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Chesterfield 1, Southend United 3
SOUTHEND United surged through to the third round of the FA Cup with an impressive 3-1 win at Chesterfield this afternoon.
Blues went behind after just four minutes at the Proact Stadium when Tendayi Darikwa converted from close range.
But goals from Marc Laird, Anthony Straker and Kevan Hurst meant the Shrimpers’ were able to come out on top, despite Barry Corr missing a second half penalty.
Southend carved open the first chance of the game after just two minutes when Hurst’s right wing cross was nodded back across goal by Straker but Corr could only send his close range header straight at Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee.
Having survived the scare, the Spireites reacted well and opened the scoring just two minutes later with Darikwa on target.
The winger was superbly picked out at the far post by Gary Roberts’ low, left wing cross and easily guided the ball in to the back of the net from close range.
But the Shrimpers were behind for just eight minutes as Laird brought them back level with his first goal in 13 months.
The Scotsman had not scored since hitting the back of the net against Rochdale in November 2012 but he finally ended that goal drought with a near post header from Ben Coker’s right wing corner.
The home-side were then forced in to making a change as the influential Roberts limped off injured and was replaced by the experienced Ritchie Humphreys.
Things then got even worse for the home-side as, with 17 minutes on the clock, Blues took the lead when a fine right wing cross from Kevan Hurst was headed home at the far post by Straker.
Blues comfortably saw out the remainder of the first half but Chesterfield started the second period strongly and almost equalised when Drew Talbot headed Jay O’Shea’s right wing corner against the top of the crossbar.
After that, the Shrimpers were forced in to making a defensive change in the 64th minute when Rob Kiernan went off injured and was replaced at the heart of the back four by Mark Phillips.
Chances remained few and far between but Chesterfield went close to scoring again in the 72nd minute when Ollie Banks sent a scorching 25 yard shot flying just inches over the crossbar.
But, five minutes later, the Shrimpers wasted a golden chance to make sure of the win when Corr failed to convert a penalty.
The spot kick was awarded when Corr was pushed inside the area by Sam Hird when attempting to reach Hurst’s right wing corner.
However, the Irishman’s effort from 12 yards was well saved down low to his left hand side by Spireites goalkeeper Lee.
The hosts attempted to make the most of the let off with Armand Gnanduillet having a close range header superbly saved by Daniel Bentley.
But their hopes of a comeback were shortlived as the Shrimpers made it 3-1 in the 85th minute with a superbly worked goal.
Straker worked his way past four Chesterfield players before passing to Laird who teed up Hurst and he advanced with the ball before firing past Lee with an assured left footed finish to make sure of Southend’s place in Sunday’s third round draw.