FC Halifax Town were defeated 2-1 at the Shay to go out of the Vanarama National League play-off eliminator for the second time in three seasons having lost to Boreham Wood two years ago.
It was former Shayman Jeff King who scored the winner to break the majority of the 5661 fans hearts
Town boss Pete Wild was forced into a last-minute change with Martin Woods in for the injured Kian Spence, who got a groin injury in the warm up. Whilst Paul Cook made three changes with Calvin Miller, Laurence Maguire and Tom Whelan coming in for Alex Whittle, Curtis Weston and Tom Denton.
With a big atmosphere at the Shay, the visitors started brightly. King’s cross was cleared as far as Liam Mandeville, but the midfielder skewed his shot wide of the goal.
Chesterfield continued to press for the opening goal; a short corner routine found Saidou Khan who turned his man before his effort ricocheted off Rowe.
Miller, who returned to the starting line-up in place of Alex Whittle, was proving to be dangerous down the left wing. He made a burst into the box, but his effort was deflected wide of the goal.
The deadlock was broken from the resulting corner. King’s pinpoint corner found Rowe and the strike was headed beyond Sam Johnson to send the 2063 visiting fans wild.
After the opener, the game became scrappy and feisty with a few yellow cards being shown by referee Scott Tallis.
Halifax grew into the game as the half progressed, but the Spireites’ defence held firm and refused to let anything past them.
With minutes of the first half left, Martin Woods swung in a free kick for the home side that Niall Maher headed goalwards with visiting keeper Scott Loach pulled off a brilliant save to keep the score at 0-1 at halftime.
Despite Chesterfield starting the second half as the better team, Town had the first chance of the half. Matt Warburton sent his curling effort over Loach’s crossbar.
Liam Mandeville had a great chance to double the lead when he latched on to a long ball. The midfielder struggled to get the ball out of his feet and his tame shot was gathered by Johnson.
The second goal wasn’t far behind though. Rowe played a searching over to King and the wing-back made his way to the edge of the are before lashing his effort into the back of the net past Johnson.
The two-goal lead only lasted for two minutes as Halifax found a route back into the game. Billy Waters found substitute Matty Stenson with a cross, and he prodded home from close range for his first Shaymen goal.
Despite the constant pressure from the Shayman, Chesterfield held firm and secure their spot in the play-off semi-finals and a game away at Solihull Moors on Sunday.
FC Halifax Town
1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 5 Jesse Debrah, 8 Kieran Green (14 Matt Stenson 55), 10 Matt Warburton, 11 Billy Waters, 20 Harvey Gilmour, 21 Tyrell Warren, 25 Jordan Slew (27 Zak Dearnley 77), 26 Martin Woods, 31 Niall Maher ©
Subs: 15 Gerry McDonagh, 18 Javid Swaby-Neavin, 28 Pierce Bird
1 Scott Loach, 3 Calvin Miller (29 Alex Whittle 76), 6 Lauren Maguire, 7 Danny Rowe (18 Nathan Tyson 71), 10 Liam Mandeville, 12 Tyrone Williams, 16 Jim Kellermann, 20 Jeff King, 22 Jamie Grimes ©, 28 Saidou Khan (17 Zak McCourt 88), 30 Tom Whelan
Subs: 24 Tom Denton, 39 Joe Rowley
Referee: Scott Tallis
Goals: Rowe 20, King 66, Stenson 68
Yellow Cards: Rowe 30, Woods 31, Mandeville 34, Whelan 84, Whittle 86
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 5661 (2063 away)
FC Halifax Town 1 Chesterfield 2
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