Following the successful conclusion of their four-game "road trip," Chesterfield were back for the first of two successive games at the B2Net Stadium on Saturday, to welcome Morecambe. Manager John Sheridan restored Jack Lester to the starting line-up, with his regular deputy, Scott Boden, returning to the bench.
After a quiet opening ten during which both sides tried to work eachother out, a neat interchange in the Chesterfield area presented Spencer with a chance but Niven headed clear. Drummond put the game's first shot over the bar on 14. Smalley worked well to keep the ball in on the right on 16 and found Lester, whose trickery caused two opponents to slip. Having created a good opportunity, though, Jack shot tamely, and Roche held with ease.
Kevan Hurst opened the scoring on 21 by firing low to Lee's right from twenty-five yards after being allowed to line the shot up. In keeping with current practise, Hurst chose not to celebrate his goal against his old employers. A Morecambe corner on 26 flashed past three attacking men as it flew across the goalmouth and luckily, for Chesterfield, out of play.
Morecambe won their second corner on 40. Hurst's kick caused some consternation but a foul on Lee brought play to a standstill. A Djilali curler on 42 and a weak Niven drive three minutes later constituted rare attacking intent on the Morecambe goal in a lacklustre first half.
Halftime: Chesterfield 0 Morecambe 1. Attendance:6441 (187 from Morecambe.)
Hurst was fouled by the goal line and crossed from the free kick; Charnock was unmarked at the back post but got too much downward direction on his header and Lee caught the ball on the line. Dean Holden went into the book on 54 for contesting an aerial ball with Carlton, whose foot was just as high but who came off second-best.
The visitors extended their lead on 57. Djilali lost the ball and Morecambe worked it over from their right; Chesterfield's defence failed to clear a bouncing ball and Spencer showed enough composure to steer the ball home from around eight yards to extend the visitors' lead.
Chesterfield made a double substitution before the re-start, bringing Whitaker and Boden on for Djilali and Lester.
Davies had the ball in the net on the hour after Roche appeared to lose control of it on the edge of the penalty area, but the Chesterfield frontman was deemed to have fouled the keeper, and was booked for his troubles.
Wilson went into the book after fouling Smalley on 67. Morecambe won another corner after being wrongly presented with a throw, but Breckin got up to head the ball clear.
Chesterfield tried to step it up as the game neared its conclusion. Boden shot after good work by Talbot, but his goalbound effort was blocked.
Wainwright replaced Hurst for Morecambe after 75 minutes, while Lowry came on for Niven. Morecambe made their second substitution on 78, bringing Jeavons on for Carlton. Within four minutes of coming on, Jeavons was unnecessarily booked for a foul on Talbot on halfway.
Morris crossed on 86 and Davies latched onto a header down from Boden to fire a couple of yards over. Boden headed and Roche saved as the game entered stoppage time, but the offside flag went up. Brown replaced Spencer in stoppage time and the game petered out; in a game in which the visitors hardly battered the home side's defence, Chesterfield's two best players were probably the defenders, Breckin and Talbot.
Chesterfield's late-scoring heroics of past games were notably absent but, given the pattern of most of the game, that was hardly surprising, and Jack Lester's first-half chance stood as the only decent one that the home side created in the entire passage of a poor, forgettable performance.