Spireites celebrations leave Gills feeling flat
Chesterfield clinched the League Two championship with a 3-1 victory which denied Gillingham a play-off place.
John Sheridan`s side went into the clash knowing a solitary point would be enough to secure the title but they claimed all three at the b2net Stadium to deservedly seal top spot, with second-placed Bury drawing 3-3 at Stevenage.
For the Gills, it was a case of so near, so far as they finished in eight spot, narrowly outside the play-off place by virtue of goal difference.
Danny Whitaker's 15th of the season put the home side ahead and although Cody McDonald replied, Jack Lester and Deane Smalley pounced late on to seal an impressive second-half display.
Chesterfield had created little in a nervy first half apart from a 20-yard shot from Whitaker which flashed just wide. And it needed a sharp save from Tommy Lee to deny Cody McDonald in the 35th minute.
But the home side got the breakthrough they craved in the 54th minute when hesitation in the Gillingham defence allowed Whitaker to take the ball round Alan Julian and score from a tight angle.
Lee made another good save to keep out a Danny Jackman drive in the 65th minute, but shortly afterwards Adebayo Akinfenwa put McDonald in on the right and he forced the ball in off the keeper for his 25th of the season.
Gillingham looked the more dangerous team but 13 minutes from time Lester turned in a Scott Griffiths cross from the left, and the full-back then set up Smalley five minutes later for the goal that cranked up the celebrations.