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League Two

Paul Cook beams after title triumph

3 May 2014

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook basked in the warm glow of "the finest moment of his career" after a 2-1 win over Fleetwood clinched the Sky Bet League 2 title for the Spireites.

Cook's team were trailing at half-time but turned the match on its head in the space of four minutes to spark wild celebrations among the 9000-plus crowd at the Proact Stadium.

The visitors had threatened to spoil the party as they controlled the opening 45 minutes despite Graham Alexander's decision to rest five players ahead of next week's play-off semi-final against York.

Matty Blair fired them into a 12th-minute lead after exchanging passes with Josh Morris and Chesterfield struggled to make an impression on a solid defence until after the break.

But once Jay O'Shea crossed from the left for Sam Hird to head home a 51st-minute equaliser, the tide turned and Gary Roberts sealed victory with a superbly curled left-foot shot from inside the box in the 55th minute.

"I'm very proud," Cook said. "We've had a great day in front of a full house. We were getting beat at half-time but we came back to win the championship.

"We've got over the line and won the league and I take my hat off to the players. We've always carried the pressure of being the big club in this league and the lads to a man have stood up to that.

"I'm very proud to manage them and it's a very proud moment for me, without a shadow of a doubt it's the best moment of my career. When I came in it was always going to be a bit difficult because I had to make some changes so to get promoted as champions is a fantastic achievement."

For Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander, the game was a good warm-up for the play-offs despite the result.

"I think in the first 45 minutes we played well but goals change games and that's what happened," he said.

"But what we have done is give a little break to a couple of players who were looking jaded, rest a couple who were nursing injuries and also get valuable minutes into players who haven't played for a while.

"Our target was to hopefully win the game, be competitive - which we were, and then on Monday morning have 18 or 19 players ready for the play-offs.

"There were a couple of other opportunities we could have taken and on another day you get the second goal and see the game out but it wasn't the case and now we look to the games in front of us.

"York have had a great second half to the season and they've been on a fantastic run but we believe we have some very good qualities within our team and we have to make sure they are on show next weekend."


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