Chesterfield’s second half side put young Foxes to the sword as Evans scores again

Ched Evans holds off a defender (Pic: Craig Lamont)
Ched Evans holds off a defender (Pic: Craig Lamont)
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Chesterfield used their final pre-season friendly of the summer to field two completely different teams, the second of which put a Leicester City XI to the sword.

Danny Wilson made eight changes at the interval with his side 1-0 down to the young Foxes, sending on the likes of Ched Evans, Jay O’Shea and Gboly Ariyibi who were all instrumental in the eventual 3-1 win.

Only goalkeeper Ryan Fulton lasted the distance, Wilson even taking off goalscorers Evans and O’Shea before full-time with Saturday’s season opener at Oxford looming.

By the time he had departed Evans had further enhanced home fans’ belief that he will turn out to be one of the best League One signings this summer.

It was the Welsh striker who cancelled out Liandrew Martis’ first half strike, and Evans could have had a hat-trick before he was replaced.

The second half was full of quick attacking play, livening what was a dull evening up to the break.

Curtis Morrison fashioned the first real chance of the game with a darting run from the right wing into the box, a defender deflecting his shot over the bar.

The Foxes’ pace down almost brought them the opener, Martis escaping the attentions of Dan Gardner and finding Adi Muskwe six yards out, the striker miskicking completely to spurn a glorious chance.

A humdrum opening 25 minutes had only one real moment of eye catching quality and it gave Leicester the lead, Martis skipping away with the ball after Chesterfield lost possession in the middle, the winger thumping a fantastic strike past Ryan Fulton from 22 yards.

The Spireites hadn’t learned their lesson with the ball at their feet in midfield, Martis running clear after another giveaway, Fulton equal to the resulting shot this time.

And for the third time in a 10-minute spell, Martis ran at the Chesterfield defence after the Foxes were gifted possession, winning a corner that was cleared.

No one in the sparsely populated Proact could quite believe that Leicester didn’t take a 2-0 lead before the break, a corner from the right finding Ritchie De Laet unmarked but unable to get a foot on the ball inside the six-yard-box.

Chesterfield finally forged another opportunity of their own in the final minute of the half, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, fed by Curtis Morrison, twisting and turning before his shot was tipped past the post.

Thanks to a glut of changes, Chesterfield immediately looked a more potent outfit.

Laurence Maguire was unlucky to see his back post header from O’Shea’s corner drift just over the top and a clever free-kick gave Evans his first shooting chance, receiving the ball from O’Shea and curling over the top.

He only had to wait a minute for his next opening and he couldn’t miss this one, Paul McGinn whipping in the perfect cross from the right, Evans powering home a header from a couple of yards out.

Leicester finally broke out of their half with an hour gone, Muskwe driving forwards and shooting well wide after shrugging off a challenge.

At the other end O’Shea played in Mitchell and he in turn found Jon Nolan, a defender taking the sting out of his shot completely.

Chesterfield took the lead with a goal similar to their first, this time Derek Daly supplied the cross from the left and Gary Liddle arrived to head into the net.

Evans was desperately unlucky not to add his second with a fierce effort lashed goalwards from 25 yards, the ball dipping and clipping the top of the crossbar.

With 15 minutes remaining Town wrapped things up, Mitchell dancing into the box where he was dragged to the ground, O’Shea coolly stroking the resulting spot-kick high into the middle of the net, pre-season ending on a high note for Chesterfield.

Chesterfield: Fulton, McGinn (Ofoegbu 60), Donohue (Daly 46), Evatt (Maguire 46), Raglan (Graham 60), Gardner (Ariyibi 46), Dimaio (Nolan 46), Humphreys (Liddle 46), Morrison (Mitchell 46), Dennis (O’Shea 46) (German 83), Ebanks-Blake (Evans 46) (Beesley 83). Not used: German, Parkin.

Leicester City XI: Hamer, Pascanu (Miles 67), E. Moore, L. Moore, Wood, De Laet, Rowe (Mitchell), Inler, Lawrence, Muskwe (Kipre 80), Martis (Ndukwu 70). Not used: Iverson.

Referee: Mr Mark Heywood. Assistants: Mr Alix Pashley, Mr Nick Hopton.

Goalscorers: Evans 55, Liddle 63, O’Shea 75; Martis 25