CHESTERFIELD ended the season with a cracking 30-yard goal from Mark Allott - the midfielder’s’ first strike since November 2009 - but the 90-odd minutes before that showed exactly the reasons they’v been relegated.
Ten home defeats and 81 goals conceded show the statistical reasons for the drop. The manner of the goals conceded against a Brentford side that, whatever the result, were going to finish ninth, summed up the weaknesses of the rearguard.
Brentford’s opener came from a Sam Saunders free-kick way out on the left. Big defender Leon Legge jumped early for the ball and his actions persuaded Spireites centre-half Josh Thompson to match his actions. As the ball floated in, it may have taken a slight deflection off the Bees man but the final touch in was off Thompson’s head for an own goal.
Uwe Rosler’s Londoners, a tidy, passing side, doubled their lead when Toumani Diagouraga nicked the ball just inside the Chesterfield half after some home possession. He went on a route-one run, skipping by Liam Ridehalgh before feeding Saunders to his right.
The provider of the first goal then doubled his assist tally for the afternoon to pull it back for the hard-working Diagouraga to fire home from just inside the box.
Chesterfield created plenty of chances, particularly after the break, but their profligacy in front of goal that’s haunted them throughout the campaign was again in evidence.
Sub Scott Boden, whose replacement of Mark Randall prompted the first volley of ‘Sheridan Out’ shouts, placed an angled shot that hit the post full on.
The ball ricocheted out for Franck Moussa, 18 yards from target, and his rising shot pulled a deserved goal back.
An equaliser looked more than likely but hope of any reward was extinguished 10 minutes from time. Jake Reeves delivered a corner for Clayton Donaldson, a target of Sheridan’s last summer, and he headed powerfully home.
The goal prompted mass exits from the home stands and those that chose to leave early missed Allott’s cracker in the third minute of added time.
One exit that had been played out earlier was that of long-serving chairman Barrie Hubbard. In the hot-seat on and off since 1983, Hubbard was presented to both sets of supporters before kick-off and he received a good hand from the supporters, comfortably housed now in the stadium that will be his lasting legacy.
Sheridan’s said: “It’s been very disappointing on our part, ending the season being relegated, I never expected it.
“I expected us to stay in the league, do okay and then push on next season and improve even more. I’ll reflect on things, look at everything we did wrong and try and do a lot better.”
Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee 6, Darikwa 7, Thompson 5 (Clay 66, 6), Ridehalgh 6, Talbot 6, Randall 7 (Boden 55, 6), Moussa 8, Allott 6, Mendy 5 (Lowry 46, 5), Westcarr 5, Bowery 7. Subs (not used): Fleming, Niven.
Brentford (4-4-2): Moore 7, Logan 6, Legge 8, Dean 6, Balkestein 6, Forrester 6 (Morrison 63, 6), Douglas 7, Diagouraga 7, Bidwell 7 (Thompson 89), Saunders 7 (Reeves 78), Donaldson 6. Subs (not used): McGinn, Norris.
Goals: Moussa 69, Allott 90+3 (Chesterfield); Thompson og 11, Diagouraga 59, Donaldson 80 (Brentford).
Bookings: Darikwa, Thompson (Chesterfield); Diagouraga (Brentford)