Chesterfield 2 Macclesfield 1: Match Report

NPower League Two 'Chesterfield FC v Macclesfield at the b2net Stadium 'Craig Davies shoots and scores
NPower League Two 'Chesterfield FC v Macclesfield at the b2net Stadium 'Craig Davies shoots and scores
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John Sheridan’s Spireites are on the verge of promotion after a come from-behind win against a stubborn Macclesfield Town side.

John Sheridan’s Spireites are on the verge of promotion after a come from-behind win against a stubborn Macclesfield Town side.

Only goal difference can now prevent the success that’s looked inevitable for several weeks now.

With Shrewsbury Town beating Stockport County, the possibility of promotion being clinched on Saturday was annulled, though the team’s mathematical step-up to League One could come without the Spireites kicking another ball.

Wycombe, who only managed a home draw with Northampton Town, visit play-off chasing Torquay on Good Friday, and if Chairboys fail to win, the Spireites will be up ahead of their trip to Oxford 24 hours later.

Chesterfield’s half-time deficit came courtesy of a Lewis Chalmers penalty. Dean Holden slid in to challenge Emile Sinclair, the Silkman tumbled and the spot-kick was awarded. Chalmers made no mistake.

The home side had struggled to find any meaningful rhythm in the first half but Sheridan’s words at the break seemed to get them into gear.

Jack Lester headed in soon after the re-start only for an offside flag to negate the result of his effort but the visitors, still not assured of their league status for next season, counter-attacked well. Tommy Lee had to make smart interventions to deny Tyrone Barnett and Colin Daniel ahead of Spireites’ leveller on the hour.

Craig Davies dispossessed Sam Wedgbury on the left side. The striker was forced wide as he darted into the box but he checked, turned inside his three markers and hit an angled right-footer into the far top corner to register a fine 24th goal of the season.

With home fans on all four sides of the ground, the stadium was bouncing and former Macc man Danny Whitaker saw a 20 -yarder rattle the bar. The same player hit the target soon after to nick the win. Deane Smalley played a pass to Drew Talbot, who’d been crossing in dangerously all afternoon. His ball in was punched by Portuguese born Jose Veiga, but the distance achieved was poor, allowing Whitaker to pounce from the edge of the six yard box despite Shaun Brisley’s best efforts to block on the line.

For the first time, Macclesfield had to attack in numbers and defender Tony Diagne hit the post from a corner routine but after that close call the Spireites looked the most likely next scorers with Davies and Lester both going close.

The Spireite’s 15th home win of the campaign was watched by more than 8,000 home fans, Macc’s travelling contingent was just 142. That’s the first time for 30 years that a league game has been watched by as many Chesterfield supporters, indicative of just how good a season and how successful a move it’s been for Sheridan’s side.

The manager said: “I’m sure 95% of people are saying ‘it’s in the bag’. People have even texted me saying we’re up.”

The likelihood is that promotion will be clinched before the Easter Monday home game with Championship rivals Bury, so it looks inevitable that such an accolade will be earned away from the Spireites’ home ground yet again. You have to go back to 1936 to find a home match that’s brought about promotion for any Chesterfield team.

Chesterfield: Lee 7; Talbot 8, Holden 6, Mattis 6, Griffiths 7; Smalley 6, Allott 7, Whitaker 7, Morgan 6; Lester 6 (Niven 89), Davies 7. Subs (not used): Redmond, Breckin, Bowery, Boden, Morris, Djilali.

Macclesfield: Veiga 6; Reid 7, Brown 6 (Sinclair 34, 7), Brisley 7, Diagne 6; Chalmers 6 (Bolland 74), Draper 6 (Mukendi 83), Bencherif 8, Wedgbury 6, Daniel 7; Barnett 7. Subs (not used): Cudworth, Sappleton, Hamshaw, Roberts.

Goals: Davies 60, Whitaker 76 (Chesterfield); Chalmers (pen) 45+2 (Macclesfield).

Referee: Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire).

Bookings: Lester, Mattis (Chesterfield); Sinclair (Macclesfield).

Attendance: 8,206.