'Painful' - Chesterfield's play-off defeat 'difficult to take', says Paul Cook after loss to Solihull Moors
Paul Cook said Chesterfield’s play-off defeat to Solihull Moors was ‘painful’ and ‘difficult to take.’
Joe Quigley put the Spireites ahead after eight minutes, blasting in from Liam Mandeville’s cross.
But the hosts turned the scoreline around with goals from Andrew Dallas, who slotted past Scott Loach when one-on-one after 15 minutes, before Alex Gudger scrambled in from a corner 10 minutes before half-time.
And the Moors added another from a corner just before the hour, this time through Callum Howe’s looping header.
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Defeat means Chesterfield suffer play-off heartache for the second successive season and will be playing in the National League again for a fifth year in a row.
Solihull progress to the final where they will play Grimsby Town at the London Stadium on Sunday, June 5.
"It is a difficult one to take,” Cook said.
"It was a game that promised so much for us.
"It probably panned out like we thought it would. Solihull are very bright in possession, but we had big moments in the game today, really big ones, but unfortunately we could not take them.
"You have got to feel pain, sport can be cruel, it can be so hurtful the pain. The play-off defeat is raw now, it is raw for our supporters, we have got another year in the National League now. We have got to embrace it and come back next year stronger.
"The reality is we are out and we have to feel that pain today.”
The Spireites got off to the perfect start but it wasn’t to be in the end.
Cook said: "It was a really good goal but unfortunately we just have habits that keep coming back during games, they are there for all to see, habits I don’t like.
"In the second-half I felt Solihull were really there for us to maybe go and get something more out of the game, I genuinely felt that and I told the players. I am not so sure they believed that.
"I felt we worked hard, without a doubt, but some of our decision-making at times is mind-boggling.”
Reflecting on his time at Town this season, Cook told the DT: "It has been a difficult three-four months with the injuries especially and having to chop and change the team. You travel here today and you see the injured lads and the calibre of player not on the pitch, that is something we have got to address as a club.”
The Blues have 16 players out of contract this summer so big changes appear to be on the horizon.
"The plans (for next season) are already underway and will be set in motion tomorrow morning,” Cook added.
"I appreciate you guys have questions to ask but I think the biggest thing is to respect we have lost a big game today and we will wait for all that other news to take care of itself.”