Chesterfield are ancient as well as recent foes. We’ve faced them 116 times, and of course a certain clash in the FA Cup is the most famous of all those encounters.
Our defeat at Saltergate in 1997 was a bitter blow. We were so close to reaching the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time, but a second half mix-up between Andy Marriott and Deryn Brace presented The Spireites with the only goal and a clash with Middlesbrough at Old Trafford.
That wasn’t the first time we’ve faced Chesterfield in the FA Cup though. In fact, we knocked them out of the competition the previous season. Goals from Steve Watkin and Barry Hunter gave us a comfortable half time lead, but Kevin Davies pulled a goal back ten minutes after the break to bring the game back to life. Karl Connolly restored our breathing space though, and Davies’ last minute goal couldn’t change matters.
We had less luck in 1968, when Ray Charnley’s goal couldn’t prevent us losing 2-1 in Chesterfield in the second round of the cup, gaining revenge for our first round win two seasons earlier. Ian Oldfield, Geoff Lloyd and Dave Carrick got the goals as we beat them 3-2 in front of a crowd of over ten thousand.
We got through a couple of rounds of the FA Cup last season, disposing of Harrogate Town and Weston Super Mare before taking Newport County to a replay. That little run ended a barren period for us in the Cup, as since pushing Stoke City to the limit in 2015 we hadn’t won a match in the competition.
In the intervening seasons we were eliminated in the qualifying round by Gainsborough Trinity, Stanford and AFC Fylde.