Chesterfield made two changes to the line-up that started against Rotherham in midweek. Jack Lester's knee again proved troublesome, so Martin Gritton started his first game of the season after a string of scoring performances for the reserves. Ian Breckin came back in to become a third centre-half after a tactical reshuffle that saw Derek Niven left out.
As Chesterfield got to grips with a new formation Morecambe's attempted patient build-up play looked the more impressive in the opening minutes, but neither side could keep possession well enough to make anything happen.Morecambe won their first corner off a Page clearance on 7 but Page made a second clearance as the kick came over. Drummond summoned the first shot of the match on 10, but his effort went wide.
Artus was caught out in midfield by Drummond and fouled his opponent, earning an early yellow card.
On 17 Chesterfield broke forward. The ball was crossed to Gritton but the move seemed to break down momentarily; the ball came to Conlon and his cross saw MARTIN GRITTON give Chesterfield the lead with a smart header across the goal. Morecambe came back at Chesterfield; Page got a challenge in but the ball came to Curtis, who squandered a golden opportunity by crashing his shot wide. Chesterfield broke to the other end as the game suddenly coughed into life.
A crossed free kick on 21 came to Conlon, whose overhead kick left Roche stranded but struck the post. Green looked to take on Wilson and was brought crashing to the ground by the same man for the second time in moments, leaving the ref with few options but to book the Morecambe man.
Curtis crossed to Stanley on the half hour and he shot goalwards, but Lee flew to produce a fine save. The subsequent corner was cleared. Chesterfield won a corner on 33 when Conlon chested the ball down and flicked it goalwards, but Roche was aware; Allott returned the clearance from the corner but Roche again was well-placed to save.
Jevons worked a fine opportunity and shot on 38 but, with Lee stranded, the ball struck the post.
Frankie Artus was sent off on 41 after another poor challenge saw the ref follow up the second yellow with the inevitable red.
Halftime: Morecambe 0 Chesterfield 1.Attendance: 1967 (270 from Town)
John Sheridan was not tempted to strengthen centre midfield by a substitution at halftime. To begin with, Dan Gray came more obviously forward into a midfield three. Morecambe put three at the back, played a high line and came out to put the visitors under the cosh but, with both Gritton and Conlon remaining on, it looked like Chesterfield intended to trade punch for punch.
Return blows from the Spireites were few to begin with, though, as Curtis, Drummond and Jevons drove the home team forward. The pressure was building appreciably on the visiting goal. Duffy won the home side's first corner on 56. Breckin cleared the first phase and Gritton shepherded the return ball out. Drummond worked hard to set up Duffy on 61 but the Shrimper shot way over the bar. Breaking forward a minute later, Drummond opted to go it alone, but Lee saved.
Twiss's corner on 63 went through everyone; Green rushed an attempt to clear and somehow, the ball dribbled away from goal. Duffy's shot on 68 was blocked and the free ball was kept out as blue shirts piled back into defence. Goodall, who had been carrying a knockfor a while, was replaced by Austin on 69, while Mullin replaced Curtis at the same time. Austin was immediately required to show presence as the visitors' goal took on the appearance of Rourke's Drift.
Duffy had two chances to shoot on 78; Breckin, who was enjoying a fine game, blocked the first and the second hit another blue shirt before rolling into the safe arms of Lee. Before play resumed, Boden came on for Conlon. Stanley was the next to line up a shot, which cleared Lee, dipped at the last moment and smacked off the top of the bar.
Boden broke forward with eight minutes left but looked to find Gritton when a shot of his own might have been a better option. The veteran winger Neil Wainwright came on with seven to go, while Derek Niven replaced Gritton.
A remarkable scramble in the Spireites box with four left saw Page come from somewhere to clear, when several home players seemed certain to clinch the equaliser. Four minutes of additional time were posted as Page confounded Duffy's attempts to set himself up. Gray's tired trip saw the home side get a free kick, which Stanley took; Allott cleared, it was sent back but clipped a red shirt on its way out for a goal kick. Gray took a late booking for a foul as the clock ran out; Allott volleyed the ball away from danger but Haining returned; Breckin cleared but it came back again and Haining coaxed a super save out of Lee as the referee blew for full time.