Chesterfield 2 Wigan 3; Late rally sinks Spireites

Wigan equalise from the penalty spot; below: Chesterfield celebrate the opener. Photos: James Williamson
Wigan equalise from the penalty spot; below: Chesterfield celebrate the opener. Photos: James Williamson

Chesterfield let a two goal lead slip as Wigan scored three times in the final ten minutes to totally change the face of a game that was heading for a comfortable home win.

After a first half that saw Ian Evatt and Liam O’Neil denied, the Spireites took the lead through a Dan Gardner crackerjack just after the hour mark and within five minutes defender Leon Barnett inexplicably headed in an own goal from Dan Jones’ right sided free-kick.

Wigan began to put some decent moves together but time and again Tommy Lee saved from former Chesterfield hero Craig Davies. Sub Jordy Hiwula missed an open goal before Barnett atoned for his error with a box-edge shot in after a poorly defended corner.

Sam Hird then clipped sub Chris McCann in the box and Davies stepped up to convert the penalty to level matters on 86. The drama finally unfurled on 90 when Hiwula stabbed home from seven yards after some comedy defending to send the travelling fans into ecstasy.

O’Neil was replaced just before the break with what looked a potentially nasty injury, the physio initially called for a stretcher, but he did walk off, and Lee Novak, who’d taken plenty of knocks, was also replaced.

A real sickener for Chesterfield supporters after the side had all but seen off the recipients of £10m parachute payments, but Dean Saunders will be telling his players that a game is never won until the final whistle.

Chesterfield: Lee, O’Neil (Raglan 43), Hird, Evatt, Jones, Morsy, Banks, O’Shea, Gardner, Ariyibi (Humphreys 82), Novak (Gnanduillet 58). Subs (not used): Cairns, Dieseruvwe, Donohoe, Harrison.

Goals: Gardner 62, Barnett (og) 65

Wigan: O’Donnell, Daniels (McCann 58), Pearce, Murray (Kellett 79), Barnett, Perkins, Power, Jacobs, James, Davies, Vuckic (Hiwula 58). Subs (not used): Jaaskelainen, Odelusi, Chow, Flores.

Goals: Barnett 81, Davies 87 (pen), Hiwula 90

Ref: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire)

Bookings: Banks (Chesterfield)

Attendance: 7145 (1009 from Wigan)