Chesterfield match verdict and reaction: Spireites 1 Oldham Athletic 2

Disappointment for Tommy Lee. Pictures: James Williamson
Disappointment for Tommy Lee. Pictures: James Williamson

Put in context, this defeat for Chesterfield should be seen as little more than a stroke of bad luck.

A bizarre late goal gave Oldham Athletic a 2-1 win, despite them trailing to a Sylvan Ebanks-Blake goal at half-time.

A minute's silence for the victims of the Paris terror attacks

A minute's silence for the victims of the Paris terror attacks

Both Latics goals came from long-range shots that Tommy Lee failed to hold.

But on another day, without monsoon conditions, Lee might well have held both strikes and Spireites could have celebrated a 1-0 win.

On this day, however, it wasn’t just the awful conditions providing perspective.

The match was preceded by a minute of silence for the victims of Friday’s unspeakable atrocities in Paris.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake scores

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake scores

Both sets of fans then rose to applaud the life of former Chesterfield keeper Marton Fulop in the 22nd minute, just days after the Hungarian died from cancer.

And, in distressing scenes, a Latics fan fell ill and was stretchered out of the ground into an ambulance.

With such sombre reminders that football is but a game, it’s unlikely that anyone left the Proact feeling too devastated by the result.

Especially when it was decided by a freak Danny Philliskirk goal in the 87th minute.

It was a scenario no-one could have forseen as the players escaped the torrential rain at half-time.

Chesterfield went in with their noses deservedly in front.

The opener came after 34 fairly turgid first-half minutes, albeit peppered with moments of promise predominantly through the men in blue.

Dan Gardner and Dan Jones were linking up well on the left flank, and it was no surprise that they combined to set up a goal.

Gardner’s clever delayed pass released Jones into acres of space, he whipped in a dangerous cross and, after the ball had ricocheted off a couple of players, Ebanks-Blake rifled it high into the net.

Prior to that, there wasn’t an awful lot to get excited about, the game’s half-chances all falling to Chesterfield.

The goal was the last meaningful action before the break, save for a scuffed 30-yard free-kick from Oldham’s Joseph Mills that drew jeers from the home fans behind the net.

David Dunn’s Latics emerged early for the second half, and almost immediately set about the game with more purpose, Dominic Poleon increasingly influential.

The Spireites, in stark contrast, failed to show any of their first-half creativity and didn’t retain possession.

For all their improvement, it wasn’t until the 65th minute that Oldham brought a save worth talking about from Lee, Carl Winchester driving straight at him.

The game needed a spark, and a change for the Latics did the trick - substitute Giorgio Rasulo shooting at goal two minutes after his introduction, Lee saving well but not holding as Poleon swept home the rebound.

Ebanks-Blake could have grabbed a second, but blasted high over the bar when a free-kick fell to him, and Poleon drove across the face of goal at the other end.

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The Proact has seen plenty of late drama this season, most of it in favour of the visiting sides, and this time it was Oldham who benefited.

With three minutes left, Philliskirk’s long-range shot slipped under Lee, hit the post and then the keeper’s back before rolling into the net to win the game for the Latics.

Boss Dean Saunders, however, absolved an apologetic Lee of any blame.

“The goalkeeping mistake at the end from Tommy - he’s got us so many points this season, so I’m not going to criticise him - it was just a routine save, straight at him and I think it squirms through his legs, because of the weather.

“The game slipped through our fingers. l’ll put it down to the conditions. The rain spoiled the game.”

Chesterfield: Lee 6, Talbot 6, Jones 7, Evatt 6, Wood 7, Gardner 7 (Simons 79), Morsy 6, Herd 6, O’Shea 6, Ebanks-Blake 7, Novak 6. Not used: Banks, Ariyibi, O’Neil, Dieseruvwe, Hird, Raglan.

Oldham Athletic: Coleman 6, Mills 6, Dieng 6, Wilson 6, Kelly 7, Poleon 7, Philliskirk 7, Winchester 7 (Fulton 69), Wilson 6, Yeates 6, Higdon 6 (Rasulo 69). Not used: Brown, Vassell, Eckersley, Fuller, Renshaw.

Attendance: 6,178.