Analysis: Spireites secure safety in style

Chesterfield vs Bury - Dan Gardner celebrates his goal with Ollie Banks - Pic By James Williamson
Chesterfield vs Bury - Dan Gardner celebrates his goal with Ollie Banks - Pic By James Williamson

Chesterfield saved their best for last, securing League One safety with a dominant 3-0 win over Bury.

The final home game of the season saw none of the nerves that have blighted recent Proact performances, as the Spireites cut loose.

Wingers Gboly Ariyibi and Jamal Campbell-Ryce joined Lee Novak and Jay O’Shea in showcasing all their attacking flair, allowed to get forward by the rock solid Gary Liddle and Ollie Banks in midfield.

And at the back, Sam Hird marshaled his defensive partners perfectly, no weak links and no wobbles on a day that meant so much.

Danny Wilson’s pre-game pleas for vocal support were met, just shy of 7,000 Spireites fans roaring their men over the line.

The atmosphere was lifted in the opening minutes by a bone jarring challenge by youngster Dion Donohue, leaving Craig Jones hobbling with a prefectly legal 50:50 tackle.

And with Campbell-Ryce and Ariyibi looking dangerous from the off, Bury were backpedalling.

An early Chesterfield penalty claim was denied, a Campbell-Ryce blocked by what looked like a raised arm, and after that almost nothing went the way of the Shakers.

From the minute Jones was booked for jumping on Ariyibi’s back, the Spireites turned the screw.

The opening goal, when it came just before the half hour mark, was no surprise.

Liddle’s run into the box was halted off the ball by a Cian Bolger bodycheck and Christopher Sarginson pointed to the spot.

O’Shea showed nerves of steel to stroke home and put Chesterfield on their way to a result that was never again in doubt.

The Shakers were rocking, Chris Neal keeping it 1-0 with a fine stop from O’Shea and the post denying A Banks thunderbolt.

In first half stoppage time the Proact erupted in a mixture of relief and joy, Novak’s shot from 25 yards deflecting into the bottom corner to take the game away from Bury entirely.

David Flitcroft threw caution to the wind, using up all three replacements at the break, but nothing could stem the tide.

The visitors’ frustration grew, five names going in the referee’s notebook to leave them walking a second half tightrope.

Any life that was left in the Shakers was knocked out of them by replacement Dan Gardner who made an instant impact.

Within 90 seconds of replacing Campbell-Ryce the man who recently returned from a loan spell at Gigg Lane streaked away through the middle, linked up brilliantly with O’Shea and tapped home the third.

Chesterfield simply dominated the remainder, Ariyibi, O’Shea and Novak bringing out the flicks and tricks, Gardner looking like a man out to impress.

He could have added a fourth but saw a close range effort saved by Neal before the Proact rose to celebrate the prospect of League One football next season.


Chesterfield: Lee 7, Talbot 7, Donohue 7, Hird 8, Anderson 8, Ariyibi 8 (Dimaio 90), Campbell-Ryce 8 (Gardner 69), Liddle 8, Banks 8, O’SHEA 8, Novak 8. Not used: Evatt, Slew, Ebanks-Blake, Simons, Chapman.

Bury: Neal 7, Pugh 5, P. Clarke 6, Bolger 6, Jones 5 (Brown 46), Mayor 5, Soares 6, Mellis 6 (O’Sullivan 46), Etuhu 5, Pope 5, Lowe 5. Not used: Lawlor, Rose, Clare, Sedgwick.