CHESTERFIELD will take a hard earned lead to Oldham Athletic after tonight’s 2-1 win in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy northern area final first leg.
Goals from Scott Boden and Danny Whitaker gave them the advantage in a night of drama at the B2net.
The second leg in north Manchester is on Monday, January 30 - and it could be a classic for travelling Spireites fans.
After tonight’s win, some were singing ‘Que Sera Sera’ - with Wembley now only 90 minutes away.
In League fare, Chesterfield, three points adrift at the bottom of their division, and are most people’s bet to make a quick return to the fourth flight, so a Wembley visit would be a much-needed tonic for their supporters.
Oldham, in comparative safety in 17th position in the same division, were hammered 5-1 at Liverpool this month in the FA Cup, so were tonight looking for a boost of their own, in the JP Trophy. Athletic, though, were without a win in their previous nine away games.
The opening skirmishes saw James Tarkowski head over and Danny Whitaker drive wide of the left-hand post but neither side could stamp their authority on the game.
Scott Boden thought he had a chance but his header from close range also sailed wide of the left-hand upright
Boden fancied his chances with a long shot but his efforts were covered by Polish goalie Alex Cisak.
Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Shefki Kuqi was a headache at the other end for the Latics but the half ended goalless.
The second session was a different matter entirely.
The half was only three minutes old when 22-year-old striker Boden scored from inside the box to the bottom left corner, after spade work from on-loan full-back James Hurst.
Oldham then had a quick chance to get level.
Josh Thompson fouled Kuqi unfairly and gave away a penalty, but the Kosovan veteran couldn’t convert the spot kick.
Striker Robbie Simpson put the matter right for the visitors when he equalised at 57;22.
But another penalty despatched down the middle by Whitaker put the home side back in the driving seat, six minutes later. The pen was awarded after Tarkowski lunged into Jack Lester.
It was a frantic period with Hurst having to clear off his own line.
Midfielder Tom Adeyemi was the architect of much of Oldham’s offensive threat as they attempted to find a way back.
Chesterfield: Lee, Hurst, Thompson, Ford, Robertson, Whitaker, Davis, Juan, Talbot, Boden, Lester.
Subs: Fleming, Mendy, Allott, Smith, Bowery.
Cisak, Lee, Mvoto, Tarkowski, Parker, Wesolowski, Adeyemi, Scapuzzi, Taylor, Simpson, Kuqi. Subs: Mellor, Smith, Black, Morais. Bouzanis.