CHESTERFIELD’S winning run came to an end at unbeaten table-toppers Charlton Athletic as fuming Spireites manager John Sheridan was sent to the stands,.
Visiting The Valley for the first time in almost 31 years and watched by League One’s biggest crowd of the season to date, Sheridan’s men were two down at the break after being second best in the opening 45. Former Barnsley man Paul Hayes and home skipper Johnnie Jackson were on target.
The visitors rallied in the second half. They should have had a penalty when Rhoys Wiggins clearly handled Alex Mendy’s cross in the box.
That decision, or lack of one, incensed Sheridan. His side’s second concession came when Drew Talbot was adjudged to have handled a cross just outside the box and Dale Stephens’ rolled-in free-kick was left footed home by Jackson from 12 yards.
Referee Scott’s inconsistency of decision led to the Chesterfield manager arguing, and he had every right to, but he argued inappropriately and was subsequently sent to the stands for the third time in his Spireites career.
His next punishment will no doubt reflect that previous record.
Sheridan said: “It was a joke decision. He gave a free-kick against Talbot on the other side of the pitch and ours was an absolute blatant penalty.
“The linesman was 10 yards away but didn’t have the bottle, the referee didn’t see it, so I asked the fourth official ‘how’s that not a penalty?’
“Obviously I said it in a way I shouldn’t have said it.
“But it was a blatant penalty and a joke decision, a joke.”
That moment, with 37 minutes remaining, was a massive one but the Spireites did win a penalty later on in proceedings.
Leon Clarke darted into the box only to be upended by another ex-Owl, Michael Morrision.
The referee had no alternative other than to award a spo- kick but, for Chesterfield, it wasn’t as simple as that.
The fouled player, a scorer in his opening three Spireites games, grabbed the ball and placed it on the spot. Regular 12-yard expert Danny Whitaker, with 10 out of 10 for the club up to this point, was telling the loanee that he was the man. Skipper Talbot intervened, Whitaker got the job and duly obliged.
Charlton though were just too good and halted the comeback.
With Chesterfield pushing everyone up in time added on, Charlton broke clear and Scott Wagstaff crossed from the right for Bradley Wright-Phillips to head home.
Charlton: Hamer 6; Solly 6, Taylor 7, Morrison 6, Wiggins 7; Wagstaff 6 (Hughes 90+4), Stephens 7, Jackson 8, Hollands 7; Hayes 6 (Kermorgant 80), Wright-Phillips 7.
Chesterfield: Fleming 6; Talbot 6, Ford 7, Grounds 6, Smith 5; Mendy 5, Allott 7, Johnson 6 (Morgan 81), Whitaker 7; Clarke 7, Westcarr 6 (Boden 88).
Bookings: Taylor 86 simulation (Charlton); Talbot foul 85 (Chesterfield).