Chesterfield went out of the FA Cup after a home defeat to Southend.
On a bitterly cold December day, Southend were first to threaten when Straker beat Talbot in the air at the back post and sent the ball back across goal to Corr, whose header was easily held by Lee.
It was a warning of things to come for Chesterfield , who responded instantly and took the lead with their first meaningful attack of the game.
It was easy enough for the Spireites too, as a route one ball was flicked on from Gnanduillet into the path of Roberts. The winger exchanged passes with O’Shea and whipped in an inviting centre towards the back post that DARIKWA, on his return to the side, tapped in without breaking stride.
Straker had already demonstrated his aerial threat and showed he wasn’t too bad on the deck either when he knocked the ball past Evatt and ran round the other side, only for the defender to block his run and pick up a booking for his troubles.
Another long ball gave Gnanduillet sight of goal. The ball sat up nicely for the Ivorian, who clearly fancied his chances, but his left-footed volley went a long way wide of Bentley’s goal.
Southend grew into the game and enjoyed a lot of possession in the midfield. The visitors drew level when LAIRD attacked Coker’s in-swinging corner and headed the ball down past the attempts of Lee.
Roberts looked eager to stamp his authority on the game and was central to most attacks. His afternoon was cut short when he seemed to fall awkwardly before the visitors took the lead.
Hurst was lively for Southend and looked to beat his man at every turn. It was from his cross to the back post which saw STRAKER rise highest to head the ball into the bottom corner, as Chesterfield stood and watched.
Banks was doing his best to get Spireites going again and an acrobatic ball across goal was asking to be tapped in, but there were no takers. He had an effort that was deflected over before O’Shea fired a free kick well over the bar.
McFadzean went to ground under the attention of two visiting players but the referee remained unmoved as Southend went into the break 2-1 up.
Early in the second half, Ryan drove the ball across goal towards Gnanduillet who was just inches away from making a connection inside the six yard box.
Talbot stole a yard on his man from O’Shea’s corner and sent a header which flashed against the bar on its way over Bentley’s goal, as Chesterfield made a bright start after the interval.
The hosts pinned Southend into their own half for long spells. The visitors seemed happy to soak up the pressure and, as so often in recent weeks at the Proact Stadium, looked to slow things down at every opportunity.
O’Shea’s free kick delivery from the right wing was met first by Banks before Hird sent a looping header towards goal that Bentley tipped over.
Richards was introduced in place of O’Shea as manager Cook opted for two in attack for the last 20 minutes.
A driving run from midfield saw Banks go close to equalising when he turned neatly and fired a powerful effort towards the top corner that missed by a whisker. Southend should have made the game safe when they were awarded a penalty after Corr went to ground under close attention from Hird. Corr stepped up but Lee was equal to it, diving low to his left to keep Chesterfield’s hopes alive.
It served to inspire the hosts who put together a flowing move that saw Darikwa cross to the back post for Gnanduillet.
The striker powered a header back across goal that Bentley pushed out acrobatically. And with five minutes to go, former Chesterfield man, HURST settled the cup tie after a fantastic break down the left by Straker who left a handful of blue shirts in his wake.
He slotted the ball inside to Laird, who in turn found Hurst, who shifted the ball on to his left foot to bury the ball past Lee into the far corner.
The board was raised to show a further six minutes of added time to be played.
Richards showed good strength to hold off a couple of challenges before firing over from inside the area but Spireites went out in the second round once again.