Magnificent Chesterfield cause big FA Cup upset against Portsmouth - how the action unfolded

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Chesterfield produced a magnificent performance to deservedly dump unbeaten League One leaders Portsmouth out of the FA Cup after a 1-0 win.

Tom Naylor headed the winner in the first-half against his old club in front of a crowd of more than 8,300 on what turned out to be a memorable and special day.

Pompey’s last defeat in the league came back in March - 26 games ago - which highlights how much of an impressive victory this was for Town against the 2008 winners of this famous competition.

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And nobody could argue that the Spireites did not deserve it. In fact, the scoreline should have been much bigger. They were totally dominant in the second-half, restricting Portsmouth to just one chance.

Chesterfield celebrate after Tom Naylor's goal. Picture: Tina Jenner.Chesterfield celebrate after Tom Naylor's goal. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Chesterfield celebrate after Tom Naylor's goal. Picture: Tina Jenner.

The roar at full-time was defeaning and filled with pure joy. Chesterfield now go into the hat for the second round draw - which takes place this afternoon - and they bank themselves £41,000 in prize money.

The Spireites have had some tough days in recent years, but this was a terrific one, and it is another sign that they are on their way back.

Paul Cook, who led Portsmouth to the League Two title in 2017, was back on the touchline after serving a four-match touchline ban. He opted to make five changes from the league win at Kidderminster Harriers last weekend. Naylor and Michael Jacobs started against their old club.

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Pompey boss John Mousinho showed that he was not taking the Spireites lightly by naming an unchanged line-up from their last league game which was a thrilling comeback win against Reading.

Chesterfield set their stall out within the first 10 seconds when Will Grigg blocked goalkeeper Will Norris’ clearance and forced him into panicking and kicking the ball into touch.

It was a fast-paced start and the visitors had their first sight of goal when Paddy Lane took aim but his shot was deflected behind for a corner. Down the other end, Ollie Banks had the ball in the net but the offside flag went up long before he lifted the ball over Norris.

The Spireites’ bright start continued, Banks forcing Norris into a parried save, after Grigg barged Regan Poole off the ball. The Pompey defender fell awkwardly and he had to come off, replaced by Sean Raggett.

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And it was in-form Banks, with four goals in his last three games, who went close again when his curling strike from the edge of the area went narrowly wide.

Portsmouth settled into the game midway through the half and they started to pop the ball out nicely. Ash Palmer made an excellent last-ditch interception to cut-out Lane’s dangerous cross with star man Colby Bishop waiting to pounce. Soon after, Lane forced Harry Tyrer into making a save at his near post.

But just after the half-hour mark, the roof lifted off the SMH Group Stadium when Liam Mandeville celebrated his new contract by delivering an inviting free-kick delivery which was headed in by former Pompey man Naylor, who didn’t celebrate in front of the travelling away fans. But the thousands in the home end definitely did.

The League One leaders needed a response and they nearly got one when Bishop got above Mandeville at the back post but Tyrer made the save.

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Jacobs, another ex-Pompey man, almost doubled Chesterfield’s lead but his deflected strike went straight at Norris. The away side were dealt another injury blow before the break, with Tino Anjorin forced off, with Gavin Whyte replacing him.

Overall, the Spireites had been magnificent and could have been further ahead at half-time. And they started on the front-foot in the second-half, Jacobs winning an early corner, after his shot took a deflection and went over. Not long after, Armando Dobra found Banks, who shot first-time, but it was straight at Norris.

Town were well on top as the game approached the hour-mark, they were playing some beautiful football, and they continued to press for a second goal, and nobody could have argued had they got one. And they came so close again to getting it when Dobra and Banks swapped passes in the box but the former delayed pulling the trigger and the chance was lost.

They almost paid the price midway through the half when substitute Abu Kamara headed wide from close-range. That was the first chance the away side had created after the break, which showed how much Chesterfield were dominating.

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With 15 minutes remaining, substitute Ryan Colclough went close but he hit the side-netting after being slipped in by Oldaker. Another substitute, James Berry, forced Norris into a low save with the clock ticking down.

Five minutes of added-time went up, but there were no late scares. Something special is happening at Chesterfield. Come along for the ride. You won’t regret it.

Chesterfield: Tyrer; Mandeville (Sheckleford, 80), Palmer, Grimes, Horton (Freckleton, 70); Naylor, Oldaker (Berry, 80); Jacobs, Banks (Colclough,64), Dobra (Jones, 70); Grigg.

Unused subs: Boot, King, Curtis, Cook.