Spireites match report: Barnet 0 Chesterfield 2

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Second half goals from Jay O’Shea and Sam Togwell gave Chesterfield a crucial three points at Underhill.A spirited performance from the Spireites was rewarded with an eighth away win of the season for Paul Cook’s side.

O’Shea opened the scoring just before the hour with a spectacular effort from the edge of the area before Togwell deservedly got himself on the scoresheet with a simple finish from close range.

The win for Chesterfield, coupled with defeats for Exeter and Fleetwood, reignites their hopes of climbing into the League Two play-off picture with four games to go.

Scott Boden, who was recalled early from his loan at Alfreton Town on Thursday, went straight into the first team in replace of the injured Marc Richards.

Danny Whitaker was drafted back in after missing the last two games for Richard Brindley as Paul Cook made two changes to the side that drew 2-2 at home to Port Vale on Easter Monday.

Liam Cooper recovered in time to face the Bees despite limping off in the first half against Vale.

Barnet’s player-manager Edgar Davids looked to dictate play early on but it was the visitors, shooting down hill first half, who came closest to opening the scoring.

Togwell ran on to a loose ball, after O’Shea had lost possession, and unleashed a powerful drive Graham Stack was forced to push around his right hand post.

John Oster threaded a precise ball into the channel for Jake Hyde to cross and Neal Trotman had to be on his toes to block Jon Nurse’s first time effort from six yards.

Ex-Sunderland midfielder, Oster, then fired a shot through a crowd of players that Tommy Lee did well to push away diving to his left, as Barnet began to up the tempo.

Mark Byrne was quick in the challenge and left Drew Talbot in a heap after a full-blooded tackle from both players. Hyde rose unchallenged to meet Oster’s delivery from the resulting corner but Lee collected at the second attempt.

Both Oster, from the left, and Davids, from the right, caused confusion in the Chesterfield box with their set pieces during the first 45 minutes, but neither side could find a breakthrough and went in goalless at the break.

The Dutchman then rolled back the years when he skipped away from a couple of challenges to the delight of the home fans, as his side went in search of the game’s opener early in the second half.

Hyde saw his shot blocked and Tom Flanagan headed wide of the target before Byrne forced Lee into a comfortable save.

Boden turned well and forced a good save from Stack before the Spireites took the lead just before the hour-mark.

Talbot slotted the ball to O’Shea and the Irishman curled a dipping shot into the top corner from the edge of the box to the delight of the travelling support.

Cook responded by replacing Whitaker with Sam Hird, who slotted in just in front of the back four as Chesterfield reverted to a defensive 4-1-4-1.

It was the first goal Barnet had conceded at Underhill in 330 minutes of football and seemed to kick the hosts into gear.

A good interchange through midfield released Byrne, who tried to square the ball across goal, only for Cooper to turn the ball behind for another Barnet corner. Stephens headed wide from Oster’s centre.

Randall and Togwell began to get a hold on the ball and after a flowing move, the latter got on the end of Tendayi Darikwa’s right wing cross to double Chesterfield’s lead.

A couple of late substitutions from Cook saw the game out for the Spireites who leave Underhill full of confidence ahead of next week’s clash with Bradford City.

Bees (4-5-1): Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, Flanagan, Johnson; Nurse (Marsh-Brown 81), Oster, Weston, Byrne (Crawford 81), Davids; Hyde (Beattie 78)

Subs not used: Kuipers; Gambin, N’Toko, Jenkins

Spireites (4-4-1-1): Lee; Talbot, Trotman, Cooper, Townsend; Darikwa, Togwell, Randall, Whitaker (Hird 59); O’Shea; Boden

Subs not used: Barrington; Henshall, Clay, Lester, Wafula

Referee: Stephen Martin

Attendance: 2,574 (323)