Chesterfield vs Notts County. Sky Bet League Two.
Sunday 25 March 2018 16:18, UK
Chesterfield boosted their Sky Bet League Two survival hopes with a convincing 3-1 victory over promotion-chasing Notts County in Sunday's local derby.
A first-half performance which defied the League Two table saw 23rd-placed Chesterfield go 2-0 up thanks to goals from Sid Nelson (16) and Zavon Hines (39).
No side in the top four divisions have conceded more second-half goals than Chesterfield, and County ensured for a nervy finish when Daniel Jones' free-kick from out wide bounced into the far corner (85).
However, in the eighth of nine stoppage-time minutes, Kristian Dennis put the result beyond doubt from the penalty spot, with the victory leaving Chesterfield just three points behind Grimsby with two games in hand. County, meanwhile, remain four points off the automatic promotion spots in fourth.
Chesterfield: Ramsdale (6), Barry (6), Whitmore (6), Nelson (7), Talbot (7), Hines (7), Weir (6), Reed (7), Kellett (8), Dennis (7), Brown (7)
Subs: McCourt (n/a), Smith (n/a), Kay (n/a)
Notts County: Collin (6), Tootle (5), Duffy (5), Brisley (6), Dickinson (6), Hawkridge (5), Hewitt (6), Noble (5), Grant (6), Stead (5), Ameobi (5)
Subs: Alessandra (6), Virtue (6), Jones (6)
Man of the match: Andy Kellett
County started poorly at the Proact Stadium, though they did come close to breaking the deadlock when an Elliott Hewitt header looped onto the top of the bar.
Chesterfield soon took the lead through Nelson, with the defender seeing the ball bounce off his chest and into the net after Andy Kellett's corner evaded Drew Talbot.
Moments after Hewitt sent a header wide from six yards out, Chesterfield doubled their advantage through Hines, who fired into the bottom corner after latching onto a loose ball in the box.
Chesterfield made two changes with Louis Reed and Zavon Hines replacing George Smith and Josh Kay. County's only change saw Shaun Brisley come in for Ben Hall, who is away on international duty with Northern Ireland U21s.
Chesterfield continued to dominate in the second half, with Hines volleying into the side-netting before Alex Whitmore sent a header narrowly wide.
County rarely threatened, but they found themselves back in the game with five minutes of normal time remaining when Jones' free-kick avoided everyone and bounced into the net.
A number of injuries led to a staggering nine minutes of stoppage time, and it was Chesterfield who ultimately stretched their advantage with Dennis sending goalkeeper Adam Collin the wrong way after Matt Tootle brought down Kellett.
An assist for Chesterfield's opener only begins to tell the story of Kellett's contribution on Sunday. The winger was a constant threat for the hosts, putting in a number of dangerous deliveries while going close himself with a couple of attempts in the second half.
Kellett then earned the penalty which wrapped up the victory, and that was followed by a 99th-minute substitution, with the 24-year-old earning a much-deserved standing ovation from the home crowd.
Chesterfield boss Jack Lester: "I thought the performance was excellent. We moved the ball really well and caused them problems all afternoon.
"It was important we got a good start, we wanted it to flow quickly and we did that. I thought we could have hung on a bit better but after they scored we looked more likely to get a third."
Notts County boss Kevin Nolan: "Not much [went right]. Just disappointed because we've worked so hard and they haven't showcased what they're about.
"We can't expect to play at those levels and win games. Chesterfield were fighting and scrapping for everything and we didn't match them today. They were the better side, I've got no complaints other than the fact we didn't turn up."
Chesterfield head to fellow strugglers Port Vale on Good Friday for a 3pm kick-off, while County are in action at the same time at home to Wycombe, who are also vying for promotion.