Swindon 0 Chesterfield 1: Super sub Mitchell grabs vital win in added time
Supeer sub Reece Mitchell grabbed Chesterfield a dramatic stoppage-time winner at Swindon Town.
Mitchell’s late, late goal handed the struggling Spireites their first win at the County Ground since way back in 1984.
More importantly, it was Gary Caldwell’s men who took home the points in a real six-pointer at the bottom of the Sky Bet League One table.
The visitors were penned in their own half for much of the encounter, but Mitchell came up with the goods when it mattered most to end the Spireites seven-game winless run.
The gap between themselves and safety looked to be 10 points, but the victory gives the squad some hope with just eight points between Chesterfield and Oldham Athletic.
Caldwell made three changes for the pivotal six-pointer down the bottom of the Sky Bet League One table.
The Spireites had a some extra time off for arguably their biggest game of the season after their game at Walsall in midweek was called off.
David Faupala’s exclusion was enforced through injury as both Reece Mitchell and Dan Gardner were dropped to the bench, with Tom Anderson, Dion Donohue and Osman Kakay coming in.
In the opposition’s ranks, head coach Luke Williams omitted four influential loanees after back-to-back 3-1 victories over Coventry City and Gillingham respectively.
The Robins were full of confidence after those two huge wins in their fight for survival.
Both sides were jostling for position in a half of very few chances at the County Ground.
Robins’ frontman Luke Norris had a couple of early chances as he put two efforts wide of Thorsten Stuckmann’s goal.
Nathan Thompson hit a volley over the bar for the hosts, before Anton Rodgers could only strike a well-positioned free-kick into the stands.
Every time the Spireites tried to create something in the hosts’ half the resolute Robins’ defence snaffled the danger before it occurred.
The visitors continued to be penned into their own half early in the second period.
Rodgers fired a shot way over the bar in what was the only real chance of the opening 15 minutes after the restart.
Just after the hour Stuckmann superbly kept out James Brophy as the hosts upped the pace.
Substitute Nicky Ajose missed the chance of a third goal in as many games as he headed over minutes later.
The Spireites’ defence continued to work hard late on to deny the rampant Robins.
With virtually the last kick of the game substitutes Ched Evans and Mitchell combined as the latter slammed home from inside the box to spark scenes of jubilation on the visitors’ bench.
Swindon: Vigouroux, Barry, Thompson, Branco, Ormone-Ottewill, Gladwin (Goddard, 45), Rodgers (Thomas, 81), Ince, Brophy, Obika, Norris (Stewart, 79).
Unused subs: Henry, Starkey, Conroy, Jones.
Chesterfield: Stuckmann, Anderson, Evatt, Donohue, Hird, Kakay, Grimshaw, Martinez, Jones (Gardner, 86), Dennis (Evans, 70), Ebanks-Blake (Mitchell, 80).
Unused subs: Fulton, El-Fitouri, Humphreys, Simons.
Referee: Chris Sarginson (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 6,691 (182).