Chesterfield brought their new loan signing Javan Vidal into the side at right-back for the trip to Shrewsbury Town this afternoon. In setting out a solid-looking 4-4-2, Manager John Sheridan paired Simon Ford and Ian Breckin together in central defence, while restoring Dwayne Mattis to central midfield. Up front, Deane Smalley started for Jack Lester. Shrewsbury remained unchanged after winning 3-1 at Accrington in midweek.
The Spireites put early balls into the channels for Smalley to test the Shrews defence with his pace. Smalley was brought down near the corner of the penalty box, about 25 yards out, by Sadler on 3; Robertson lifted the ball into the box but goalkeeper Smith came to take the ball. At the other end, Lee claimed a Collins cross with certainty on 7.
Breckin timed a challenge in the box well to deny Collins on 13, with Ford on hand to do the clearing up. Leslie shot at goal a minute later, and Lee safely held the effort. Robertson crossed well on 17 and Smalley rose to head, but was distracted by a defender and headed narrowly over. Sadler looked to get a ball to Leslie on 18 but Breckin cut the ball out; the danger remained, though, and Allott was forced to concede the game's first corner. Leslie fired a ball at the back post and Lee got a decisive touch, but he was judged to have been fouled, so the pressure dissolved.
Shrewsbury won another corner on 23 after Robertson tackled Grandison. Leslie's effort from the flag kick didn't clear Smalley at the near post. A third corner came from a deflection off Vidal on 24; Lee spilled it under pressure but the ball went out off a Shrewsbury man for a goal kick.
Talbot left McIntyre in his wake to advance into Shrews territory on 27 but his cross was cut out. Leslie was presented with a fine chance from Wright's cross on 31 but headed wide; Javan Vidal was yellow-carded for an attempted foul earlier in the move. Lee parried Bradshaw's powerful shot on 36, and the same player set up Wright from the resultant throw, but he too found Lee well-placed to prevent a goal.
Chesterfield won their first corner on 39. Whitaker's kick was cleared by Disley. The ex-Mansfield man was allowed to go on despite Chesterfield claims for offside on 43 but Lee stood up to the threat and saved at close range. Davies broke in stoppage time and found Smalley, who won a corner and took it quickly ; Mattis headed it against the bar but the referee ruled that the ball was moving when the kick was taken. From the re-take, Allott shot from distance as the half-time whistle blew.
Halftime: Shrewsbury Town 0 Chesterfield 0.
Attendance: 6483 (611 from Chesterfield.)
Chesterfield won an early free-kick near the corner flag and Whitaker put the ball into the box, but it was eventually cleared. Sadler found Bradshaw on 51 and he placed a low header at goal, but Lee came up with a fine save to keep the scores level. At the other end Sharps slid in to deny Talbot. Collins got in behind Vidal to test Lee again, and Ford came across to knock the loose ball out for a corner. Sharps headed the corner goalwards but Lee collected. Shrewsbury continued to press but Allott cleared; Davies couldn't hold on to ball, though, so the pressure was kept on with another corner on 55.
Ford went down near the centre circle on 58 with blood coming from his face, but was able to continue after treatment. Talbot dragged a volley wide from an Allott throw. Robertson shot across the face of goal after latching on to a Davies sliced effort.
Bradshaw shot wide from the edge of the box after creating his own chance when turning Ford on 65. Chesterfield brought Lester on for Davies after 66 minutes. McIntyre went into the referee's notebook for a foul on Vidal on 69 that was born out of the Shrew's frustration with the young Spireite's confident defending.
A fine challenge from Sadler prevented Mattis from testing the Shrewsbury keeper at the end of a good Chesterfield move on 73. Chesterfield lifted their travelling fans' spirits with a corner on 75; Whitaker's kick was headed away by Sadler; Allott returned it and Ford volleyed over from around ten yards.
Collins tried to get beyond Breckin on 77 but ran into him after poking the ball through his legs; after late intervention from a linesman a free kick came Shrewsbury's way, on the edge of the box. McIntyre's free kick was sent to the comparative safety of the roof of the net.
Whitaker broke from midfield and exchanged passes with Lester before seeing a shot deflected for a corner with five minutes left. Bradshaw broke back after Sharps headed clear but the ball was safely dealt with. Smalley slipped as he fired over from six yards after great work by Lester on the edge of the six yard box. Talbot was fouled by Sadler on 87. Vidal lofted the ball into the box and Allott's return was blocked, Shrewsbury broke but the opportunity fizzled out after Leslie lost the ball. Wright fired it back towards the back post and Leslie dived to head over.
Matt Harrold came on for Bradshaw with two minutes left. McAlister replaced Disley as the game entered stoppage time. A thirty-yard free kick was hammered goalwards by Wright but Smalley charged down. Lester let Smalley in but Smith did well to anticipate the danger. Mattis made a telling challenge. Harrold was penalised for handball in the Chesterfield box as Bowery came on for Smalley.