Weston's stunning winner; Pemberton's future and great fighting spirit - six talking points from Chesterfield's win against Wrexham
Chesterfield beat Wrexham 3-2 at the Proact on Saturday with a dramatic stoppage-time winner from Curtis Weston giving the Spireites a crucial victory in their bid to avoid relegation from the National League.
Tom Denton equalised for Chesterfield midway through the first-half after an own goal by captain Will Evans had put Wrexham in front.
The visitors restored their lead after the break through Jordan Ponticelli but substitute Liam Mandeville poked home another leveller.
And with just seconds remaining Weston powered home a stunning strike to spark wild celebrations among the Spireites players and fans.
It could be a pivotal moment in Town’s season and for John Pemberton whose future as caretaker manager is set to be decided this week.
The win leaves Chesterfield still in the relegation zone but just one point from safety with 12 games to go.
Here are six talking points from the game:
Curtis Weston’s winner
We can’t really begin anywhere else, can we? What a goal. The 33-year-old cracked a half-volley off the underside of the crossbar in the 94th minute with virtually the last kick of the game to snatch all three points for the Spireites.
There was a slight delay before the wild celebrations as the officials deliberated whether it had crossed the line.
It was the midfielder’s fifth of the season and first since December.
It rounded off a Man of the Match performance for someone who is slowly winning over the Town faithful after previously coming in for some stick.
He was mobbed by his teammates and it sparked great scenes in the stands.
After the game he said it could be one of the most important goals he ever scores. He could well be right.
John Pemberton’s position
We understand that owner Dave Allen and company secretary Ashley Carson will meet in the middle of the week to discuss the managerial situation.
Pemberton took over from John Sheridan on January 2 on a six-week basis so that initial agreement is coming to an end.
But with three wins, a draw and a loss in his five games in charge surely he deserves a shot at it until the end of the season?
The players appear to be buying into his enthusiasm, passion and training methods and the Blues supporters are also right behind him.
The league table
With 12 games to go Chesterfield are fourth bottom of the National League and one point from safety.
When Pemberton came in the Spireites were five points adrift so the gap has been cut.
Dagenham and Redbridge are the team immediately above them but they have hit some form of their own with no defeats in five and have a game in hand.
Town’s win against Wrexham moves them just two points behind the Red Dragons and three points behind Aldershot.
The bottom half of the table is extremely tight with Sutton United in 14th only five points in front of Chesterfield so there will be a few others looking over their shoulder.
There were a few eyebrows raised when Pemberton opted to bring in the 37-year-old on loan from Notts County but so far he has proved everyone wrong.
Despite his age he certainly still has the pace which troubled Championship defences in his time at Nottingham Forest.
Against Wrexham he was a threat all afternoon down the left flank and showed his experience with his calmness on the ball and ability to keep possession.
The Spireites showed they are all fighting for the cause after not only coming from behind twice but showing the determination and bravery to get a winner.
Before Pemberton came in Chesterfield would have probably crumbled after Evans’ own goal but they are getting mentally stronger in being able to deal with the pressure.
Options off the bench
Pemberton has spoken a lot about this in recent weeks.
After the Eastleigh and Notts County games he said he did not feel like he had many options especially in the forward areas with Mike Fondop suspended.
But against Wrexham he was able to bring on Liam Mandeville and Scott Boden, with the former scoring to make it 2-2.