John Sheridan plumped for a change of approach at Dagenham today, bringing the fit-again Kevin Austin back, but at the expense of right-back Phil Picken, who was on the bench. The club's travelling staff remained tight-lipped about the starting formation, when quizzed in the run-up to the game. The Daggers were unchanged, unsurprisingly, given their fine start to the season. Mascot Joe Payne might have been a local lad, but it was hoped the name would inspire the Derbyshire side's forwards!
From a throw in the opening minute, Josh Scott shot against the post, and Lester took the clearance upfield to win a Chesterfield corner. Breckin's header from Robertson's kick produced a decent diving save from Roberts on the goal line.
Jon Nurse appeared to go down under a challenge but was penalised for diving, on 7. Neither side were able to keep possession in a scrappy period of the game. Dagenham won their first corner on 9 but the threat was dealt with by the Chesterfield defence. The visitors broke and Lowry fed Small, but his rushed effort went high. Lester turned well and shot after receiving Lowry's pass on 13, but his effort lacked the power to beat the accomplished Roberts.
Lester got loose again on 15 and was about to pull the trigger as Mark Arber came in with a finely-judged tackle. The Daggers won a free-kick a few yards outside the Chesterfield box on 16 and Scott thumped a low shot goalward, but Lee judged it well and gathered easily. Kevin Austin's firmness prevented the lively Scott from winning more than a corner on 18; Lester headed the flag kick clear from the near post and Lee gathered Griffiths' shot from the clearance.
The home side won a corner on 24 after good work by Scott. Green's kick was met by Benson's head; Lee came for the ball but Antwi back-headed the ball into the net to give his side the lead.
From the kick-off Dagenham regained position and Green advanced to blast a shot a couple of inches over the bar. Thurgood shot after good work from Scott on the half-hour but the ball flew just wide. Niven and Talbot swapped passes and the Scot took the ball into the box and crossed, but no-one could get on the end of it. Benson went into the referee's notebook on 34 for a recent, poor foul on Niven. Three minutes later Doe pulled Lowry down as he went round him, and followed Benson into the book for the Daggers' second yellow of the day.
The Spireites were awarded a free kick about five yards outside the box, but a poor delivery from Lowry sailed straight into the arms of Roberts. Austin stood his ground as Dagenham looked to work a chance, but was penalised for holding; Lee got down to claim the shot from the free kick. Lester cut the ball back to Lowry on 42 but the Blues' top scorer rushed his shot and put it well wide.
Half-time: 1-0 to Dagenham & Redbridge. Attendance: 1819 / (215? from Chesterfield.)
Chesterfield brought McDermott on for Talbot at half-time. McDermott was involved from the off but Lester and Lowry got in eachother's way and a promising opportunity was not taken.
Austin was booked for a foul on Scott, on 46. Benson's free header drifted wide of the post on 47 but he had better luck a minute later, extending the lead with a shot after an unforcederror from Austin.
Antwi went through the back of Small on 50. McDermott's free kick was turned out for a corner on 53; Thurgood miskicked Lowry's cross but Green tidied up. Dagenham built well on 55 and Nurse shot, but Lee produced a fine save.
Scot Boden came on for Derek Niven after 62. The Daggers won their fourth corner of the game on 69 after Lee saved a Scott shot. The deep cross drifted over Arber's head, and out. Nurse was replaced by Montgomery on 70. Benson won a corner on 72 which Green took; it came to the unmarked Benson at the back post and another corner ensued, then a third in short order. The patch of Daggers pressure was relieved by Antwi's foul.
Jack Lester made way for Darren Currie on 80. Breckin found McDermott with a decent ball but his cross was eventually cleared by Antwi and a corner resulted. It came to McDermott and he won another, which he took; a goalbound Spireite shot was kept out after it struck Boden.
McDermott pulled a goal back after receiving the ball on the edge of the box, on 86. Danny Spiller replaced Green and Scott made way for Wesley Thomas, on 89. With stoppage time running out the visitors won a late corner but Lowry's flag kick went straight into the arms of Roberts.