Chesterfield lost 3-0 to Scunthorpe United in a match that turned on a single incident after 56 minutes when Dan Jones fouled ex-Spireite Gary McSheffrey in the box.
Referee Referee England awarded a penalty but more significantly sent Jones off. Paddy Madden converted the penalty and soon afterwards McSheffrey hammered in a fine half-volley from outside the box to give Spireites a massive task to get back into the game.
Jay O’Shea, who came closest to scoring in the first half with a deflected shot, hammered a free-kick onto the bar and then saw a shot saved by Luke Daniels as Chesterfield rallied but 12 minutes from time Madden hit home from 18 yards after being teed up by Scott Laird.
Before the penalty the game had been keenly contested and fairly even, though Tommy Lee had to work a little harder than his counterpart, making a couple of decent saves to deny McSheffrey whilst Daniels’ saves ahead of the scoring had been somewhat more regulation stops. Ex Barnsley man Scott Wiseman was fortunate to avoid a red with two bad fouls within a minute with the game goalless and eleven v eleven, Mark Robins removed him from the contest as soon as his side had taken the lead.
Chesterfield were seeking a third win on the trot, which would be a first under Dean Saunders, with Scunthorpe United the visitors.
Mark Robins’ side managed nine points from nine themselves ahead of losing to a last minute goal at leaders Gillingham on Tuesday. Last season these two sides met each other five times with two wins each and a draw, so there’ll be plenty of familiarity when the sides take to the field.
No Ian Evatt for Spireites, the central defender is suspended, so Sam Hird comes in as the logical replacement and he’s the only change to the side that was excellent throughout the 3-0 win over Southend United.
Chesterfield: Lee, Talbot, Hird, Raglan, Jones, Gardner, Morsy (Ariyibi 86), Herd (O’Neil 86), O’Shea, Novak, Ebanks-Blake (Simons 69). Subs: Cairns, Banks, Dieseruvwe, Humphreys.
Scunthorpe: Daniels, Wiseman (Clarke 57), Mirfin, Wallace, Laird, Bishop, King, Rowe, McSheffrey (Williams 71), Madden, Hopper (Lolley 81). Subs: Anyon, McAllister, van Veen, Henderson.
Goals: Madden (pen) 56, 78, McSheffrey 67
Ref: Darren England (Barnsley)
Booked: Morsy (Chesterfield), Wiseman, Clarke, Bishop (Scunthorpe)
Dismissed: Jones (Chesterfield)
Attendance: 6340 (635 from Scunthorpe)