Chesterfield edge seven-goal thriller against Aldershot Town - how the action unfolded

Chesterfield were in action at Aldershot Town on Saturday. (Photo: Submitted)
Chesterfield were in action at Aldershot Town on Saturday. (Photo: Submitted)

Joe Quigley scored the winner on 87 minutes as the Spireites’ exciting start to the season continued at The EBB Stadium on Saturday.

The Blues trailed 1-0, led 3-1, were pegged back to 3-3, before Quigley came off the bench to smash in the winner against The Shots, who finished the match with 10-men.

This game once again highlighted Chesterfield’s defensive vulnerability, but their brilliant attacking football, set-piece dominance and character came to the surface to secure them the points.

Paul Cook’s men jump to second in the National League table following the victory.

It was an uncomfortable first-half for Chesterfield, whose defence was turned often with long balls down the channels, with the lively Jack Barham always a willing runner.

And it was that route in the opening minutes that led to the hosts having a decent shout for a penalty on Lorent Tolaj, but referee Andrew Humphries was unmoved.

Another long ball down the side of the Spireites defence saw Ash Palmer and Barham involved in a tangle of legs. The Shots’ man appealed for a red card, claiming he was through on goal, but that wasn’t the case, and Palmer received just a booking.

Ryan Colcough was by far the Blues’ best player in the opening 45 and he forced debutant goalkeeper, Jack Bycroft, into two parried saves.

But Aldershot took the lead on 25 minutes when Chesterfield messed up several chances to clear their lines and Josh Stokes finished from close-range. The wait for a clean sheet goes on.

However, just eight minutes later the visitors were level from a corner. Liam Mandeville made the delivery, Palmer prodded it towards goal and Colclough claimed he got the final touch.

The Spireites had a bit more control after that, although Jamie Grimes was still forced into making a good block from Stokes’ strike from the edge of the box, just before half-time.

Jeff King went down injured at the end of the half but he was able to continue after the break and it was him who played a part in Chesterfield taking the lead on 48 minutes when he clipped a ball into the box, Colclough and Bycroft collided, and Will Grigg was there to calmly slot in for his third goal of the season.

Five minutes later, the Spireites had a third, and it came from another corner, their tenth set-piece goal of the season, with Tom Naylor meeting Mandeville’s deep delivery at the back post.

But on the hour-mark, it was game on again when Tolaj breezed past Palmer down the left before squaring for an easy tap-in for Barham.

With 20 minutes remaining, King came off for Armando Dobra, and new signing Miguel Freckleton came on for his debut, replacing Branden Horton.

There was almost a fourth goal for Chesterfield soon after but Haji Mnoga just about turned Mandeville’s low cross over his own crossbar.

But Aldershot were still posing a threat and they almost equalised when Barham’s header hit the bar, and then bounced back down and hit the bar again, before going over.

As we have seen so many times already this season, a game involving Chesterfield became end-to-end and almost basketball-like, and the Spireites once again went close but Mnoga got a vital touch on Mandeville’s low cross, which made it a difficult finish for Grigg, and it went over.

Manager Cook mentioned Chesterfield’s ‘softness’ last week at Altrincham, and it appeared again here as Barham’s flicked header, his second goal of the game, made it 3-3 on 85 minutes.

But the drama was not over as substitute Quigley smashed in from close-range after Grimes’ goal-bound shot was blocked by a hand, which was a blatant penalty, before it fell to the striker to blast home.

As nine minutes of added-time came up, Aldershot were reduced to 10-men after Theo Widdrington received his second yellow card, and Cook’s men did well to keep the ball in the final stages to take home the points.

It’s never boring, is it?

Chesterfield: Tyrer; King (Dobra, 69), Palmer, Grimes, Horton (Freckleton, 69); Jones, Naylor; Mandeville, Jacobs, Colclough; Grigg (Quigley, 83).

Unused subs: Oldaker, Berry.