Chesterfield 3-1 Gillingham – League 2 – Chesterfield are Champions!

On Saturday 7th May 2011 I was at the B2Net Stadium to witness Chesterfield finally be crowned NPower League 2 Champions.

Chesterfield, who had been top of League 2 on every Saturday since December, only needed to avoid defeat to be crowned champions. Even if the Spireites should lose then they would still win the title if Bury failed to win at Stevenage. It was going to be no easy task for either side to win though.Chesterfield and Bury’s promotion to League 1 was already settled,but Gillingham and Stevenage both desperately needed to win to seal a play off place so it was all to play for in League 2.

We arrived early and there was a buzz around the ground, with everyone excited about the anticipated title victory.The mood all around was very upbeat and I was looking forward to the game.Around 1pm today there was fairly heavy showers but by kick ohh the sun had come out and was shining brightly.

The stadium was packed with an attendance of 10,023, nearly all of them home supporters.Chesterfield tickets had sold out well before today and the only few empty seats were the returned tickets from Gillinghams allocation.

Sadly though, the first half was rather poor with very little happening, and it was more exciting watching the Bury score coming through. Chants of “1-0 to the Stevenage” and “2-1 to the Stevenage” came from the stands but Bury drew level both times and it was 2-2 at half time there, while it was 0-0 at the B2Net Stadium. This meant that as things stood, Chesterfield were champions.
In the second half the game really burst into life and on the 54th minute Chesterfield took the lead. Danny Whitaker stole the ball off the Gills defenders foot and took the ball around the goalkeeper before putting the ball into the empty net. Despite having few chances up to now, Gillingham equalised on the 67th minute when Cody McDonald some how managed to poke the ball past Tommy Lee to make it 1-1.

Nine minutes later Jack Lester seemed to seal the title as he regained the lead for Chesterfield with a simple tap in from close range. The score between Stevenage and Bury was now 3-3 with hardly any time to go and so it seemed incredibly unlikely that the Spireites could lose the title from here.

Deane Smalley put the icing on the cake when he made it 3-1 after Scott Griffiths took the ball from the half way line, all the way to the edge of the area before crossing the ball in to Smalley who put the ball into the net from close range.
There was a massive cheer at the final whistle, and after a long and incredibly succesful season the Spireites has finally been crowned NPower League 2 Champions.

The players and staff came back out onto the pitch to collect their medals before captains Dwayne Mattis and Mark Allott lifted the trophy. The celebrations lasted a long time after the game, with the players doing a lap of honour and showing off the trophy and applauding the fans for all their support.

Eventually the players disappeared down the tunnel and the 2010/11 season officially came to a close. It has been an incredible season to be a Chesterfield supporter, with just some amazing results including a 5-5 v Crewe, a 5-0 v Rotherham, a 4-3 v Shrewsbury and a 4-1 v Wycombe! We have played exciting football and it has been an incredible start to life at our new home. Hopefully next season will be just as good, with games against the likes of Scunthorpe, Peterborough, Preston, Charlton and not forgetting massive derbies against the Sheffield clubs.

Chesterfield FC – NPower League 2 Champions 2010/11

'Sir' Jeff Hall

The final game of the season

The Spires in front of the B2Net Stadium

Tickets sold out!

The Gillingham players arrive

Flags and other merchandise on sale

Spireites from all over the country!

The celebrations stand is almost hidden away

The old clock from Saltergate is in a room under the East Stand

Fans in fancy dress

Nice hat!

A Chesterfield flag

Chester the Field Mouse

The corner flag

A message asking fans to stay off the pitch

Another Chesterfield flag

It's been the best year of football I have ever seen!

Flag on the Kop

The Gillingham supporters

Awaiting the players

The players make their way onto the pitch

The players shake hands before kick off

The Gillingham players huddle up

Kick off at the B2Net Stadium

Simon Ford and Adebayo Akinfenwa

Drew Talbot is closely marked

The youth players show off their Midland League trophy at half time

The fans go crazy as Danny Whitaker makes it 1-0

The players celebrate

Gillingham players celebrate McDonald's equaliser

Tommy Lee makes two great saves

Craig Davies is replaced by Dean Morgan, will we see Davies in a Chesterfield shirt again?

Jack Lester makes it 2-1!

Goalscorer, Number 14 Jack Lester!!!

The players celebrate Deane Smalley making it 3-1

Final Score: Chesterfield 3 Gillingham 1

The players celebrate winning the title

A devastated Gills player watches the Spireites celebrations

Dean Morgan holds up the Winners flag

The players celebrate with the fans

The podium is set up

Champions 2010/11!

The Trophy

The players take their place on the podium

The trophy is lifted

Tommy Wright and Jamie Hewitt hold up the Winners flag

Tommy Wright celebrates while Danny Whitaker is interviewed

Craig Davies with the trophy

Davies poses with the trophy

Dean Morgan is interviewed

Chesterfield - Promoted - Champions

The ground empties after the celebrations

See you next season!

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