Spireites registered their first win over Scunthorpe since 2001 and came from behind to win 4-1 for the first time since 2000.
However it wasn’t a 90 minutes to remember as all of the meaningful action took place in the second half after a first period that didn’t spawn a shot on target until the 42nd minute.
Russ Wilcox’s Iron took the lead just 30 seconds after the re-start but all that goal did was to stir the home side into action.
As a team, Chesterfield stepped up a gear, whilst Irishman Eoin Doyle went through the full range of the gearbox, as within less than half an hour of Paddy Madden’s opening effort, the striker had seen a penalty hit the bar ahead of him notching his first hat-trick in England, his third a successful spot kick.
With United throwing men forwards for fun, the hosts notched up a late fourth on the break, Sam Morsy the scorer, to round off a terrific final 45.
Ahead of the kick-off there was a resounding minute’s applause to remember defender Gerry Sears who’d passed away aged 79 two days before the game. With 412 league appearances between 1953 and 1968, the Arkwright Town one-club left-back stands in 8th spot in Spireites all-time appearance list.
Paul Cook, with an embarrassment of riches in his squad with several injuries cleared and new signings Sam Clucas and Georg Margreitter debuting, must have been devastated when, early on, talisman Gary Roberts limped off with a recurrence of a hamstring problem he picked up at Port Vale two weeks previous.
Any initial worry was soon extinguished as Villa loanee Daniel Johnson came on, to be honest he was unlucky not to have started, and the 21 year old went on to run the show.
He was involved in the initial penalty, bursting into the box and taking a tumble after a clip from Miguel Llera who, just to confirm the award, handled the ball as well.
Johnson’s cross in rebounded to Clucas to cross a second ball into the box for Doyle to equalise, the Jamaican born midfielder then passed a perfect ball for Spireites’ second goal and matched that with a pass for Morsy’s late effort.
If he doesn’t start at Preston tomorrow, it’ll be the surprise of the season.
Many would have crumbled after hammering the bar from 12 yards from the 51st minute penalty, but Doyle this season is made from sterner stuff. His crisp, first time left foot finish for the equaliser was a great example of a poachers’ goal whilst his second was about his running off the ball and communication.
With Clucas, free on the left, looking the obvious pass for Johnson, Doyle screamed for the ball to be cut to the right, a higher risk strategy, but the delivery was as perfect as the run and call as Spireites took the lead as a result; a coach’s dream goal.
Doyle completed his hat-trick when he ran into the box, chased by Niall Canavan, whose arm struck the striker who fell to the ground, rushed to grab the ball and this time powered it beyond Bobby Olejnik to ensure he’d be able to claim it on the final whistle.
With the points all but guaranteed, United threw men forwards and a fourth always looked likely and what a beauty it was.
Morsy, just inside his own half, swept the ball left to Johnson and he kept motoring on to enable the ball to be returned to him to finish in style, his first goal of an impressive personal season so far.
Goals are what are needed from Morsy to complete his game, but when he does get into scoring positions, his finishing is good.
Clucas showed up well on his debut, as did Margreitter despite a couple of errors in an error strewn first half, Cook again seems to have recruited well.
Preston will undoubtedly prove to be a more resilient opponent tomorrow despite their first league loss of the season at Walsall.
Chesterfield (4-2-3-1): Lee 6; Darikwa 6, Evatt 8, Margreitter 7, Jones 6; Morsy 7, Ryan 7; Boco 6, Roberts 6 (Johnson 22, 8), Clucas 7 (Gnanduillet 82); Doyle 9 (Ariyibi 90). Subs: Chapman, Raglan, O’Shea, Banks
Scunthorpe (4-4-2): Olejnik 6; O’Neill 6, Llera 5, Canavan 6, Dawson 6 (Myrie-Williams 77); Williams 5, Sparrow 6 (Kee 82), McAllister 8, Adelakun 7 (Taylor 70, 5); McSheffrey 7, Madden 7. Subs: Weaver, Hawkridge, Boyce, Sutton
Ref: Graham Salisbury (Preston)