Rowe's double keeps Spireites' play-off hopes alive
Chesterfield came from behind to beat in-form Dagenham & Redbridge 2-1 in a crucial clash at the sold-out Technique Stadium on Saturday. It leaves the Spireites with just a trip to FC Halifax Town on Saturday with both sides hoping to secure a top seven berth, although a win for Eastleigh at Altrincham on Tuesday night would see them move Chesterfield back out of the top seven ahead of the weekend's games.
Boss James Rowe made three changes to his starting line-up. Curtis Weston, Gavin Gunning and Joel Taylor returned to the side. Chesterfield started on the front foot and threatened from a few early corners. Will Evans’ powerful header was cleared just in front of the line by Paul McCallum. Two minutes later Evans was the danger man again when his header from the back post was tipped over by Elliot Justham. Chesterfield were caught out on the counter attack after a misplaced pass by Laurence Maguire was intercepted. Liam Gordon caused havoc down the left before slicing an effort wide of goal.
In the 28th minute Taylor’s teasing cross to the back post found George Carline who could only direct his header into the side netting. The visitors took the lead a minute later against the run of play. Saidou Khan caused problems down the middle but it was Gordon who slotted home to give Dagenham the lead. The Spirietes looked to respond almost instantly through Taylor who’s powerful strike was kept of by the leg of Justham. However, the Technique Stadium erupted in the 38th minute when Rowe fired past the Daggers’ keeper to put Chesterfield back on level terms. The attack was sparked when Jack Clarke nicked the ball just inside the Dagenham half and found Maguire who whipped the ball into the goalscorer. The visitors made a change at the break as top scorer McCallum made way for Scott Wilson.
In the 68th minute Chesterfield were presented with a golden chance to take the lead. Taylor was put through on goal by Rowe but the wing-back rifled his shot over the crossbar. Daryll McMahon’s side were reduced to ten men in the 79th minute when Joey Jones was handed a second yellow card. And four minutes later Chesterfield were awarded a penalty after Callum Reynolds handled the ball in the box. The away side tried every trick in the book to put the Spireites off and after a few minutes the unfazed Rowe stepped up and sent Justham the wrong way. Chesterfield then held on to end Dagenham & Redbridge’s eight game unbeaten run, securing a huge three points. Chesterfield: Montgomery; Evans, Gunning (C), Maguire; Carline, Weston (McCourt 65), Oyeleke, Taylor; Clarke (Rowley 57), Mandeville (Whelan 87); Rowe. Unused Substitutes: Tyson, Yussuf. Attendance: 2,950