Spireites in Seventh Heaven.
Chesterfield cruised to victory against Shrewsbury Town by an astonishing 7-1 scoreline at the Proact Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Lee Novak claimed an impressive hat-trick, with doubles coming for both Jay O’Shea and Rai Simons whilst the away side’s only goal of the game came courtesy of Zak Whitbread during the second period.
Danny Wilson made a total of two alterations ahead of this encounter, as Charlie Raglan and Novak took the places of the injured Ian Evatt and Richard Wood who was recently recalled by Rotherham United.
In the opening moments, Novak fed a through-ball towards the feet of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake who took one touch before firing straight into the arms of Mark Halstead. Ebanks-Blake broke free for a second time and failed to produce a meaningful effort, with Halstead retrieving possession on the slide to prevent an opener.
After evading his marker, Gboly Ariyibi was brought to ground inside the area but the referee opted against awarding a penalty-kick to the Spireites. With 28 minutes on the clock, O’Shea opened the scoring with a stunning first-time strike from the edge of the area that nestled straight into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Waiting on the right-hand side, James Collins picked up possession before crossing towards Shaun Whalley who failed to make an all-important connection near the six-yard line. On 40 minutes, O'Shea doubled his side's lead with a straightforward finish past a flailing Halstead from the penalty spot.
Just before the half-time whistle, Novak added a third for the Spireites with a first-time strike from around 12 yards that beat Halstead all-ends-up.
Immediately after the break, O'Shea aimed to finish past Halstead in a one-on-one situation only for the goalkeeper to produce an impressive save to his left-hand side. On 65 minutes, the away side reduced the deficit through Whitbread’s forceful and instinctive finish from a matter of yards.
With 73 minutes on the clock, Simons fired an unstoppable effort past Halstead despite only being involved in proceedings for just a single minute. Seven minutes later, Junior Brown was awarded his second yellow card of the afternoon and Novak dispatched the ensuing penalty-kick.
Two minutes normal time remained when Simons added his side's sixth of the afternoon with a curled finish that nestled straight into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. As the contest entered its four minutes of additional time, Novak completed his hat-trick and netted his side's seventh of the afternoon after breaking free and finishing past Halstead with ease.