Chesterfield move step closer to promotion with fantastic win against promotion rivals Barnet - how the action unfolded

Chesterfield took a big step towards returning to the Football League after beating promotion rivals Barnet 2-0 to move 23 points clear at the top.
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The Spireites just need 11 more points to confirm their promotion to League Two after six years in the National League.

Barnet and Bromley can now only reach 95 points and Town already have 85 with 11 games remaining.

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Chesterfield fans proudly belted out that they are ‘going up’ and they will be able to officially celebrate their return to the EFL in the next couple of weeks as things stand.

Michael Jacobs gave Chesterfield the lead. Picture: Tina JennerMichael Jacobs gave Chesterfield the lead. Picture: Tina Jenner
Michael Jacobs gave Chesterfield the lead. Picture: Tina Jenner

Michael Jacobs slotted Town in front just before the half-hour mark before substitute Will Grigg notched a second with 10 minutes remaining which is their 100th goal in all competitions.

The victory ends the Blues’ three-match winless run, which is their longest of the season. They have also now surpassed their total points tally for the whole of last season.

Paul Cook made five changes from the draw against Rochdale on Saturday with Ash Palmer, Bailey Clements, Mike Jones, Jacobs and Joe Quigley replacing Tyrone Williams, Branden Horton, Darren Oldaker, Liam Mandeville and Grigg.

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Barnet were without a number of their key players including top goalscorer Nicke Kabamba, who scored a hat-trick against Chesterfield last season.

The first chance of the game went to Town but Jacobs dragged a shot wide of the far post. Down the other end, Harry Tyrer was called into action, saving Zak Brunt’s deflected strike.

The hosts went close to taking the lead on 20 minutes when Harry Pritchard’s looping header smacked the crossbar.

But it was the Blues who went ahead just before the half-hour mark when Jamie Grimes, who had just made a great block, sent Clements on his way down the left with a terrific searching pass. Clements showed fantastic control and composure to then pick out Jacobs with a low cross who stuck it away at the back post.

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Chesterfield then had two big chances to double their lead but Tom Naylor opted to pass rather than shoot when six-yards out and then soon after Quigley scuffed a finish from close-range.

It had been a half which had seen both sides try and turn the opposition with balls down the channels and it was the Spireites who led at half-time.

At the start of the second-half, Naylor led a dangerous counter-attack but the visitors could not take advantage of it.

Just before the hour, Callum Stead headed towards goal from a corner but it was blocked, leaving the Barnet man with his hands on his head. Minutes later, Pritchard volleyed over as the hosts had the better of the territory.

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With 15 minutes remaining, Chesterfield had not created anything clear-cut since the break, but Tyrer had not had to make a meaningful save either.

But Town had some breathing space when they doubled their lead on 80 minutes. Naylor did ever so well to get to the byline and his cross was turned in by substitute Grigg, who almost grabbed another goal moments later but his effort was saved.

Overall, this was a really impressive and deserved win. The champagne will be popping soon for Chesterfield.

Chesterfield: Tyrer; Shecks, Palmer, Grimes, Clements; Jones, Naylor; Jacobs (Mandeville, 76), Banks, Dobra (Berry, 85); Quigley (Grigg, 65).

Unused subs: Williams, Hobson.