REPORT: Chesterfield 0-2 Morecambe
A former Spireite came back to haunt a Chesterfield side in an increasingly scary position at the foot of the Football League.
Goalkeeper Barry Roche was in superb form as he and strugglers Morecambe celebrated a 2-0 victory at the Proact to condemn the hosts to their sixth consecutive league defeat.
The 6ft 4ins stopper made a number of quality saves and was busy throughout, although several of the efforts at his goal didn’t require him to move a lot.
With his men visibly lacking confidence and the free agent market apparently not an option, Jack Lester has got to somehow mastermind an escape from a deepening relegation crisis.
Chesterfield spent the majority of the first five minutes in the opponent’s half but the first chance still went the way of the visitors, the ball worked into the feet of Andrew Fleming who failed to trouble Joe Anyon from 18 yards.
Despite plenty of possession a lack of invention and carelessness with the ball brought most of Town’s early chances to a halt.
But clever play from Kristian Dennis created Chesterfield’s first chance to shoot and brought a smart save from Roche, who also palmed away Chris O’Grady’s volley from the rebound.
A bit of magic from the left boot of Adam McGurk opened the scoring in favour of the Shrimps, his free-kick - conceded needlessly by Robbie Weir - going right through the wall and beating Anyon to find the far corner of the net.
There were worrying scenes for the hosts when Brad Barry took a cross to the face and was tended to by a number of medical staff on the pitch, but he was cleared to return to the game once back to his feet.
And five minutes before the interval Chesterfield had more cause for alarm, Vadaine Oliver hooking the ball through for Aaron Wildig who somehow had acres of space and time, but Scott Wiseman’s goal-saving tackle kept Town in the game.
Breaking out from a good spell of Morecambe pressure, Chesterfield attacked through Weir, the skipper uncorking a beautiful effort from 25 yards that came off the crossbar.
If Jack Lester was hoping for an improvement after the break, he was to be sorely disappointed within two minutes. A cross from the left had Anyon in two minds as to come off his line or not and Garry Thompson had the simplest free header to make it 2-0.
Town could have got one back immediately after conceding, but when Louis Reed played in Dennis he saw his shot expertly saved by Roche.
Connor Dimaio, on in place of Jak McCourt, should have made Roche work again when Joe Rowley picked him out in the box with a sliderule pass, the substitute clearing the bar instead.
Roche got a little lucky just before the hour mark when Dennis’ low drive seemed to take a deflection and bobbled up at the keeper, who got enough of a hand on it to make the stop.
Morecambe’s stopper was having an inspired game and came to the fore once more when Rowley jinked into the area and drove the ball towards the near post only to see Roche stick out a leg.
And a minute later a deep free-kick was headed downwards by Ian Evatt, Roche there yet again for his side.
In an increasingly quiet Proact, Anyon beat out Wildig’s shot as Morecambe looked to wrap up the points on the counter attack.
Try as they might, all their possession, crosses into the box and shots at goal brought no reward and once more boos greeted the final whistle.
Chesterfield: Anyon, Barry, Kellett, Evatt, Wiseman, Weir (Flores 64), McCourt (Dimaio 49), Reed, Rowley, Dennis, O’Grady (De Girolamo 60). Subs: Hird, Jones, Briggs, Brewster.
Morecambe: Roche, McGowan, Conlan, Old, Muller, Thompson (Rose 72), Kenyon, McGurk (Turner 60), Wildig (Osborne 88), Fleming, Oliver. Subs: Nizic, Campbell, Lavelle, Lund.
Referee: Mr Darren Drysdale. Assistants: Mr Nicholas Barnard, Mr Ravel Cheosiaua
Goalscorers: McGurk 17, Thompson 47
Yellows: Weir 31: Kenyon 19, Oliver 90.
Attendance: 4,489 (120 away)