Peterborough 5 Chesterfield 2: Spireites slump after leading 2-1

Chesterfield were pushed even deeper into a relegation dogfight after going down 5-2 in a goalfest at Peterborough United.

The Spireites were looking for a third successive league victory for the first time this season as they travelled to London Road.

But a Tom Nichols brace, plus further goals from Gwion Edwards, Paul Taylor and Michael Bostwick did the damage as the hosts ran riot in the second half.

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Ched Evans and Liam O’Neil both struck for Danny Wilson’s side but it was not enough as defeat left the visitors in 23rd place.

Dion Donohue was out with a niggle, whilst Gboly Ariyibi dropped to the bench as Danny Wilson’s lengthy injury list started to finally get shorter.

Jon Nolan began his three-game suspension for his sending off against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup.

Welshman Evans also came in for his first league start since defeat against former club Sheffield United, four league games ago.

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The Spireites were spirited in attack but two lapses at either end of the half saw the spoils shared at the break.

Wilson’s side got off to the worst possible start as Posh took the lead inside the first minute of the game.

Taylor whizzed his way down the left hand side and pulled the ball back for Nichols to net his seventh goal of the season via a deflection.

The visitors were given their just rewards in the 22nd minute as marksman Evans bagged his seventh of an injury-hit campaign so far after cutting inside on the edge of the box.

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And three minutes later Wilson’s men led through O’Neil as he fired in a 30-yard lightning strike into the top corner.

The Spireites’ defence were caught napping on the stroke of the break as Gwion Edwards matched O’Neil’s stunner with his own from 25 yards out, which Ryan Fulton had no chance of stopping.

The promising signs the visitors showed before the interval were short-lived as Posh powered to victory in the second half.

Ten minutes after the resumption Taylor crashed home a volley from outside the area after the defence failed to clear their lines.

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A couple of minutes later Fulton foiled Shaquile Coulthirst’s effort low to his left.

With 25 minutes left Nichols doubled his tally and put the result beyond all reasonable doubt with a smart finish past Fulton.

Inside the last 10 minutes Bostwick bagged the fifth with a daisy-cutter.

Peterborough: McGee, Smith, Hughes, Bostwick, Tafazolli, Edwards (Oduwa, 88), Forrester, Taylor, Da Silva Lopes (Inman 83), Coulthirst (Moncur, 67), Nichols.

Unused subs: Tyler, Santos, Chettle, Binnom-Williams.

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Chesterfield: Fulton, Evatt, O’Neil, Anderson, Maguire (Daley 72), Liddle, Dimaio, Simons (Ariyibi, 67), O’Shea, Beesley (Wilkinson, 73), Evans.

Unused subs: Allinson, Hird, Dennis, Morrison.

Attendance: 5,120.

Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham).