CHESTERFIELD crashed out of the FA Cuip, beaten at home by Torquay.
One trophy had proved to be a welcome distraction for Chesterfield in midweek and their manager John Sheridan was today hopeful of progression in a competition both he and the club have fond memories of.
Chesterfield, of course, got all the way to the FA Cup semi-final in 1997 before eventually losing out in the replay against Middlesbrough.
And Sheridan played in the 1993 final as a Sheffield Wednesday player as well as being a youngster on the books of Manchester City when they lost in a replay to Spurs in 1981.
Although a lesser competition, the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy had given Chesterfield the opportunity to get some sort of form going and they picked up their first win in six and first since the previous round of the competition with the last gasp 4-3 win over Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday night and now face a trip to Preston in the semi-finals.
This afternoon there was also a financial incentive to consider with £18,000 going to the winner of first round ties and with the chance of a potential glamour tie with a Premier League club in round three. No wonder that Sheridan had spoken of his desire to stay in the competition for as long as possible.
After a perfect minute’s silence was observed ahead of Remembrance Sunday, Chesterfield got the game started kicking towards an empty stand and it was the home side who had the first forays forward. Clarke had been making a nuisance of himself and he misdirected a header wide from Talbot’s early cross.
Whitaker then went close for Chesterfield on 15 minutes. After neat control, he turned and hit a shot that went just wide from 25 yards and was just touched wide by Olejnik. But it was Torquay who took the lead and it was a scrappy goal. On 20 minutes they worked the ball inside the right hand side of the box and Morris’s cross was bundled in, almost on the goal line, by STEVENS.
Chesterfield needed to respond quickly and they almost grabbed an equaliser seven minutes later through Bowery. Clarke flicked on a header into the box and it was spilled by Olejnik into the path of Bowery who forced a shot goalwards only for Oastler to clear off the line.
Chesterfield 0 Torquay 1
There had been groans of discontent at half-time but Clarke almost silenced them with a shot from the edge of the box that was deflected just wide for a corner. Torquay were on the back foot and aside from the goal had rarely threatened Soderberg.
Chesterfield levelled on 59 minutes and it was man in-form BOWERY who got it.
Westcarr swung in a well-placed looping cross and the striker powered in a downward header into the bottom corner from 10 yards out. It’s now five goals in three games for the academy graduate.
Now on top, Chesterfield started to push for a second. Mendy’s mazy run down the right flank ended with a decent cross that eventually found its way to Allott on the edge of the box, but his shot was parried away by Olejnik.
But Morris then struck again from nothing in the 71st minute. This time he played a measured ball for HOWE and his finish, just inside the box, was too good for Soderberg. Torquay got a third in magnificent style.
In a seemingly safe position and with the option of time wasting, NICHOLSON took everyone by surprise by bending a 35 yard free kick into the top corner giving Soderberg no chance.
For a full report, plus match pix, see the Green’Un.