Boss leads Ch­ester­field to the ti­tle with win over Cod Army

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Stephen Thirkill To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

PAUL Cook has mas­tered his win­ning recipe at Ch­ester­field, and the Spire­ites boss says seal­ing the League Two ti­tle was his “best day in foot­ball”.

Cook’s troops se­cured top spot af­ter com­ing from be­hind to beat Fleet­wood .

It had looked like the vis­i­tors would spoil the ti­tle party af­ter Matty Blair spun well to fire the vis­i­tors ahead on 13 min­utes.

But sec­ond-half goals from Sam Hird on 51 min­utes and League Two’s player of the year Gary Roberts on 55 min­utes was enough to wrap up a mem­o­rable ti­tle win for Cook’s men.

“Days like this is what foot­ball is all about,”said a de­lighted Cook. “This is the best day I have had in foot­ball by a mile.

“Win­ning the ti­tle is great credit to the play­ers and all the staff who sup­port me as a man­ager. I am very proud of them all.

“Af­ter we lost at Wem­b­ley in the JPT fi­nal we set our­selves the chal­lenge of win­ning the ti­tle. Since then we have re­mained un­beaten and the play­ers de­serve all the praise.

“It is fit­ting that Gary Roberts scored the goal that clinched the ti­tle. This club is lucky to have a player of his qual­ity.

”We are go­ing to Benidorm now and will spend three days drink­ing and hav­ing some time to­gether away from foot­ball.

“We will then start to think about next year and what we can do in League One.”

Fleet­wood, who will now face-York City in the play-offs, went ahead on 13 min­utes when Blair scored his first goal for the club.

The im­pres­sive Josh Mor­ris then fired wide from 25 yards af­ter good build up play be­tween Blair and Jon Parkin had cre­ated a half chance on 24 min­utes.

Jay O’Shea had a free­kick blocked be­fore Jimmy Ryan fired the re­bound wide on 40 min­utes as Ch­ester­field pressed for the equaliser.

Fleet­wood, who had made five changes, should have dou­bled their lead two min­utes later when Gareth Evans found plenty of space as the vis­i­tors poured for­ward on the counter at­tack. But Evans ig­nored op­tions to pass and in­stead fired his shot wide with the aid of a de­flec­tion.

It proved to be a costly miss when Hird headed home O’Shea’s per­fect cross from close range to equalise on 51 min­utes.

Chris Maxwell did well to turn away a thun­der­ous long-range strike from Ryan for a cor­ner two min­utes later as the home side cranked up the pres­sure. But from the re­sult­ing cor­ner Roberts curled an un­stop­pable left­footed ef­fort past Maxwell to put Ch­ester­field back on top of the ta­ble.

Tommy Lee saved Liam Ho­gan’s am­bi­tious 30 yard ef­fort at full stretch on 67 min­utes as shell­shocked Fleet­wood looked for the equaliser.

Nathan Smith saw his ef­fort blocked on 74 min­utes be­fore Roberts curled a shot just over the bar on 81 min­utes as Ch­ester­field com­fort­ably saw out the game.

It was a re­sult that left Fleet­wood boss Gra­ham Alexan­der dis­ap­pointed.

“We con­trolled how we played and how they played dur­ing the first half and were look­ing good,” he said.

“We had a great chance to go 2-0 up be­fore half time, if we had taken it then we could have picked them off in the sec­ond-half.

“We con­ceded two poor goals, the first one was es­pe­cially poor. Ev­ery­one has a job to do and we need to de­fend bet­ter at set pieces.

“Ev­ery player has a job to do and they need to do their it.

“Con­ced­ing those two goals were a bit­ter blow and it was tough to get back into the game af­ter that.

“We have got our own pri­or­i­ties next week. York have been on a fan­tas­tic run, they are hard to beat and good de­fen­sively, but we have got plenty of good qual­i­ties and it is all about what we do. York are a good team. We have two very tough games ahead.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

BUB­BLING: Gary Roberts, right, and Nathan Smith cel­e­brate af­ter win­ning the ti­tle

CHAM­PI­ONS: Ch­ester­field cel­e­brate as cap­tain Ian Evatt lifts the tro­phy STAR MAN NATHA

N SMITH Ch­este


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