Lavery has big boots to fill against PNE

Caolan Doyle after scoring on his Chesterfield debut at the weekend
Caolan Doyle after scoring on his Chesterfield debut at the weekend
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Chesterfield are adjusting to the ‘AD’ era – After Doyle – and to date it has been a case of so far, so good.

Top scorer Eoin Doyle left the Proact Stadium last week to join Cardiff in a £1m deal.

Preston were also in the hunt for the 25-goal striker but ultimately could not compete with Cardiff’s offer, both in terms of cash and Championship football.

They had seen at first hand earlier in the season just what Doyle was capable of.

He netted a hat-trick as the Spireites came from 3-0 down at Deepdale in September to draw 3-3.

That treble was among the 21 league goals which the Irishman had scored in League One this term, with four more coming in the FA Cup and Capital One Cup.

Doyle’s departure saw the Derbyshire outfit sign Caolan Lavery on loan from Sheffield Wednesday.

The 22-year-old made a dream start to his temporary move, scoring the winner at Notts County on Saturday.

There was a touch of good fortune about it, a clearance from Magpies defender Haydn Hollis clipping his foot and looping into the net from 35 yards.

Lavery said: “The gaffer told me at half-time to keep working and I would get a chance.

“Luckily the defender cleared the ball against me and it went in.

“Chasing lost causes, that is what my game is all about, putting defenders under pressure and hopefully getting the rub of the green.”

Spireites boss Paul Cook, who previously managed Accrington, was pleased with Lavery’s contribution.

Cook said: “I think Lavery shown us glimpses of what he is about.

“You can see him on the shoulder of the defender, he is brave with how he plays, he is robust and reminds us a little of a younger Wayne Rooney type of player.

“We’re really pleased for him. All in all, his endeavour earned him the goal.”

Selling Doyle was not a decision which Chesterfield took lightly but in the end the money was too good to turn down.

Their chief executive Chris Turner said: “Once Eoin had knocked up 15 goals this season it was pretty obvious that there would be a lot of interest in him in the January window and it would be very difficult to keep hold of him.

“Lots of clubs looked at Eoin over a period of time but we only had three offers last Monday – one from another club and two from Cardiff.

“We turned two offers down and we eventually accepted a fee of £1m.

“This is a player who walked through our door on a free transfer and this season he excelled beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

“We as a club have to sell players each season to keep the stadium going, pay the bills and to pay the interest payments that I inherited when I came to the club, which is about £600,000 every year.”

Chesterfield’s 1-0 win at Notts County followed a 2-2 draw with Doncaster in which they came back from 2-0 down. Before that, they beat Crawley 3-0 at home and lost 2-0 at county rivals Derby County in the FA Cup. The Spireites currently sit one place and eight points behind Preston in the table.

PNE’s previous visit to the Proact saw them win 2-0 in August 2011, Clarke Carlisle and Barry Nicholson scoring.