Chesterfield 2 Barnet 1: Robbie Weir celebrates birthday with late winner as Spireites move off bottom of League Two
Chesterfield finally have lift off and can now begin to set their sights on a much loftier perch in League Two.
A 2-1 win over Barnet took Jack Lester’s men off the bottom of the table for the first time in his tenure and made it six unbeaten.
An improvement in the form of a number of teams at the foot of the division has meant the Spireites have really had to fight to escape the drop zone.
That fight was evidenced in stoppage time at the Proact when Ian Evatt found Robbie Weir with a delightful pass and the Ulsterman finished beautifully to grab a winner on his 29th birthday.
It was, in Lester’s words, the ‘best moment of quality’ in the match and worthy of three points.
What came before that late goal wasn’t pretty.
It was not the best performance of Lester’s short time as boss, but perhaps the most significant result.
The fact that they came back from conceding an early goal – John Akinde’s 11th minute shot, slammed past debutant keeper Cameron Dawson after ghosting away from two defenders – shows the improvement in mental strength. After the game Weir admitted it was a game they would have lost handily a few months ago.
Now, they’re a different prospect altogether and as Weir alluded to in his post-match interview, they’re looking much, much higher up the table.
Although the first half wasn’t exactly action packed, Town had chances.
Joe Rowley fired over after a flowing move and Matt Briggs, on as a substitute for the injured Andy Kellett, saw an effort blocked.
Briggs himself was replaced after the hour mark in a swap that changed the game – Chris O’Grady’s cross deflected over his own keeper by Charlie Clough.
Then came wild celebrations in front of a delighted Kop as for the first time in a long time, the late goal went in the right net for Town.
Chesterfield: Dawson 6, Barry 7 (Wiseman 74), Binnom-Williams 6, Evatt 8, Hird 7; Rowley 6, Kellett 6 (Briggs 31 4) (O’Grady 59), Weir 6, McCourt 7, Reed 8; Dennis 7. Not used: Parkin, Dimaio, De Girolamo, Mitchell.
Barnet: Stephens 6, H. Taylor 6 (Fonguck 58), Blackman 6, Clough 5, Santos 6; Vilhete 5 (Coulthirst 61), Campbell-Ryce 5, J. Taylor 6, Watson 6, Sweeney 5 (Akinola 69); Akinde. Not used: Ross, Nelson, Coulthirst, Tutonda, Nicholls.