Chesterfield come back from a goal down to win 3-1 at Sixfields.
The opening goal came courtesy of the penalty spot, after Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee committed a late foul on Hallam Hope. Only nine minutes had passed before Chesterfield’s Dan Gardner, who was making his full debut for the club, fired the ball past Matt Duke from an awkward angle.
The away side led for the first time eight minutes into the second half, as a chipped shot from Roberts looped into the back of the net. All three points were secured with only three minutes left to play, after substitute Armand Gnanduillet calmly finished after going one-on-one with Duke.
The first glimpse of an opportunity was a driven cross from Gardner that just evaded Ritchie Humphreys at the back-post. Hope was brought down by Lee and the referee subsequently awarded a penalty. Darren Carter stepped up and calmly converted to give the Cobblers a valuable lead on 15 minutes.
Gardner received the ball on the edge of the hosts’ area and fired the ball into the roof of the net from an impossible angle to cancel out the home side’s early lead within minutes.
Extremely heavy rain, along with thunder and lightning caused certain areas of the field to slow down the movement of the ball. After a lively start that consisted of two goals, very few chances came about for either side in the lead up to half-time.
A quick inspection of the pitch took place at the break and the referee decided that the second half would go ahead.
After the restart, Carter tried his luck with a shot from range that was comfortably held by Lee. The away side took the lead with 53 minutes on the clock, after Gary Roberts sent the ball over Duke and his defenders following a defensive mix-up.
Gardner was shown a yellow card for an infringement on Joe Widdowson only moments after his side had gone in front. On 63 minutes, the visitors’ Ollie Banks was replaced by Gnanduillet, whilst Northampton made two changes at once. Ian Morris replaced James Hurst and Roy O’Donovan took to the field in place of Carter.
A large spell of Chesterfield pressure ensued, although the away side failed to muster up a clear shot at goal. Roberts attempted a speculative effort from range only for the ball to sail disappointingly over the crossbar.
Either side made another alteration, with Northampton’s JJ Hooper replacing Gary Deegan and Jay O’Shea entering proceedings at the expense of Gardner.
With only five minutes of normal time left to play, Tendayi Darikwa was booked for kicking the ball away in frustration. Seconds later, Sam Hird replaced Eoin Doyle.
A defence-splitting header from Ian Evatt released Gnanduillet, who calmly finished passed Duke to put the result beyond any doubt.
It was then announced that there would be three minutes of additional time.
For the duration of time added on, there wasn’t one chance to speak of as the Spireites claimed maximum points from this fixture.