REPORT: Forest Green Rovers 4-1 Chesterfield

Chesterfield are all but mathematically relegated from the Football League after today's 4-1 defeat at Forest Green Rovers.

Saturday, 21st April 2018, 6:38 pm
Updated Saturday, 21st April 2018, 6:41 pm
Despair for Spireites as Forest Green celebrate scoring.
Despair for Spireites as Forest Green celebrate scoring.

The Spireites' sit nine points from safety with three games remaining, but 22nd placed Morecambe have a far superior goal difference and only an almost impossible sequence of results will save Jack Lester's men now.

Three wins, coupled with three defeats for the Shrimps, and a huge goal difference swing, are now needed.

It was, yet again, a case of missed chances and soft goals conceded - perhaps a fitting end to the season for a side who have suffered so many defeats of this nature.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Forest Green scored twice in stoppage time with Chesterfield abandoning defence in search of a goal to keep their survival fight alive.

A goal from Forest Green's top goalscorer Christian Doidge settled the game 12 minutes from time, while Town's leading marksman Kristian Dennis missed a pair of golden chances at the other end, albeit netting a first half spot-kick.

The visitors got off to a decent start, Jak McCourt getting space down the right and firing in a cross for Kristian Dennis who couldn't make contact.

McCourt had his head in his hands on four minutes when Andy Kellett's corner found him completely unmarked and he hooked the ball wide.

Chesterfield should have been ahead inside seven minutes, Dennis sent in on goal and only able to win a corner via Bradley Collins' save, the set-piece leading to a Kellett shot that McCourt backheeled onto the post.

The first 10 minutes were all Chesterfield, but once Forest Freen put together an attack, they seemed to settle down and put their visitors under pressure.

Everyone in the ground thought Town were going to go ahead when Talbot played Kellett down the left and his low cross found Dennis 10 yards out, but the top goalscorer miscued his shot horribly.

Forest Green's most prolific striker then missed a sitter of his own, denied once by Aaron Ramsdale with a fine one-handed stop, then an even better one from point-blank range, before putting the rebound onto the crossbar.

The game was waiting for someone to take control and Forest Green did just that with a lovely goal, left-back Scott Laird picking up the ball 25 yards out, taking a couple of touches and slamming it past Ramsdale from the edge of the area.

Town were back in the game before the interval, McCourt spotting the run of Talbot who was bundled over by Reuben Reid in the area. Dennis sent Collins the wrong way from the spot to bag his 20th of the season and make it 1-1.

Ramsdale was called into action again soon after, making another wonderful stop to foil Reid and halt a counter attack that left the Spireites at sixes and sevens.

The second half was more of a cagey affair, neither side creating anything like a good chance.

Forest Green played the nicer stuff but took few chances, resembling a side who looked like they didn't want to lose and knew a draw suited them much better than Chesterfield.

As for the away side, they looked like they wanted to win it but weren't quite sure how they could go about that.

Jacob Brown came so close to making an instant and telling impact, running onto the ball and floating it into the box where Dennis met it with a volley, Collins making a brilliant save.

As has been the case so many times this season, the Spireites were made to pay for their wastefulness, Forest Green Rovers attacking right down the middle, Doidge running onto a through ball and beating Ramsdale.

An away supporter invaded the pitch and headed in the direction of the Chesterfield dugout before being restrained and led away by stewards, not before he'd remonstrated with Lester on the touchline.

With seven minutes remaining, Collins had to be alert to palm away a serving drive from Kellett as the visitors went in search of a goal to keep their season alive.

Lester withdrew Evatt and threw on Chris O'Grady and came so close to levelling, a ball dropping to Jacob Brown in the area, the youngster steering it past Collins and onto the post.

But with defence giving way to attack, Forest Green countered with relative ease and Dayle Grubb out-fought Brad Barry at the near post before finding the net.

Talbot then fouled the marauding Alex Bray, allowing Doidge to grab his second from the spot.

Chesterfield supporters, who travelled in their hundreds yet again today, understandably voiced their anger at the players at full-time.

Forest Green Rovers: B. Collins, L, Collins, Rawson, Hollis, Laird, Gunning, Osbourne, Clements (Bray 75), Brown (Grubb 75), Roidge, Reid (Campbell 81). Not used: Belford, Simpson, Cooper, Wishart.

Chesterfield: Ramsdale, Barry, Talbot, Evatt (O'Grady 88), Maguire, Reed, Weir (Brown 74); Rowley (Dodds 37), Kellett, McCourt, Dennis. Not used: Anyon, Smith, Nelson, Hines.

Goalscorers: Laird 27, Doidge 78, 90, Grub 90; Dennis 36

Yellows: Osbourne 79, Gunning 85

Referee: Scott Duncan. Assistants: Akil Howson, Mark Pottage.

Attendance: 3,336 (602)