Notts County climbed to third in npower League 1 this afternoon with a 3-1 win over local rivals Chesterfield.
Ben Burgess gave the Magpies the lead with a 21st minute header, making his side's early dominance pay off. Alan Judge then gave Notts a 2-0 lead at the break with his first goal of the campaign.
County passed the ball around confidently in the opening 45 but the second period saw Chesterfield come into the game. Craig Westcarr's 52nd minute finish against his former club gave the hosts the boost they needed.
It proved to be an edgy second 45 for Notts but substitute Sam Sodje helped to secure all three points. His late finish was well saved but he found the net on the rebound in an unorthodox fashion.
Following arguably the finest performance of the season against Hartlepool United, Martin Allen named an unchanged team. The only change was on the bench, with Ishmel Demontagnac taking the place of the departed Cristian Montano.
Over 2,000 fans packed into the away end for the local derby, which also marked the Magpies first appearance at the newly built B2net Stadium. The travelling support were hoping that it would be a more rewarding destination than the Spireites' previous home, Saltergate, where the Magpies had struggled in recent years.
From the first whistle, Notts went on the offence and were unlucky not to go in front inside the first minute. Ben Burgess nodded Gavin Mahon's diagonal pass into the path of Neal Bishop, who forced a strong parry from home stopper Greg Fleming with a first-time volley.
The opening five minutes brought more openings for County and Jeff Hughes tested Fleming with a downward header, after the Chesterfield defence had failed to cope with Mike Edwards' long throw. Hughes then came close to finding the top corner with another header, this time from Alan Sheehan's cross, only for the ball to dip just past the top corner.
Dean Morgan, who netted against Notts in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, provided Chesterfield's first serious attempt, albeit from an offside position. The wideman latched onto Mark Randall's dangerous in-swinging delivery to volley over inside the six-yard box.
The first goal of the game came on 21 minutes, when Mahon found room to send a pin-point delivery into the box from deep. Burgess rose high to nod into the bottom corner with such accuracy that Fleming was unable to get his fingertips to the ball at full reach.
The hosts had a fine opportunity to equalise, after they broke with the majority of Magpies' players forward for a corner. Craig Westcarr raced down the right channel and his low centre found Randall, who blazed over.
Notts made it 2-0 on 38 minutes, when Bishop found Judge in behind the Chesterfield backline. The wideman composed himself under pressure and his low hit was too powerful for Fleming to keep out.
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During three minutes of added time, Burgess showed great determination to dispossess Alex Mendy and send Karl Hawley through on goal. Like he did against Hartlepool, the frontman lifted confidently over the outrushing goalkeeper but was unlucky to see the ball bounce just wide of the target.
Within three minutes of the restart, Chesterfield thought they'd pulled a goal back, as full-back Talbot's cross evaded the County rearguard and Westcarr headed towards the bottom corner from close-range. Stuart Nelson reacted well and leapt across goal to somehow claw the ball away.
Moments later, Westcarr was picked out by Mark Allott's curved delivery from the left flank. The forward controlled well and rifled past Nelson, who had raced sharply off his line.
Hawley almost made it 3-1, shortly ahead of being substituted, when he charged towards Judge's hopeful long pass and deflected the goalkeeper's save wide of the post. Lee Hughes replaced Hawley in attack with 36 left on the clock.
Westcarr could have added his second of the afternoon from Leon Clarke's headed knock-down but Nelson wasted no time in smothering the ball before he could get a shot away. The County goalkeeper appeared unhappy with his former teammate's challenge but the referee quickly calmed the situation.
Burgess also came close to adding his second at the other end during a goalmouth scramble. However, his strike took a deflection off Judge and cleared the bar by inches.
Sodje replaced Mahon with six minutes remaining and he was the one to settle any nerves heading into the dying stages. Lee Hughes broke down the right and cut back into the defender, who had taken up a place on the wing.
Sodje was initially denied by Fleming's low save but managed to score on the rebound. Some of the away fans spilled onto the pitch in delight, as Sodje and his teammates celebrated in front of them.
During stoppage time, Judge surged down the centre and Fleming had to react acrobatically to keep the midfielder's punt from finding the top corner. This was the final effort of note and the players, staff and supporters celebrated in unison, following another convincing showing.
Attendance: 8,342 (2,031 away supporters)
Man of the Match: Neal Bishop