Chesterfield beaten by Blade Brooks magic at the Proact

David Brooks gave Chesterfield a '˜look what you could have had' moment with a fine winner at the Proact on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 10:38 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:25 pm
Chris O'Grady of Chesterfield celebrates his first goal during the pre season friendly at the Procact Stadium, Chesterfield. Picture date: July 18th 2017. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

The youngster, who almost joined the Spireites on loan, scored a wonderful individual goal to win the game for the Blades.

But the 2-1 scoreline didn’t reflect how resolute Gary Caldwell’s men were for the vast majority of the friendly.

It took two special finishes to give last season’s League One champions the victory.

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And Town will look back on a couple of chances that came and went begging.

The opening 10 minutes were shaded by the visitors, who earned but were unable to make much of two early corners.

But Town put together a lovely passing move with their first bit of cohesive play, Charlie Wakefield’s delightful through ball for Chris O’Grady the highlight before an offside flag halted the attack.

There was some rust apparent in the performance of both sides initially, clear opportunities few and far between.

Town did fashion a couple of half chances however, Connor Dimaio sending a 25-yard free-kick straight at Simon Moore, who then saved a deflected Delial Brewster effort after Dimaio found the striker.

It certainly wasn’t against the run of play that Chesterfield took a 32nd minute lead because there had been little in it until the goal.

Wakefield played another great through ball that was partially blocked, Brewster managing to get hold of possession in the box and turn it smartly into the path of O’Grady who slotted past Moore from 12 yards out.

United posed a couple of questions of the home defence, nothing too taxing however until a corner dropped onto the head of Jack O’Connell at the back post and he could only nod wide.

Chris Wilder’s men came out in dominant mood after the break and set up camp in the Chesterfield half, but again failed to really hurt the home side.

And it was the Spireites who came closest to the second goal, O’Grady sending a beautiful volley just wide of the post with the outside of his right boot.

Chesterfield should have doubled their advantage and no one in the ground could quite believe they didn’t, when John Fleck’s awful back pass played in replacement Gozie Ugwu and he rounded Moore but could only find the base of the post, with the net gaping.

The Blades had been knocking at the door and not finding a way through for 72 minutes, so O’Connell took it upon himself to bludgeon a way through with a fierce low drive that beat Joe Anyon from distance and levelled the scores.

The intervention of Dion Donohue kept the scoreline at 1-1 when it looked as if Blades sub David Brooks had found the net, his shot goalbound until the left wing-back cleared off the line.

With O’Connell having shown his team-mates the way, a couple tried to follow his example, Brooks curling wide and Nathan Thomas finding the stand behind the goal with a pair of long range efforts.

They weren’t to be denied for much longer, however, and their second goal was something special.

Brooks’ deft touch took him away from Laurence Maguire in his own half and then he hit the afterburners, running all the way to the edge of the Town box where he stroked the ball into the far corner of the net.

Jak McCourt very nearly eclipsed that goal with some magic of his own, rattling the United crossbar from a long way out, Moore well beaten.

That was the last action of a solid run out for Chesterfield, against an opposition the likes of which they are unlikely to encounter in League Two next season.

Chesterfield: Anyon, Wiseman, Evatt, Maguire, Barry (Reed 64), Donohue (Mitchell 90), Hird, Dimaio, Wakefield (McCourt 56), O’Grady (Ugwu 64), Brewster (German 78). Subs: Dorel, McGinn, Smith,Brownell.

Sheffield United: Moore, Stevens (Lafferty 74), Fleck, O’Connell, Basham, Clarke (Brooks 67), Sharp (Lavery 67), Coutts, Freeman, Stearman (JM Wright 74), Carruthers (Thomas 74) . Subs: Slater, Bennett, Graham, JD Wright, Eastwood.

Referee: Mr Craig Pawson. Assistants: Mr Nigel Smith, Mr Paul Thompson.

Goalscorers: O’Grady 32; O’Connell 72, Brooks 85

Attendance: 4,501 (2,317)