Chesterfield 1-0 Leyton Orient: Non-League side reign victorious as Brandon Cooper scores bizarre own goal – after fans shovel snow off the pitch to get the game on!

  • Chesterfield had asked fans to take their own shovels to help get snow off pitch
  • Cooper headed into the top corner of his own goal from the edge of the box
  • Sir Jim Ratcliffe could be Erik ten Hag’s biggest threat – Listen to why on It’s All Kicking Off

It speaks volumes that when Brandon Cooper’s deflected own goal sailed into the top corner to give Chesterfield the lead there was no spectre of disbelief to accompany the stubborn fog and snow banks at the side of the pitch at the SMH Group Stadium.

Beyond the regulation scenes of joy after any goal, the look of shock you might expect at beating a side 33 places higher up the ladder was absent – this is a Chesterfield team that knows just how good they are and what they are capable of.

The hosts have now seen off two League One sides in a row and will be grateful of the chance to cut their teeth against a Watford side from one step up the food chain, having become just the fifth non-League side to reach round three in three successive campaigns in history. Especially after postponement was threatened by overnight snowfall.

The call to arms went out in the early hours on social media, and it was answered readily by fans – from both sides – with shovels in hand to clear the pitch in time for kick-off, though the hosts’ blistering start might have thawed out the field all by itself if needed.

Within two minutes the hosts had already had two corners and a shot on goal as the Spireites threatened Orient with the breathless play that has put them in pole position to return to the Football League for the first time since 2017-18.

Brandon Cooper (front left) scored a bizarre own goal from the edge of his own box as Chesterfield beat Leyton Orient

Brandon Cooper (front left) scored a bizarre own goal from the edge of his own box as Chesterfield beat Leyton Orient

Fans were asked to arrive to the ground with shovels to remove snow from the pitch to get the game on

Fans were asked to arrive to the ground with shovels to remove snow from the pitch to get the game on

Chesterfield have now reached the third round of the FA Cup for the last three seasons - just the fifth non-League side to do so

Chesterfield have now reached the third round of the FA Cup for the last three seasons – just the fifth non-League side to do so

The side from the capital proved stubborn opposition, though, and kept themselves hard to break down from open play, even if they weren’t troubling Ryan Boot’s goal.

But the Spireites proved a constant danger from corners, twice drawing saves from Sol Brynn, who first got down well to keep out Will Grigg’s cute backheel attempt, before holding firm a Jamie Grimes header.

As the interval drew closer so too it seemed would the opener for the hosts, with the Londoners caught out by a superb reverse pass from Liam Mandeville that put Tom Naylor through only for the midfielder’s sloppy return pass to let the O’s off the hook.

The respite lasted only a minute, though, before Cooper – a late call-up to the team – unwittingly lobbed his own ‘keeper in the 39th minute trying to head clear a cross from Banks. It wasn’t a conventional opener, but on the balance of the first half it was a deserved one.

With the visitors making changes at the break in attack they naturally offered a different test with Joe Pigott on, but after a tense stalemate the game opened back up, Banks picking up a booking for a particularly robust challenge.

Grigg and Armando Dobra proved constantly slippery in attack while conductor in chief Darren Oldaker directed his troops from midfield, but the hosts couldn’t find their second.

The weather threatened to postpone the match until fans chipped in to make sure it went ahead on the day

The weather threatened to postpone the match until fans chipped in to make sure it went ahead on the day

Chesterfield will now face Watford in the next round as they look to challenge opposition a division higher

Chesterfield will now face Watford in the next round as they look to challenge opposition a division higher

Paul Cook's side are also challenging for promotion at the top of the National League table

Paul Cook’s side are also challenging for promotion at the top of the National League table

Leyton Orient were not without their own chances, first half substitute Dan Agyei stinging the palms of Boot from range in the 71st minute to remind the hosts how slender their lead was.

Agyei was proving to be the most likely source of an equaliser for the visitors against the Chesterfield high line, but the back four successfully lured him into their offside trap to protect Boot from a late concession.

When the red No 6 of the fourth official’s board sent out a potential beacon of hope to the visitors, substitute James Berry looked to make sure of the win with a winding run through the middle, but his shot was skewed wide.

Leyton Orient were unable to muster a response, and the Chesterfield defence held firm ensuring that the League One side’s FA Cup campaign for 2023-24 came to an end at the National League flyers.

MATCH FACTS

Chesterfield (4-3-3): Boot; Sheckleford, Palmer, Grimes, Horton (Freckleton 83); Naylor, Oldaker (Jacobs 83), Mandeville; Banks (Jones 74), Dobra (Berry 83), Grigg (Quigley 83)

Subs not used: Tyrer, King, Curtis, Cook

Goal: Cooper OG 39

Booked: Banks, Naylor

Manager: Paul Cook

Leyton Orient (4-2-3-1): Brynn; Hunt, Turns, Happe, James; Brown, El Mizouni (Moncur 67); Sanders (Pratley 45’), Sotiriou (Agyei 41), Archibald (Galbraith 67); Forde (Pigott 45)

Subs not used: Howes, Sweeney, Thompson, Howes, Moncur, Galbraith

Manager: Richie Wellens

Referee: Scott Oldham

Attendance: 8232

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

Source: Daily Mail

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