Morgan penalty sends Owls crashing

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Chesterfield 1, Sheffield Wednesday 0

A 79th minute penalty confidently swept home by Dean Morgan saw relegation-threatened Chesterfield defeat promotion-chasing Sheffield Wednesday.

It was a tremendous result for John Sheridan’s men against probably the ‘biggest’ club in League One and kept afloat their hopes of avoiding the drop.

The derby clash, which kicked off at lunchtime on Saturday, was a keenly fought game with few clear-cut chances until John Bostock brought down Nicky Ajose as he accelerated into the box.

Morgan - who came on as a substitute just before half time to replace the injured Gregor Robertson - did the business from the spot with a low right-foot shot which beat keeper Stephen Bywater and flew into the corner of the net.

The Owls have aspirations of automatic promotion but this result was their fourth straight defeat.

For Chesterfield the three points were a just reward for as never-say-die attitude when moved them a step closer to League One survival.

Wednesday, who defeated Chesterfield 3-1 at Hillsborough in October, are a side built on size and strength and one of their tactics appears to be to bully sides into submission.

Their no-nonsense approach worked initially as they came close three times inside the first 15 minutes.

But keeper Tommy Lee, the man of the match, was magnificent as was the defence marshalled by skipper Neal Trotman as the battling Blues weathered the storm.

Chesterfield began to push forward and neat work by Jack Lester set up Liam Ridehalgh on the half hour.

He had stormed up the left flank and he connected from 20 yards out with a great shot which Bywater did well to tip over the bar at full stretch.

Lester was again the creator seven minutes later when he found Nicky Ajose in the danger area.

The young striker from Peterborough should perhaps have shot first time but he switched the ball to his left foot before his effort fizzed wide of the far post.

If Wednesday had generally been on the front foot in the first half, the tide turned after the break.

Chesterfield became the dominant force and Drew Talbot, a former S6 employee, would have been unhappy to see his far-post effort saved following a Ridehalgh free kick.

Morgan had an opportunity charged down but he made no mistake when the penalty was awarded.

There were one or two close calls at either end as the clock ticked down but Chesterfield’s stalwart defending answered every question Wednesday asked.

Chesterfield: Lee, Trotman, Robertson (Morgan 45), Thompson, Ford, Ridehalgh, Allott, Davis, Ajose, Lester (Westcarr 84), Talbot. Subs not used: Fleming, Whitaker, Bowery.

Sheffield Wednesday: Bywater, Buxton, Batth, R Jones, Semedo, R Johnson, Prutton, Lines (Morrison 66), J Johnson (Bostock 55), O’Grady (Madine 54), Lowe. Subs not used: Weaver, Llera.

Referee: Nigel Miller (County Durham).

Attendance: 9,279 (2,802 from Sheffield).