On Saturday 3rd April I went to Saltergate to watch Chesterfield play league leaders Rochdale.
This was a big match for both sides. Rochdale at the top of the league and almost certain to go up to the third tier of the football league for the first time in many years. Meanwhile the Spireites were pushing for the play offs despite having lost their last 3 games at home.
The first half started slowly, with both sides cancelling each other out. Rochdale had the best chance of the half, with there shot being cleared off the line by Chesterfield defender Phil Picken.
In the second half Chesterfield began to take a little bit of control, creating a few chances against the league leaders Dale. Chesterfield’s first goal came after the ball was crossed into the area and it hit the Rochdale defender’s hand. Referee P Quinn ran across and gave the penalty immediatley without any thought. Barry Conlon stepped up and fired the ball into the back of the net right in front of the Kop.
With just a few minutes to go Chesterfield got another penalty. Ishmel Demontagnac broke through and looked certain to score when he was brought down by the last penalty. Once again it was Barry Conlon who stepped up and scored to give Chesterfield a much needed 3 points.
After the match I got photo’s with Rochdale player Chris O’Grady, manager Keith Hill and Chesterfield goal scorer and man of the match Barry Conlon. I also got a photo with former Chesterfield player and Northern Ireland international Mark Williams, who had come back to Saltergate for the first time since he left in 1999.
There is now only 3 games left at Saltergate, with a possibility of 4 if Chesterfield get into the play offs. The Spireites start next season at B2Net Stadium after over 140 years at Saltergate.