Carlisle's Gary Madine made his Chesterfield debut in place of Wade Small for the game at Saltergate against Bury this afternoon. Drew Talbot returned to the bench. This was the division's game of the day, on paper: The Spireites were seeking to extend a three-win run and Bury came into the match on the back of a run of six wins, being unchanged for the third game in a row.
Bury were given a corner with 30 seconds on the clock, although it looked as though the last touch didn't come off Rob Page. Dominic Green had the home side's first effort on 5, when his free kick shaded wide. Madine and Rundle linked up well to allow the latter to cross on 9, and Conlon's slide at the back post just failed to connect.
Conlon and Madine clearly had the upper hand against Bury's centre-half pair of Sodje and Futcher, and the defenders seemed to be reduced to holding on several occasions, although usually without punishment. At the back, Page and Breckin refused to be beaten into submission. Chesterfield had probably shaded the first twenty minutes but needed to be on their guard when a quick break by Dawson put Lowe on the chase; Lee came out of his area to tackle the Bury frontman. Bury's Jones shot from around the edge of the box on 24 but Mark Allott was back to clear from his own six-yard line when Lee was beaten.
Page and Lowe were booked for "afters" on 25, with Page particularly being perhaps a little fortunate not to suffer further punishment, after twice pressing his face to Lowe's.
With a short period of Bury pressure weathered, the Spireites finished the half the stronger team. Great build-up work by Green saw Rundle cross; Niven closed in but was perhaps surprised to find the ball at his feet, and his scooped shot was saved by Brown. Niven's most decisive work of the half was saved for the other end; a Corner looked to be Lee's, but he took one in the back and the ball dropped to Futcher, whose shot was cleared off the line by the tenacious midfielder.
Halftime: 0-0. Attendance: 4122 (575 from Bury.)
Within two minutes of the re-start Bury were forced to replace their midfield engineman Dawson with Hewson. Two minutes later Hewson was put clear at the far post but blasted a shot wide from six yards. Niven shot over from around 25 yards after good work by Rundle on 56, and Scott Boden came on for Conlon before the goal kick was taken.
Futcher headed a cross behind for a corner on 58. Green took it and swung one in towards two Bury men at the near post end of the six yard box. Scott BODEN came from behind these two to stretch and head the ball home to give Chesterfield the lead.
Bury's efforts to get back into the game were hurried, to their detriment, and the Spireites began to keep possession well. With 74 on the clock Alan Knill made his last throw of the dice, replacing both his forwards. Lowe and Morrell finally got away from Breckin and Page, but had to be replaced by Bishop and Elliott to accomplish this!
Bury pushed their fullbacks on and kept three up, with more piling on as the side attacked. Chesterfield wobbled occasionally, but were resolute, although the ability to keep the ball that was so evident before the substitutions vanished. Worrall shot wide when well-placed on 79 but pushed Goodall in order to create the chance, although no whistle came from the Ref.
Drew Talbot came on for Gary Madine on 80. The young forward had put in a decent shift on his first appearance.
As time began to run out, Jones planted a 25-yard free kick onto the Chesterfield bar. A huge goalmouth scramble in the dying moments saw several efforts to clear the Chesterfield lines pinged back in until Niven got a decisive boot to the ball; even then it was fired back in and Allott deflected the effort over the bar. Bury were deflated after this and Chesterfield played out the remaining stoppage time to record a hard-earned, and thus well-deserved victory.