chesterfield marched into the FA Cup second round with a six goal treat for home fans. .
fW New boss Paul Cook brought in Liam Cooper on loan from Hull City, his first new signing. Centre half Cooper scored for City’s reserves in their 4-2 win at the Proact on Tuesday and he becomes the first Spireite to make a debut start in an FA Cup tie since Les Hunter back in 1974 in a win over Boston United.
A thinner than normal crowd witnessed a cagey opening by both teams with a Murray long-ranger, palmed away by O’Donnell, the only early effort of note. Two Spireites corners brought no reward as the tempo picked up.
In the 16th minute the home side took the lead. Whitaker fed the ball through for BODEN, who still had plenty to do, but he timed his left-footed lifted shot to perfection to beat Flinders.
Hartlepool began to enjoy the bulk of the possession and delivered in some testing crosses but the threadbare hosts were defending stoutly and, in a rare attack, they doubled their lead.
Talbot picked up on the right and darted into the box to square perfectly for RANDALL to first time the ball home from eight yards in the 29th minute.
The two-goal cushion gave Spireites confidence and some excellent passing, short and long, followed, though Hartlepool continued to look a better side than their league form may have suggested.
Darikwa’s box-edge shot after a great move involving Whitaker and Boden deflected inches wide for a corner, but there was no danger from the set-play.
Clay blocked Noble to concede Pools’ first corner, O’Donnell had to make a flying save from Howard’s header and the second corner was cleared.
Randall and Darikwa just failed to feed on scraps after solid attacks from a resurgent home side who went three up on 42 minutes. From a free-kick on the left of the box, Randall simply passed to CLAY who rifled home low from 12 yards to become the third Spireite to open his season’s scoring account.
Whitaker’s shot took a deflection for a corner and Cooper’s header had to be caught by Flinders. Murray gave the ball away and Whitaker fed Boden, his cross seemed to be handled in the box but only another corner was awarded and it ended with Talbot shooting wide.
Hartley was booked for a foul on Boden and from the right-wing free-kick, Whitaker’s delivery was volleyed home from close range by an unmarked FORBES.
Walton was booked for a foul on Talbot as the 320 visiting fans vented their anger at their own side, who subsequently brought on Collins, Franks and Poole for Baldwin, Murray and Humphreys. Hartlepool, with three up front, saw Howard’s header from a corner blocked and Noble’s tight angled shot was gathered by O’Donnell.
Boden, who took advantage of a Pools’ mistake, shot high as Chesterfield sought a fifth goal which would equal their best ever performance in the FA Cup proper, a 5-0 win over Wath Athletic back in 1925. As it stands, it was the club’s best ever showing against another Football League side.
Lester replaced Boden.
Noble hit high and Cooper took a knock in the process and he played no further part in the action. Westcarr came on. Smith moved to centre half with Darikwa dropping back. With the defence still sorting itself out, Noble teased out a corner that saw SWEENEY head home but with less than a minute played after that consolation goal, Randall fed LESTER and he made a few strides forward before hammering home from the edge of the area via the inside of the post with 12 minutes left.
WESTCARR hit the target after great Whitaker work on 90 minutes.
Injuries, ineligibilities and a suspension had threatened to derail Spireites, but a renewed spirit, some excellent finishing and glimpses of excellent passing football returned to the Proact. The £18,000 prize money will come in handy, but the biggest reward was the return to winning ways, and in some style.