JAY KEEPS THE GULLS AT BAY
SITTING top of the table does not automatically guarantee victory – which was why Chesterfield manager Paul Cook was quick to salute his players efforts after they avoided a potential banana skin against lowly Torquay.
Held at the break by a spirited visiting side, Chesterfield then found themselves a goal down through Samir Goodwin before Eoin Doyle snatched an equaliser shortly afterwards.
It then turned into the Jay O’Shea show as the winger’s double inside the final ten minutes helped his side regain their threepoint cushion at the league’s summit.
And while Cook admitted Torquay’s goal had provided some welcome motivation, he did not down play the strength of his players’ resolve.
“It was always going to be a difficult one, because people think it was a game that we just have to turn up, these are always the hardest games in football you have to make your own atmosphere and generate your own sort of level of performance and that’s what good teams do,” said Cook. “We were painful for a long period in the game.
“Certainly them scoring gave us a little bit of a rocket, because they didn’t look like scoring if the truth be known, but then, neither did we in the first half.
“I just think we have got good players, its going well for us at the minute and this was a great result for the players.”
The home side came close to taking an early lead inside four minutes when O’Shea flicked on Ollie Banks’ effort but his strike smacked the bar in what was the clearest chance of the opening half.
But with lowly Torquay more than matching their opponents, they got a deserved breakthrough five minutes after the restart when Goodwin calmly slotted home.
It came on the back of a swift counter attack from a Chesterfield corner after Sam Morsy’s shot had been deflected over the bar.
Their lead did not last long however with Doyle seizing on a poor defensive clearance before slamming home six minutes later.
Goodwin had a chance to see Torquay retake the lead on 78 minutes but his effort hit the post.
And it would prove to be pivotal with O’Shea’s 20-yard shot two minutes putting the hosts in front before his second in added time clinched the points.
The result means Torquay remain in the relegation spots, two points clear of safety.
And while not faulting his side’s endeavour, manager Chris Hargreaves accepted conceding their first goal so soon after taking the lead had knocked them back.
“We are obviously very disappointed but I can’t fault the effort of all our players, but all in all it was a bad day at a bad time,” said Hargreaves.
“The first half we did alright there was some good performances but we can’t blame luck when your in our position.
“We were comfortable in the lead in the game and then we conceded a goal and the tide turned a bit then.”
CHESTERFIELD: (4-2-3-1): Lee 6, Evatt 6, Ryan 7, Morsy 6, Humphreys 6, Darikwa 7, Cooper 6, O’Shea 9, Banks 6 (Gnanduillet 56 6), Gardner 6 (Roberts 56 5), Doyle 8 (Hird 84 5) Subs not used: Dunbavin, Togwell, Smith, Richards
TORQUAY: (4-1-4-1): Poke 6, Tonge 6, Pearce 7, Lathrope 6 (Downes 75 5), Mansell 6, Chapell 6 (Cameron 82 5), Goodwin 8, Labadie 6, Stockley 7, (Wilkinson 75 5) Cruise 7, O’Connor 6 Subs
not used: Nicholson, Hawley, Rice, O’Brien
STAR MAN JAY O’SHEA Cheste
rfield BUNDLE: Jay O’Shea celebrates with team mates after scoring the third goal for Chesterfield