produce an incredible diving save down low to his left-hand side. In the 70th minute, Chesterfield extended their lead further through Raglan’s bullet header from a corner-kick that Neal was simply powerless to stop.
In the closing stages, the tempo of this contest dropped dramatically with almost a resignation of defeat emanating from the faces of each member of the visiting squad. For the full four minutes of additional time, neither side created any meaningful opportunities and played the game out to the final whistle.