Chesterfield twice surrendered the lead to rock bottom Leyton Orient, and the hosts had to rely on a penalty and a bizarre own goal for their two strikes before, in the 11th minute of stoppage time the visitors snatched an unlikely win when Dean Cox pounced on a Tommy Lee error.
Play-off finalists last season who strengthened their squad in the summer, Orient have had four different managers this season with the current supremo Fabio Liverani unable to speak English making team talks and tactic somewhat fraught.
It’s also believed that some of the summer signings are on wages three or four times higher than those of the squad that got them to Wembley last season only to lose on penalties to Rotherham United. One point from the last five games has seen the O’s slip to bottom slot despite the squad containing the likes of Jobi McAnuff. Jay Simpson, Darius Henderson, Dave Mooney and Dean Cox plus several more excellent League One level players.
Paul Cook saw Sam Clucas turn an ankle in training yesterday but he’s come through alright and starts at left back with Daniel Jones moving to the bench alongside Byron Harrison. Armand Gnanduillet has shaken off his ankle problem and he comes back into the side whilst Mark Duffy is given a first start for the club. Wolves loanee Ashley Carter makes the bench for the first time.
A Jay O’Shea penalty put Chesterfield ahead on 19 but that goal lifted the visitors who levelled on 35 when David Mooney poked the ball into an empty net after the home defence erred time and again.
Lee had to punch away a Pritchard overhead kick whilst O’Shea ran into a red shirt cul de sac as he shaped to find an opening as Spireites struggled to find any fluidity. Evatt had to be at his best to rob Mooney as the home side’s game all but collapsed.
The half-time break involved a Tyrannosaurus Rex being on the pitch; it was certainly not toothless and Spireites attack-minded players will do well to note the predatory instinct of the moving model that was advertising a forthcoming Jurassic Park style show due in the town soon.
Lavery hit the second half’s first shot, Cisak gathered comfortably low down and Morsy had a shot blocked as the hosts started better than they’d ended the previous half.
Lee had to head away a long punt up-field and Raglan picked up a knock to his head trying to add yardage to the initial clearance but after treatment from physio Rodger Wylde he continued.
Lavery forced a diving save from the keeper after good work from Darikwa. Dagnall hit high from the O’s first second half shot from inside the D.
Spireites took the lead in bizarre circumstances on 55. O’Shea and Lavery opened the rearguard up and the ball rolled towards Gnanduillet but his running gait was all wrong so he was unable to stab the ball in. However he recovered to gather and whip in a cross that went beyond the far post but O’s full back ELLIOTT OMOZUSI took off and the ball hit his shins to fly back towards his own goal and nestle in the net with keeper Cisak aghast.
Gnanduillet bundled the ball in to the net but he’d clearly fouled Cisak. Bartley came on for Wright.
Duffy’s free-kick found Evatt but his header was cleared as Spireites reacted much better to their second goal than they did for the first. Raglan took another bump on the head but again retook to he field. Gnanduillet got on the end of a Morsy cross but couldn’t do enough at full stretch to beat Cisak.
Hedges replaced Pritchard. Cox wriggled into the box but solid defending was in evidence to snuff out the danger. Duffy received from the chest of Gnanduillet and, from just inside his own half, looked to chip Cisak but the big Australian back pedaled to gather. From his clearance Orient leveled. DAVID MOONEY received, made space and shot low from the edge of the area to beat Lee on 70 minutea,
Morsy had a shot blocked as Spireites had to go again after twice conceding equalisers.
There was a break in play as linesman Clayton was injured and replaced by fourth official Astley. Jones came on for Duffy, Humphreys for Ryan and Harrison for Gnanduillet as Paul Cook looked to find a winning formula in the latter stages of the game.
Batt came on for two goal Mooney. Clarke did extremely well to clear a Harrison cross with blue shirts galore behind him. The O’s defence then did well to block Clucas as the hosts started to wind up the pressure.
Orient won the first corner of the second half on 87 and Clarke forced a great tip over Lee save for another corner that Hedges hit high.
Clucas won a corner in the first of eight additional minutes, Harrison’s header was cleared.
Evatt was carried off with a head injury but he was soon on his feet, clearly dazed, leaving Spireites with ten men for the final few minutes of stoppage time.
Eleven minutes in, Bartley crossed, Lee dropped it and DEAN COX poked the ball home for a real coupon buster.
Chesterfield: Lee, Darikwa, Evatt, Raglan, Clucas, Duffy, Ryan, Morsy, O’Shea, Lavery, Gnanduillet. Subs: Chapman, Jones, Ashley Carter, Humphreys, Harrison, Banks, Dieseruvwe.
Orient: Cisak, Omozusi, Sawyer, Vincelot, Cox, Mooney, Lowry, Clarke, Wright, Pritchard, Dagnall. Subs: Woods, Hedges, Baudry, Lisbie, McAnuff, Batt, Bartley.
Ref: Tim Robinson (Bognor Regis)