Chesterfield came from two down to beat former Spireites hero Sean Dyche’s Burnley in a top-drawer pre-season game.
On the day when the club confirmed it had accepted a bid, believed to be £1.3 million, from Hull City for left-sider Sam Clucas, Dean Saunders’ side recovered from an early battering to play some delightful football to enthuse their supporters, scoring an 89th-minute winner to end a superb second-half show.
Clucas was replaced alongside Sylvan Ebanks-Blake by Jake Orrell, who turned 18 just a few days ago, and the youngster rewarded his manager’s faith by pulling a goal back after Burnley had scored through Lukas Jutkiewicz and George Boyd, who cost the Clarets well over £5m as a pairing.
After the break, as the Spireites began to pile on the subs, the hosts picked up the pace and one of the replacements, Armand Gnanduillet, levelled with a stunning overhead kick, and the big French born striker’s trickery saw him assist another sub, Byron Harrison, for the late winner.
Many wondered if Harrison, who was sliding in at extremely close range, managed a touch as he searched for his first home goal, but both Saunders and Gnanduillet said he’d been successful in his quest for his first Proact strike.
Saunders made just the one change, Orrell for Clucas, following the 3-1 loss against another side relegated from the Premier last season, Hull, and for the first quarter of the game the Clarets oozed class and hardly allowed the hosts to get involved.
Tommy Lee had to tip a Jutkiewicz shot on to the bar after just ten minutes before Jutkiewicz scored from close range after good work from Boyd who soon had a goalbound effort scrambled off the line by Tendayi Darikwa.
Boyd didn’t have too long to wait for a goal as he stepped through a static defence to round Lee and double the Clarets’ lead.
As a hiding looked a possibility Darikwa, who some sources say could be on his way to Preston North End today, pulled back a pass into the patch of Orrell who calmly guided it home.
Ian Evatt twice went close from a corner routine before his co-defender Sam Hird, was replaced by Charlie Raglan with what was described post-match as a non-serious kick on the calf.
Right on half-time, Burnley threatened as Lee saved from Chesterfield-born ex-Blade Matty Lowton and then Ollie Banks was in the right place to stop a Jutkiewicz effort crossing the line.
Orrell and Dan Gardner were replaced by Gnanduillet and Gboly Ariyibi and immediately the former’s strength and unpredictability and the latter’s pace began to cause Burnley plenty of problems.
Dan Jones shot just wide with his right foot from range before Orrell equalised on 67, deserved reward for a Chesterfield side who then immediately afterwards introduced Mani Dieseruvwe and Ritchie Humphreys, having already brought on Michael Onovwigun.
Gnanduillet then flung himself acrobatically to Darikwa’s ball in, managing to find the target, via the inside of a post, in spectacular overhead bicycle fashion.
Dieseruvwe tried the ruse a few minutes later but couldn’t repeat the success as the young Spireites began to toy somewhat with their loftier rivals and started to look like they were the only side likely to win it.
Morsy, Harrison and Dieseruvwe had chances, Dieseruvwe’s goalbound shot being blocked by the unlucky Harrison who then popped up at full stretch and at close range to get a faint touch to guide Gnanduillet’s left-sided ball in.
It confirmed a deserved victory for Spireites who make the short trip to Ikeston tomorrow and then visit Hartlepool United at the weekend.
Saunders commented: “We sat off them for 20 minutes and allowed them to get their game together and we couldn’t get near them. We went two goals down but then we got on top of them.
“We got a bit of pressure on them and got back in the game and the second half was a great performance from everyone, but I’ll be talking more about the goals we conceded rather than the goals we scored.”
Of Clucas’ departure, he added: “It’s disappointing but we can’t stand in the way of anybody. I expected this sort of thing could happen.
“Having paid £100,000 a year ago, it’s very good business for a League One club. I’ve been shopping in Lidl up to now but now I’m going to be shopping at Marks & Spencer.
“Any player who comes will have to be good to get into that team; the two or three players we’ll now bring in have got to be good.”
Goals: Orrell 25, Gnanduillet 67, Harrison 89 (for Chesterfield); Goals: Jutkiewicz 14, Boyd 22 (for Burnley).
Chesterfield: Lee, Darikwa, Hird (Raglan 39), Evatt, Jones (Humphreys 68), Gardner (Ariyibi 50), Morsy, Banks (Onovwigun 58), O’Shea (Dieseruvwe 68), Orrell (Gnanduillet 50), Ebanks-Blake (Harrison 62).
Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Duff, Keane, Mee, Arfield, Ulvestad, Kightly (Taylor 72), Jones, Boyd, Jutkiewicz (Jackson 85).
Referee: James Adcock (Notts).