Gills suffer first away defeat under Justin Edinburgh as Chesterfield record comfortable win at the ProAct

Two goals from Sam Clucas helped guide Chesterfield to a comfortable 3-0 win over Gillingham at the ProAct Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The midfielder opened the scoring with an excellent curling effort before Jay O’Shea doubled the lead on 12 minutes after a clinical finish from close range.

And with just over a minute to go Clucas bagged his second of the match after a neat finish between the legs of Nelson.

Gills had their opportunities with Marquis thwarted by Tommy Lee before free kicks from Joe Martin and Bradley Dack just missed the target.

Manager Justin Edinburgh kept faith with the same XI that drew 0-0 with Bristol City on Saturday with Oliver Muldoon keeping his place in midfield, while the only change on the bench was Jake Hessenthaler in place of youngster Mahlon Romeo.

Brennan Dickenson, Jermaine McGlashan and Luke Norris were among the substitutes.

Chesterfield took the lead inside the first four minutes, Clucas drove into yards of space on the right hand side and made his way into the penalty box.

With only a small gap to find the midfielder curled the ball around Stuart Nelson and into the opposite corner to give Chesterfield the early advantage.

Clucas also scored at Priestfield earlier in the season and his early strike sparked early cheers from the home faithful, and their delights were doubled on 12 minutes when O’Shea scored a second from close range.

A flick on in midfield made its way to Gary Roberts, he looked up and played in a great ball to the centre forward who just had to hit the target and he made a great connection which gave Nelson absolutely no chance.

Gills progressively got a foothold on the game although Chesterfield continued to look threatening on the counter attack – Joe Martin going closest on 27 minutes with a free kick which went narrowly wide of the left hand post.

The left back was forced off shortly after with an injury, meaning Hoyte moved to left back and Aaron Morris to right back. Muldoon became the sitting midfielder as Jake Hessenthaler entered the field to partner Doug Loft in the centre.

Chesterfield nearly found themselves three up within seconds – a cross from the right was headed on and O’Shea was waiting at the back post. He picked his spot and looked to find the far corner but struck wide.

Another set piece, this time from Dack, nearly gave the Gills a way back into the game. The midfielder’s effort beat Lee but not the frame of the goal and the ball whistled over the crossbar.

H/T: 2-0

Cody McDonald had an early half chance to try and pull a goal back for the Gills – Hessenthaler won a 50/50 ball on the left wing and had time to pick out a pass.

The striker was in space but his attempted volley was mis-hit and Chesterfield were able to clear the danger.

The introduction of Jermaine McGlashan didn’t quite have the desired effect as the home team, without the ball, tracked back and rarely allowed the Gills to pass forward. 

O’Shea continued to threaten and with 10 minutes to play he chose power over precision and launched a shot over the bar, but the home fans did witness one more goal with just a minute of normal time to play.

A ball through the centre carved the Gills defence open, Roberts received the pass and delicately guided it on to Clucas. He took a touch and guided the ball beyond Nelson to grab Chesterfield a third, and with it, maximum points.

F/T: 3-0

Chesterfield: Lee, Evatt, Talbot, Hird, Clucas, Ryan, Banks (Dieseruvwe 90), Darikwa, O'Shea, Ariyibi (Humphreys 83), Roberts (Onovwigun 90).
Unused subs: Chapman, Carter, Jones, Raglan

Gillingham: Gills: Nelson, Hoyte, Egan, Ehmer, Martin (Hessenthaler 31), Loft, Muldoon (McGlashan 55), A Morris, Dack, McDonald, Marquis (Norris 72).
Unused subs: G Morris, Legge, Galbraith, Dickenson.

Attendance: 4804 (179 Gillingham)

Referee: Mr G Sutton