Ain’t no easy way for Cook’s Spireites
CHESTERFIELD secured a play-off spot at the very least with victory at Hartlepool – but their sights are set much higher.
The Spireites strengthened their grip on the top three, as rivals Fleetwood dropped two points, to give them a five-point advantage over fourth place.
A return to League One could be achieved over the Easter weekend and after a draw with Newport the previous week, boss Paul Cook admitted his side could not afford a similarly flat performance if their ambitions are to be realised.
“Sometimes people are very critical at our club and we carry a bit of pressure at our club for whatever reason,’’ said Cook.
“We have just been to Wembley, been in the top three all season and showed great character to come from behind.
“We don’t seem to do it the easy way at Chesterfield, we do it the hard way. The lads gave their all.We were poor against Newport last week firsthalf, flat and lacking life and we couldn’t afford that again.
“We had loads of good players out there, people in form and there’s some way to go still this season. I stay calm and see how many points we get – if it gets us up, it gets us up.’’
Pools, who have now lost five games in a row, did take the lead on 25 minutes – at a time when the game was just starting to spark up.
Jack Barmby’s pass found Luke James and he held off Nathan Smith, before curling around keeper Tommy Lee for his 16th of the season.
But five minutes later and the Spirieites were level – Daniel Gardner’s corner bundled over the line from close range by centre-half Liam Cooper.
Four minutes into the second half and the game was won with a touch of class from Eoin Doyle. He took a deep cross-field Marc Richards pass, cut inside full-back Darren Holden and curled his finish high and over keeper Andy Rafferty.
Pools couldn’t muster any sort of response, and visiting keeper Tommy Lee was untroubled.
Cook added:“We want to be in there, of course we do, but so do five or six others. There’s some way to go – four games and points to play for. Last week it wasn’t our day, this time it was.Who is to say what happens next week.’’
Opposite number Colin Cooper said:“Look at the two goals we conceded, they are goals we shouldn’t concede.
“We have four games, I’ve seen the results, I see where we are and we need enough points to make sure we don’t get dragged into it.
“It’s about doing the basics well and having a positive outlook.’’
STAR MAN SAM MORSY Cheste