WILKS’ WINNER SEES OFF CALDWELL
GARY Caldwell’s eight-month tenure as Chesterfield boss came to a sorry end after Accrington Stanley inflicted their seventh defeat of a miserable campaign.
The 35-year-old was dismissed after Mallik Wilks scored a superb winner to deny Caldwell’s strugglers the point even Accrington boss John Coleman conceded they deserved.
And immediately after the game, before learning of his fate, Caldwell was fuming with referee Craig Hicks who he sensationally claimed saved Stanley after a case of unknown identity.
Ten-man Chesterfield drew level after Billy Kee’s opener through a Kristian Dennis penalty, but Hicks failed to show what the Spireites boss believed could have been a match-changing card.
“The fourth official said the referee didn’t give a card because he didn’t know who had committed the foul,” Caldwell stormed.
“Between them the referee, the two linesman and him have got a lot of decisions clearly wrong.”
Whilst not disputing defender Bradley Barry’s straight red card at a time when Chesterfield were bossing the match, Caldwell was also furious at a decision not to award a penalty when Janoi Donacien handled early in the second half.
He said: “He’s had 50 yards, so he’s had his chance to get his hand out of the way.
“The character my players showed was phenomenal, coming from behind with ten men. We were edgy in the first half but on top when the sending off happened. My team gave everything.”
Three fine saves from Joe Anyon kept the scoreline blank at halftime. The Chesterfield guardian parried Sean McConville’s closerange shot in the third minute, reacted quickly to tip Kee’s header over the bar, and rounded off the half by denying McConville again after he drifted cleverly inside,
Caldwell’s men started the second half much more brightly with Aaron Chapman making a stop at the feet of Dennis.
But Barry’s rash challenge in the 63rd minute on Seamus Conneely turned back the blue tide, and Kee controlled and swept home an angled volley to give the visitors the lead five minutes later.
Coleman said afterwards his team’s offender was for Chesterfield’s penalty was defender Farrend Rawson, who hadn’t previously been yellow-carded.
Despite the setback, Wilks hit the winner from 20 yards to clinch the points for the visitors and send the Spireites back into the drop zone.
Coleman said: “Credit to Chesterfield. A lot of teams will come here and get nothing. They are fighting for their lives and acquitted themselves well. They probably deserved a point.
“In the second half they got on top before the red card. It looked like a poor challenge but nothing malicious.
“We haven’t yet hit the heights we are capable of but I’m delighted with the win.”
JOB DONE: Accrington’s Mallik Wilks, right, celebrates his winner with Jordan Clark and, inset, Gary Caldwell exits