CHESTERFIELD fans sat back and enjoyed a high tempo party as Spireites defeated Northampton with goals by Marc Richards 2 and star man Jay O’Shea.
With battering ram centre forwards Adebayo Akinfenwa and Clive Platt up front, spearheading the Cobblers’ more direct style, Paul Cook added Neal Trotman to his defence.
The transfer-listed player appeared in the reverse fixture, a goalless draw, back in September and just to illustrate Spireites’ changes of late, only four of today’s home starters were in the original 11 that day.
Following Cook’s blasting of his squad in the immediate aftermath of the Wycombe defeat, he was expecting much more this afternoon... and he got it.
Keeper Nicholls, given his league debut by Cook at Accrington last season, caught a 25 yard free-kick from Richards.
On 18 minutes the keeper was powerless to keep his sheet clean.
Whitaker received on the left of the box, he looked to shoot but the way was blocked so he squared the ball for O’SHEA who still had to turn rapidly on the edge of the six yard box before shooting home.
Within a minute the hosts had doubled their lead. PFA chairman Carlisle made a hash of a straight, high ball in, allowing RICHARDS, who spent two seasons with Northampton from 2003-05, to gather and fire in.
Smith’s angled shot was caught by Nicholls but he was beaten yet again, on 25 minutes, when Darikwa scrambled to ball forwards to put RICHARDS clear and he made rapid ground before a low left-footer put Spireites firmly in control.
Northampton came out of the traps significantly more fired up than they had been before the break.
Richards got a great hand as he was replaced by Lester for the final few minutes.
Whilst the second half had not been as fruitful as the first for the hosts, the overall 90 minute performance had been excellent against a side that sit above Chesterfield in the table, though the team’s first win of 2013 was the most significant outcome.