MATCH REPORT: Chesterfield 0 Charlton Athletic 4

The race is on: Spireites' Jack Lester sprints away from Charlton's Chris Solly.                  Picture: Steve ellis
The race is on: Spireites' Jack Lester sprints away from Charlton's Chris Solly. Picture: Steve ellis
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Three goals in 11 minutes after the break added on to a killer blow just before half-time kept John Sheridan’s Spireites firmly rooted at the foot of the league. Saturday’s home game with out of form Tranmere Rovers now becomes a must-win contest.

With a goalless first half looking inevitable, Charlton nicked the lead at a key time. Danny Green’s shot from the right of the box took a deflection off Liam Ridehalgh and hit the underside of the bar. It may have crossed the line on landing but Bradley Wright-Phillips was on hand to tap the loose ball in to claim the goal.

Wright-Phillips doubled the lead seconds after a huge Chesterfield penalty shout with what looked an offside goal and two minutes later Johnnie Jackson put the leaders well on their way to equalling a club record 12th away win and continuing their unbeaten start to 2012.

A Neal Trotman own goal with Wright-Phillips poised to get there killed off the hosts, whose heads had clearly dropped.

Spireites had made four changes to the side that lost 1-0 at Notts County whilst the league leaders were unchanged following their 2-0 home win over Stevenage. That meant Leon Clarke was on the bench.

Wright-Phillips shimmied clear in the box early on but, having rounded Tommy Lee, he tripped himself up and a gilt edged opening disappeared. Yann Kermorgant headed wide from a Jackson corner as the hosts struggled to get into the game though Trotman did see a header blocked from a right wing corner. Lee made a terrific diving save to deny Kermorgant from a header as Charlton continued to boss the game, looking very comfortable on the ball.

Bowery shot at Ben Hamer in a quick Spireites break and Craig Westcarr fired wide as the hosts started to enjoy a little more of the ball and Addicks’ opener came at a time when Chesterfield’s rearguard looked solid.

Early in the second half Lester turned Michael Morrison and looked to be chopped down but the referee wasn’t impressed and what looked a cast-iron penalty was waved on. Moments later Charlton extended their lead with what looked a very offside goal, a passage of play that shows the difference between top and bottom and the luck that goes with the territory.

Two minutes later Jackson ended the contest sweeping the ball in from inside the box after a Dale Stephens pass. Charlton’s total dominance continued when Wright-Phillips was lurking as a Green ball came in only for home skipper Trotman to divert it beyond his own keeper.

Bowery headed against the bar and had a shot blocked late on confirming it just wasn’t Chesterfield’s day.

Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee 7, Thompson 6, Ford 7, Trotman 6, Ridehalgh 6, Westcarr 5 (Mendy 62, 6), Davis 7, Allott 6, Ajose 5, Bowery 7, Lester 6 (Whitaker 66, 6). Subs (not used): Fleming, Smith, Boden.

Charlton (4-4-2): Hamer 6, Solly 6, Wiggins 6, Taylor 6, Morrison 6 (Cort 68, 6), Green 8, Hollands 7, Stephens 7, Jackson 7 (Haynes 78), Wright-Phillips 7, Kermorgant 7 (Clarke 68, 6). Subs (not used): Sullivan, Russell.

Goals: Wright-Phillips 42, 56, Jackson 58, Trotman (og) 67

Referee: Colin Webster (Tyne & Wear)

Attendance: 6,405