Chesterfield finally sealed a play-off spot despite defeat to newly-crowned champions Bristol City on Saturday 25th April 2015.
The visitors came out on top in a high-quality encounter thanks to goals in either half from Kieran Agard and Aden Flint.
However, the defeat did not dampen the joyous mood at the Proact Stadium as Rochdale’s 3-2 defeat to MK Dons meant a top six finish was now guaranteed.
Bristol City headed to North Derbyshire in understandably high spirits for their final away trip of the season.
The Robins had confirmed their position as the League 1 champions last week, amassing a remarkable 93 points with two games still to go, and were now looking to go out in style.
But they were under no illusions about the task at hand this afternoon as they faced a Chesterfield side undefeated in their last nine outings. And the Spireites still had it all to play for, knowing victory would guarantee a play off spot regardless of results elsewhere.
The visitors were welcomed to the field by a Chesterfield guard of honour. But the Spireites showed no respect for their opposition once the game had got underway, heading straight on the attack – Jimmy Ryan’s powerful strike only denied by a good stop from Frank Fielding.
Bristol began to grow into the game and show why they are top of the tree. A defensive slip allowed Jay Emmanuel-Thomas to pick out Joe Bryan – the 21 year old forcing a difficult save out of Tommy Lee.
And with just over half an hour gone, the Robins took the lead. It came from an excellent run by Agard, who cut past Sam Hird before confidently slotting the ball home.
Chesterfield began the second half strongly and almost had a great chance to level the scores. Gary Roberts picked out Sam Clucas alone in front of goal, but the forward’s first touch took him away from goal and when the shot eventually came from an angle it was comfortably dealt with by Fielding.
But just past the hour, the league champions appeared to seal the victory. Flint rose highest from a corner and powerfully headed the ball into the net to send the travelling fans behind the goal into delight once again.
Roberts left most of the stadium open-mouthed for a moment as he smashed the crossbar with a powerful effort from distance, but it was as close as the Spireites could get this afternoon.
However, despite the defeat there was reason for huge celebration for Chesterfield. Rochdale’s 3-2 defeat to MK Dons meant that they now could not catch the Spireites in the last play off spot.
It was always going to be a tough game against a side unbeaten in 15 games, but Chesterfield didn’t really care about the result as a top six position was now secured – a truly remarkable achievement for the club!
Chesterfield 0-2 Bristol City
Agard ’31, Flint ’59
Lee, Darikwa, Evatt, Hird, Jones, Morsy, Ryan (Ariyibi ’72), O’Shea (Harrison ’88), Roberts, Gardner (Banks ’53), Clucas
Fielding, Ayling, Flint, Williams, Tavernier, Pack, Smith, Freeman (Wagstaff ’85), Bryan (Cunningham ’74), Emmanuel-Thomas (Elliott ’89), Agard