Chesterfield 0-1 Fleetwood Town
Fleetwood Town’s fine Johnstone’s Paint Trophy run came to an end at Chesterfield this evening, despite beating Paul Cook’s men 1-0 in a fascinating cup tie in Derbyshire.
Striker Jon Parkin hit the game’s winner in the 89th minute, and despite Fleetwood’s best attempts to grab an all-important second goal, the 2012 JPT winners progressed to the Wembley final next month against Peterborough.
However, the Cod Army can take plenty of positives from the game into the remainder of their League Two campaign.
Town trailed the Spireites by a couple of goals heading into the clash, having lost the first leg 3-1 at Highbury a fortnight ago.
Manager Graham Alexander only made the one change from the team that beat strugglers Northampton Town last Saturday afternoon.
Steven Schumacher, who picked up a knock against the Cobblers, made way for Alan Goodalll, while Jamille Matt kept his place in the eleven.
The Cod Army started in positive fashion; Parkin released Jamille Matt down the left, who fed the ball back into the path of Antoni Sarcevic, but he dragged his effort narrowly wide.
Town continued to force the initiative, with Matt denied well by former Blackpool defender Ian Evatt, while Mark Roberts fired over from close range.
Jimmy Ryan, who netted in the first leg in Lancashire, registered Chesterfield’s first attempt on target when he stung the hands of keeper Chris Maxwell from fifteen yards.
Jay O’Shea was the next to have an effort for the home side, as he tested Welshman Maxwell with a strike from just inside the area.
The Cod Army were indebted to their keeper after half an hour, when he expertly tipped Marc Richards’ goal bound header over the bar.
Maxwell was proving a giant between the sticks, and was called upon once again to deny the Spireites. O’Shea latched onto Gary Roberts’ through ball and found himself on goal, but was denied by a fine stop from the twenty four year old.
Before the break, Sarcevic was presented with a fine opportunity to put the Cod Army ahead. The winger found space on the right hand side, and drew a stop from home keeper Tommy Lee.
Parkin had Town’s first chance of the second period, when he spun his defender and half volleyed just over Tommy Lee’s goal.
At the opposite end, O’Shea fizzed an effort wide of the post from the edge of the box, while Matt and Gary Roberts both had half chances as the game became an open affair.
A fine last ditch tackle from Conor McLaughlin prevented O’Shea from opening the scoring, as Paul Cook’s men looked to pile pressure on Town’s defence.
Sarcevic then cut in from the left, beat his marker, and curled an effort which was destined for the bottom corner, only to be blocked by a home defender.
With just under ten minutes of the frantic game to go, substitute Eoin Doyle missed a glorious chance to give his side the lead, as he headed Gary Roberts’ cross over from just four yards.
Fleetwood pressed, and managed to get their noses in front a minute from time through Parkin as he poked home from close range.
However, Town were unable to find a second which would have taken the tie to penalties, and bowed out of the competition despite a monumental effort.
The Cod Army will be in action next this weekend at Mansfield Town.