Spireites grabbed a dramatic victory over Southend with the winner arriving deep into added time.
Chesterfield’sfirst meaningful attack of the game saw Talbot take on Coker and advance to the byline before he crossed low into the near post when Bentley fumbled and gathered at the second attempt.
Richards tested the pace of Southend’s centre back pairing of Prosser and Thompson, twice getting in behind before he was presented with a sight of goal the third time.
A ball down the inside left channel from Roberts released the striker, who had the beating of his marker before side-stepping the advancing Bentley. Richards, off balance, rather scuffed his effort from a difficult angle and the ball trickled out for a goal kick.
The visitors, however, showed a glimpse of their attacking prowess when White advanced down the right, cut inside Ryan and unleashed a left foot shot that Lee smothered with ease.
Straker then forced the game’s first corner when his right-footed strike from distance was deflected behind by Hird.
A flowing move saw Ryan sweep the ball out wide to Smith who picked out Humphreys in the area to rise unchallenged but his header looped over Bentley’s goal.
The hosts were having joy from the flanks and it was Humphreys’ turn to cross for Roberts, whose acrobatic effort with his back to goal cleared the target.
The forward then had the home faithful applauding his skills when a neat nutmeg of Atkinson brought Chesterfield their first corner of the game with almost 20 minutes on the clock.
Southend continued to break at every opportunity and a deep cross from the left saw Corr head just wide of the target.
But the hosts looked more threatening going forward in the opening half an hour and Morsy almost threaded Richards through only for Coker to clear with a last-ditched slide tackle.
O’Shea thought he’d given the Spireites the lead when his right-footed shot looked destined for the top corner from distance only for Bentley to leap and make an unbelievable save to deny the Irishman.
The Shrimpers responded with their best opportunity of the first period when Eastwood was sent clear but he opted to cut inside on to his favoured right foot rather than strike at goal and Cooper recovered to dispossess the striker at full stretch.
Atkinson saw a volley blocked by a crowd of players after Lee had only half-punched Coker’s inswinging corner under pressure. A fast break from Straker, after he’d dummied his way past Talbot in his own half, presented Clifford with a sight of goal from the edge of the area, but his drive was bravely blocked.
Corr had a free header he sent well wide of the target from Coker’s resulting corner.
Ryan’s eyes lit up when, in space, the ball rolled in his direction but the midfielder’s thunderbolt from fully 30 yards was never troubling Bentley.
The Spireites soon went ahead through the man of the moment, Roberts. The influential forward was sent crashing to the turf when he was clattered by Clifford’s mistimed slide tackle. ROBERTS dusted himself down, composed himself and curled a dipping free-kick over the wall and into the corner of the net.
Clifford was quickly substituted for Hurst who was involved in Southend’s equalising goal.
A long ball forward was flicked on by Hurst into the path of EASTWOOD who drilled a left-footed shot into the bottom corner. Lee got a hand to the ball but couldn’t prevent it from finding the net. The visitors had a shout for a penalty moments later when Straker got the wrong side of Hird only to go to ground with the goal in front of him. The referee waved away their claims.
In this end to end encounter, Roberts was tripped on the edge of Southend’s penalty area. The former Swindon man wrapped his left foot around the ball but Bentley was this time equal to his fierce shot, diving to push the ball away from his right hand post. GNANDUILLET, who replaced O’Shea, rose unchallenged to head home the winner deep into added time from Roberts’ inswinging corner.