Match Report: Hartlepool United v Chesterfield
2nd August 2015
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Spireites Defeat Hartlepool United in Final Pre-season Friendly.

Chesterfield sealed a 1-0 victory against Hartlepool United at Victoria Park in their final pre-season fixture of 2015, as club captain Sam Morsy grabbed the only goal of the game during the second 45 minutes with an impressive finish from close range.  

In the opening moments, a neat through ball made its way towards the feet of Rakish Bingham in a more than inviting position but the forward’s forceful effort from close range was blocked magnificently on the six-yard line by Ian Evatt. Drew Talbot picked up possession on the right-hand side before firing a driven cross into the penalty area, only for Adam Bartlett to advance from his line and punch the ball to safety.

Another Talbot cross from the same area found the head of Dan Gardner, who flicked the ball towards Sylvan Ebanks-Blake at the far-post, although the striker failed to get an adequate connection and the opposing goalkeeper claimed possession of the ball. Once again, the ball fell kindly for Ebanks-Blake who tried his luck with an attempted volley that sailed straight into the palms of a resolute Bartlett.

Nicky Featherstone anticipated Talbot’s headed pass towards Tommy Lee and intercepted only for the midfielder’s first touch to let him down which in the end enabled Lee to claim on the slide with his hands. As the obvious go-to man in the Chesterfield team, Ebanks-Blake controlled a pass with his chest before turning and unleashing a low effort that forced a strong one-handed save from Bartlett.

Just before the half-time whistle, Billy Paynter squandered a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after the striker directed a rebounded effort straight into the stands from a matter of yards.

Immediately after the break, Featherstone advanced into the area and fired towards goal from an awkward angle, with half-time substitute Charlie Raglan located on the line to save a goal for his side. Carl Magnay received a short pass on the edge of the Spireites’ area and fired his effort waywardly wide of the post when expected to at least force a save from Lee.

Jay O’Shea then took matters into his own hands with an individual run that culminated in an underwhelming strike from around 20 yards that eventually bounced out of play for a goal-kick. With just 15 minutes left to play, the Spireites took the lead through Morsy’s low finish past Bartlett from close range after the midfielder found himself in a one-on-one scenario following a well-spotted Ebanks-Blake back-heel.

A headed clearance by a member of the hosts’ defence fell kindly to Daniel Jones in an advanced position, but the defender failed to force a save from Bartlett and watched his first-time strike sail straight into the stands. In the closing stages, Armand Gnanduillet broke free of the defence and crossed towards Byron Harrison, who failed to connect on the six-yard line as the Spireites ended their pre-season programme with a victory. 

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