Two goals late in the first half gave Chesterfield a platform to go on and beat the section’s best home team and leading scorers, Gillingham, 2-1 the final score.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake bundled in his 10th goal of the season from Gboly Ariyibi’s cross from the right before a stunning long range shot from Lee Novak, his 13th of the season and 8th in 9, gave Danny Wilson’s men some breathing space, and Spireites needed it.
Gillingham, who lost leading scorer Bradley Dack to injury before the scoring started, dominated territory after the break. Tommy Lee had to make one stunning save from a close range Dominic Samuel header and he racked up plenty of regulation shots to keep his side ahead, though Rory Donnelly should have levelled things up, heading over from a gilt-edged position just six yards out.
Novak and Declan John went close to easing the nerves in rare breaks from Chesterfield, but it’ll be the defensive qualities from the visitors that will be talked about by the supporters on the long journey back North.
Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Ehmer, El-Abd, Chicksen (Garmston HT), Osadebe, Wright, A.Morris, Dack (Williams 32), Samuel (Norris 63), Donnelly. Subs (not used): G.Morris, Hessenthaler, Oldaker, List.
Goal: Osadebe 81
Chesterfield: Lee, Talbot, Anderson, Hird, John, O’Neil, Dimaio, Banks (O’Shea 84), Ariyibi, Novak, Ebanks-Blake (Donohue 67). Subs (not used): Chapman, Humphreys, Gardner, Simons, Slew.
Goals: Ebanks-Blake 37, Novak 45+3
Ref: Kevin Johnson (Somerset)
Booked: Dimaio (Chesterfield), Ehmer, Jackson (Gillingham)