Chesterfield extend lead at top of National League after win against Barnet - how the action unfolded

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Chesterfield beat title rivals Barnet 4-2 to go five points clear at the top of the National League.

The Spireites scored four times in the second-half through Armando Dobra, Will Grigg, Michael Jacobs and Joe Quigley in front of a magnificent attendance of 9,667. Nicke Kabamba and Gary Hooper scored two goals for the visitors in seven minutes of added-time, but it was too late.

The victory extends Town’s unbeaten run to 15 in all competitions, including seven successive wins. They go five points clear of second-placed Barnet and they have a game in hand.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Bees, who had only lost twice all season, had actually been the better side in the first-half, hitting the crossbar and having a couple of efforts cleared off the line, but they collapsed after the break as the much-improved Blues ran riot.

Chesterfield beat Barnet 4-2. Picture: Tina Jener.Chesterfield beat Barnet 4-2. Picture: Tina Jener.
Chesterfield beat Barnet 4-2. Picture: Tina Jener.

Paul Cook made two changes from the win against Portsmouth with Mike Jones and Ryan Colclough replacing Darren Oldaker and Jacobs. Quigley was on the bench after recovering from an ankle injury that had kept him out for a month.

Before kick-off, The Last Post was played and a minute’s silence was held for Remembrance Day.

Barnet were the better team in the first-half and they should have been ahead at the break. They appealed for a penalty for handball in the opening minutes when the impressive Idris Kanu hung up a cross to the back post, which was met by the head of Dom Revan, but Branden Horton made the block near his own goal-line..

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chesterfield’s first opportunity came when Ollie Banks broke down the right before crossing low for the lurking Dobra. Daniel Collinge cleared behind for a corner, but nearly found the bottom corner of his own net. From the resulting corner, Banks volleyed towards goal from the edge of the box but it was straight at goalkeeper Laurie Walker.

The Bees, who had imposed themselves really well, responded and Banks was forced to make a last-ditch clearance near his own goal-line before Collinge headed over from a corner.

The Spireites came back, Ash Palmer heading wide from Liam Mandeville’s free-kick delivery, before Tom Naylor’s shot from 18 yards was straight down the throat of Walker. Naylor then went very close from distance, but his shot just swerved away from goal at the last second. It was an attempt that left Naylor and Cook with their hands on their head.

Down the other end, a mistake by Palmer allowed Harry Pritchard in on goal but Grimes got back to get his fellow defender out of jail. The away side were then left shaking their heads in disbelief as Callum Stead hit the crossbar before Palmer then cleared the rebound off the line. And then Adebola Oluwo headed onto the roof of the net from a corner.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Throughout the half there had been some very dubious decisions, for both teams, by referee Matthew Russell, but it remained goalless at the break. Chesterfield would have been relieved to go in level, while Barnet would have been delighted with their performance but kicking themselves at not being in the lead.

And it ended up being a classic game of two halves because Barnet paid the price for their missed chances when Ryan Colclough delivered a low cross from the left and Dobra poked home at the near post on 49 minutes to put the Spireites in front. And then the floodgates opened.

The game had now swung, and the Blues were on top, and they should have been awarded a penalty when Banks was clearly shoved in the back as he went up to head towards goal.

But Chesterfield did double their lead on the hour when Grigg prodded in from close-range after Dobra’s deflected shot fell into his path after Mandeville led a counter-attack. That goal, Grigg’s tenth of the season, sparked wild celebrations in the home end and there were some angry scenes in the away sections.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Substitute Jacobs was denied by the legs of Walker, but just moments later he added a third when he slipped the ball under the away stopper from inside the area after a lovely passing move.

Fellow substitute James Berry almost grabbed a fourth but he was denied by the legs of Walker when one-on-one. But another sub, Quigley, back from injury after a month out, did make it 4-0 when he raced clear and slotted in after Jones hooked the ball into his path.

Kabamba and Hooper pulled two late goals back for the Bees during injury-time, but it was too late.

‘We are sailing’ rang out around the ground in the final stages. And on this wonderful second-half showing, Chesterfield could indeed be sailing back to the Football League come May.

Chesterfield: Tyrer; Mandeville, Palmer, Grimes, Horton; Jones, Naylor; Dobra (Jacobs, 72), Banks, Colclough (Berry, 80); Grigg (Quigley, 79)

Unused subs: Freckleton, Oldaker.