Much-changed and youthful Chesterfield put six past Southport in FA Trophy - how the action unfolded

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A much-changed and youthful Chesterfield side hammered Southport 6-1 to progress to the FA Trophy fourth round.

This competition is not a priority for the Spireites and they made nine changes, with three academy players given their first senior starts and three more coming off the bench, but they still had enough to record a comfortable victory against the National League North visitors.

Richie Bennett put Southport in front on 17 minutes but goals from Michael Jacobs and Harley Curtis turned the scoreline around before half-time. James Berry added a brilliant third on the hour-mark before youngster Liam Jessop scored two goals in two minutes on his senior debut to make it 5-1. And fellow academy prospect Ali Mohiuddin scored a wonderful long-range strike to make it six before the full-time whistle.

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The Spireites had lots of possession early on, with touches for youngsters Ryley D’Sena, Sam Hooper and Jay Abudu easing any nerves, but the hosts failed to create anything of note.

Chesterfield beat Southport 6-1 in the FA Trophy. Picture: Tina Jenner.Chesterfield beat Southport 6-1 in the FA Trophy. Picture: Tina Jenner.
Chesterfield beat Southport 6-1 in the FA Trophy. Picture: Tina Jenner.

After a lengthy stoppage because of an injury to Southport’s Bradley Holmes, which resulted in seven minutes being added at the end of the half, the visitors took the lead on 17 minutes when Bennett fired in from inside the area after smart work by the speedy Niall Watson.

That goal sparked Town into life, Berry forcing Chris Renshaw into a save at his near post. As the rain started to lash down, Jacobs delivered a teasing cross from the right but Joe Quigley could not quite reach it.

The Blues were rewarded for their improved efforts just after the half-hour mark when Jeff King, who was making his first appearance in two months and captaining the side, drilled in a low cross from the right and Jacobs applied the first-time finish to equalise. Soon after, King forced Renshaw to tip over his long-range free-kick which was heading for the top corner.

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As half-time approached, Quigley had a goal ruled out for offside, but Chesterfield did not have to wait long to take the lead. Berry broke away down the left and after a bit of a scramble in the box Curtis swept home on his first start to ensure they led at the break.

The Spireites made a double change at half-time with Jacobs and Quigley replaced by youngsters Jessop and Thomas Marshall for their senior debuts.

It was a quiet start to the second-half but a superb individual goal from Berry, who burst past three or four Southport players before hammering home, making it 3-1 on the hour-mark. That was Berry’s last involvement as he was replaced by another youngster in Mohiuddin.

Curtis had a good chance to grab his second goal of the game when he went through one-on-one but he dragged his effort just wide. Southport then had a big chance to find the net but David Morgan slid the ball wide from close-range from Watson’s low cross.

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Chesterfield made the scoreline more emphatic with two goals in two minutes from Jessop. His first was a cross/shot that somehow found its way in before he blasted in another from inside the box after exchanging passes with fellow youth Marshall. It was a great moment for him and one that he will never forget. And Mohiuddin joined in the fun with a terrific curling strike from distance late on.

Whether it is the league, FA Cup or FA Trophy, the Spireites just keep on winning.

Chesterfield: Boot; King, D’Sena, Freckleton, Sheckleford; Hooper, Abudu; Curtis, Jacobs (Marshall, 46), Berry (Mohiuddin, 60); Quigley (Jessop, 46).

Unused subs: Tyrer, Horton, Mandeville, Dobra.

Attendance: 2,156 (259 Southport fans).

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