Chesterfield 2 Scunthorpe 0: Clucas brace earns Spireites’ rare FA Cup fourth round spot

Sam Clucas celebrates with Eoin Doyle as he puts Chesterfield into the lead
Sam Clucas celebrates with Eoin Doyle as he puts Chesterfield into the lead
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Two extra time goals from Sam Clucas gave Spireites a two goal extra time win and enable them to enter the fourth round of the FA Cup for only the second time in 60 years. It also ended an unwanted replay hoodoo stretching back 34 years.

Chesterfield went into this replay having reached the fourth round just once in 60 years, the season the club made it to the semi-final in 1996-97 whilst they’d also lost their last 13 replays after drawing FA Cup ties, going back to 1980.

Ironically the last time Spireites played in the Third Round, losing 3-0 at Ipswich Town in 2009 after Droylsden had been booted out for fielding an ineligible player in their 2-1 replay win over Chesterfield, the match referee was Keith Hill, the same man that took charge of this game.

Paul Cook selected an unchanged 11 for the fourth time in a row, meaning it was the same side that battled back from a two goal half-time deficit at Glandford Park last week to earn a second chance; and that saw off Port Vale on Saturday with a performance labeled by Valiants’ manager Rob Page as ‘the best I’ve seen this season.’

Iron notched a terrific 4-1 win at Walsall at the weekend with Jacob Murphy and Tom Hopper making their debuts, but both new signings were ineligible to play in this match as was Spireites’ loan man from the Owls, Mani Dieseruvwe.

Spireites bossed the first 45 but were unable to turn their superiority into goals. Tendayi Darikwa forced Sam Slocombe to stoop low and right to palm away his shot whilst the keeper had to stretch right and high to tip an Eoin Doyle shot away after the Irishman stumbled as he shaped to shoot. A near-post double handed block denied Armand Gnanduillet from the left side of the box as the hosts notched up 62% first half possession.

United only forced two pre-break openings of note, both quick through balls to former Blade Lyle Taylor; the first ball saw Tommy Lee react well and gather just before the striker arrived whilst Taylor fluffed his lines from Paddy Madden’s pass, hitting early and hitting miles too high.

Chesterfield started the second half slower and Madden drilled a low effort as close as United had come but from the hour mark Spireites stepped up again and once again dominated with Charlie Raglan coming close on two occcasions. Spireites were soon in total charge again and looked the only winners as extra time came along.

Clucas rolled the opener at the end of the first period after great work from Doyle and he capped a fine display with a 25-yard corker four minutes from time to set up a Derbyshire derby.

Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee; Darikwa, Hird, Raglan, Clucas; Boco (Jones 90), Morsy, Humphreys (Ryan 81), Roberts; Gnanduillet, Doyle. Subs: Wright, Evatt, O’Shea, Gardner, Talbot.

Goals: Clucas 105,116

Scunthorpe (4-2-3-1): Slocombe, Davey, Boyce, Llera, Williams, Osbourne (Hawkridge 94), Bishop, Nolan (Sparrow HT), McSheffrey (Adelakun 56), Madden, Taylor. Subs: Weaver, Canavan, Wooton, Mosanya.

Ref: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire)

Bookings: Morsy (Chesterfield), Boyce, Nolan (Scunthorpe)

Attendance: 6815

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