MATCH REPORT: Chesterfield 4 Wycombe Wanderers 1

Net gain: Danny Whitaker celebrates his penalty spot goal.
Net gain: Danny Whitaker celebrates his penalty spot goal.
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Dean Morgan returned to Spireites line up and helped produce the spark that lifted his side to a terrific performance.

Deane Smalley, Danny Whitaker, Jack Lester and Craig Davies provided the goals that saw off Chesterfield’s nearest challengers to open up a nine point gap between the two sides. Jon-Paul Pittman squeezed in a consolation alone for Chairboys.

John Sheridan selected a side that was packed full of strikers. Drew Talbot started at right back whilst Smalley and Morgan, played wide. Davies and Lester were selected up top. There were no regular central defenders in the squad!

Spireites attacked from the off with Lester shooting wide from a great position ahead of him being hacked down by Rob Kiernan who was lucky to escape with only a yellow. Dean Holden’s header forced a save from Nikki Bull.

Smalley was fouled on the right of the box, Whitaker delivered a square ball for the man who was impeded to drill home his ninth of 2011.

Whitaker then had to have nerves of steel whilst waiting to take a penalty that saw him equal the club’s all-time seasonal spot kick record. Alan Bennett had bundled Lester over. The Wycombe man escaped a red for fouling the last man. Keeper Bull was carded, for booting the ball out of the Stadium whilst the referee was trying to restore order.

Fully three minutes after the award, Whitaker converted, his eighth success from 12 yards to level the mark set by Walter Harrison in 1951-52 and equalled by Terry Shanahan (74-5) and Bryn Gunn (89-90).

Just 35 seconds after the restart Lester made it three. He jinked his way through a crowd for his 10th of the season. That’s the first time since Spireites’ last promotion in 2001 that three men have reached double figures, Davies and Whitaker already being there.

Stuart Lewis delivered Wycombe’s first effort on target after an hour, at a time when they were down to 10 men after Kiernan had been bundled over the advertising hoardings by Davies, who was booked. The defender was replaced after being returned to the dressing room on a stretcher. Davies had the last laugh, shooting home after an assist by Scott Boden in what was a performance only the wildest optimist must have envisaged after Saturday.