SPIREITES' GOLDEN GOALS - Glynn Hurst hits late winner as Chesterfield complete the great escape
It is something that football fans of all clubs argue about. What is the best, most memorable or favourite goal scored by your heroes?
Each week we are taking a look at some of the best to hit the net for Chesterfield over the past decades. If you have a goal you would like us to feature, email [email protected] with brief details and your memories of the strike and we will try to include in a future article.
The latest golden goal in our series was requested by Nick Thorneycroft and features the Spireites’ great escape from relegation in the 2003-04 season.
As so often happens in football, it all came down to the last match of the season — and this time virtually the last kick.
Chesterfield had endured a torrid season in 2003-04. They were bottom of League Two at Christmas with just two wins, but then Roy McFarland’s men won eight matches of their next 15 to give them real hope of avoiding the drop.
However, eight games without a win then plunged back into the relegation zone and, despite a victory against Blackpool, they went into the final match of the season in May needing to beat Luton — and hoping that both Grimsby Town and Rushen lost.
As the match entered its final stages, results elsewhere were doing their bit — but could the Spireites find away past Luton’s resolute defence? Cometh the hour, cometh the man — or, more appropriately, cometh the last 90 seconds, cometh Glynn Hurst.
The striker — now in his second spell in professional football after dropping out of the game for a time — latched on to a flick on from Ian Evatt, who had just seen a header cleared off the line.
The move, which started with keeper Carl Muggleton’s huge kick, saw Hurst then run through into the penalty area, holding off a defender.
VIDEO: Watch Glynn Hurst keep Chesterfield up in 2004 with his late winner against LutonAs the home fans held their breath, the striker kept his cool and shot under Luton keeper Dean Brill to send 6,000 packed into Saltergate into raptures. They could have been relegated, instead it felt like the Spireites had been promoted.
It was a trademark Hurst goal, who was known for his ability to use his pace and then outfox keepers in one-on-one situations.
VIDEO: SPIREITES’ GOLDEN GOALS - Craig Westcarr scores at WembleyVIDEO: SPIREITES’ GOLDEN GOALS - Jamie Hewitt clinches thrilling FA Cup semi-final drawVIDEO: SPIREITES’ GOLDEN GOALS - Derek Niven scores last Chesterfield goal at SaltergateSPIREITES’ GOLDEN GOALS - Geoff Salmons hits late Chesterfield equaliser in six-goal thriller at Sheffield WednesdayRemarkably, within a few weeks Hurst was off to Notts County, but he had earned his place in Chesterfield folklore.
The pacy forward, who lived most of his childhood in South Africa, started his career at Spurs and played a handful of games for Barnsley, Swansea and Mansfield before going into the non-league game and also working as a concrete moulder.
He returned to the professional game in England via Ayr in Scotland, earning a £150,000 move to Stockport County before joining Chesterfield in a move that saw Luke Beckett go the opposite way.