Chesterfield extend lead at top to 19 points after win against 10-man Eastleigh - report
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James Berry put the Spireites in front with his second goal in as many games before former Town striker Paul McCallum, who is the division’s top scorer, was sent off before half-time after receiving two quick-fire bookings.
Chris Maguire scored a penalty with the last kick of the game to pull a goal back for the home side.
This victory, combined with Bromley’s defeat, means Chesterfield extend their lead at the top and are surely now heading back to the Football League.
Paul Cook named an unchanged line-up for the first time since the middle of September. But there were two changes on the bench with Ash Palmer and Jeff King coming in. Branden Horton and Mike Jones missed out, as did injured pair Miguel Freckleton and Ryan Colclough.
Chesterfield controlled the opening stages and got into some dangerous areas but their final ball let them down.
Despite the Spireites’ dominance it was Eastleigh who should have taken the lead after Ryheem Sheckleford was caught on the ball but Harry Tyrer made a good save to deny Scott Quigley.
Moments later, the hosts had another chance but McCallum’s header was straight at Tyrer.
Berry curled over a first-time effort from 20 yards and then Eastleigh appealed for a penalty when Quigley claimed his heels were clipped by Jamie Grimes but referee Ryan Atkins was unmoved.
The action continued as Grimes made a decent block from Enzio Boldewijn, while down the other end Michael Jacobs struck over the bar and then a heavy touch from Tom Naylor denied him a chance to pull the trigger in the box
The Spireites’ final pass or cross had been lacking until Grigg slipped in Berry who finished high into the net on his left foot despite the angle being against him. That was his second goal in as many games.
Before the half ended McCallum received two quick-fire yellows - one for dissent and one for a foul on Naylor - and referee Atkins gave him his marching orders.
Chesterfield are the last team you want to be a man down against and at the start of the second-half Eastleigh were chasing shadows, with Naylor forcing Joe McDonnell into a save before Berry again went close with a curling strike.
With 20 minutes remaining, the Spireites continued to control possession, but were struggling to create anything clear-cut. In an attempt to get a second goal, Ollie Banks and Armando Dobra were brought on for Jacobs and Berry, and they both got assists.
Grimes and Dobra went close to doubling Town’s lead, but the hosts remained in the game going into the last 10 minutes.
But the match was put to bed with five minutes remaining when Dobra found Mandeville and he drilled home from inside the box after some patient play. And less than a minute later Banks squared for Grigg to tap in from close-range.
Maguire scored a late penalty after Naylor was judged to have made a foul in the area but it did not matter in the end.
CHESTERFIELD: Tyrer: Sheckleford, Williams, Grimes, Clements; Oldaker, Naylor; Mandeville, Jacobs (Banks, 72), Berry (Dobra, 72); Grigg (Quigley, 86)