sheffield United came away from Chesterfield with Ched Evans once again on the scoresheet.
According to the form book, today’s League One fixture between Chesterfield and Sheffield United appeared a foregone conclusion.
The hosts kicked-off languishing at the bottom of the table while their opponents had made the short journey south challenging for promotion.
But, as rival managers John Sheridan and Danny Wilson both pointed-out before kick-off, football matches are played on grass not paper.
Indeed, barring a dangerous run from Quinn which forced Fleming to save smartly at Evans’ feet, Chesterfield started this afternoon’s contest at the B2net stadium much the brighter of the two teams.
Not for the first time this season, Quinn found his temper being tested by obstinate opposition with Johnson bringing him down for a free-kick soon after.
But the former under-21 international was not the only one whose composure was pushed to the limits as both clubs wrestled for control.
Indeed, moments earlier, Quinn’s compatriot Doyle had received an off the ball shove from Clarke.
He was later penalised for impeding Simonsen as the two contested a long punt forward from the back.
If the home supporters were incredulous at referee Sheldrake’s decision, those in the away end were at least encouraged to see the United goalkeeper dash off his line with conviction.
The first clear-cut opportunity of this feisty and at times furious contest fell to United after 24 minutes when Quinn, emerging as the visitors’ ‘go-to-man’ coming within a whisker of finding the onrushing Porter in the penalty box.
Two minutes later Evans, who had earlier made a surging run forward only to be hustled out of possession, warmed Fleming’s gloves with a searing effort at the near post.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Porter flung himself at Lowton’s looping delivery but was inches away from making what would surely have been a decisive contact.
Chesterfield 0 United 0
Chesterfield had enjoyed plenty of territory and possession throughout the opening period but United had forged the better opportunities to break the deadlock. In the 48th minute Evans claimed Ford had handled his shot across the box and although it had hit the defender’s palm, the officials were correct to ignore his claims. The resulting corner, much to Wilson’s disappointment, came to nothing.
Evans, for so long a peripheral figure at Bramall Lane, has finally begun to realise his undoubted potential in United colours this term and, in the 55th minute, his long-range angled shot was batted away in solid fashion by Fleming. Two minutes later, and from a United corner, Chesterfield enjoyed a gilt-edged chance of their own.
Obadeyi, showing a blistering turn of pace, left three United defender’s trailing in his wake but, despite being clean through on goal, shot tamely and Simonsen easily gathered.
Sheridan simply turned away in disgust but, three minutes later, cut a frustrated rather than furious figure when Clarke’s delicate shot on the turn following Trotman’s free-kick bounced behind off Simonsen’s bar.
Flynn, a 74th minute substitute for the injured Williamson, impressed but with nine minutes remaining EVANS pounced. It was a magical moment fit to win any game. Controlling a pass forward with his chest, the United striker turned his marker and left another for dead before sliding home a low shot in to the far corner of Fleming’s net.
For a full report, plus match pix, see the Green’Un