Eighteen hundred and sixty-six blue and white balloons were released before the kick-off to commemorate the first Football League match at the b2net Stadium. John Sheridan opened the 2010-11 season with the same side that started the friendly against Barnsley last Saturday. Five players made the Chesterfield debuts - Hunt, Ford, Whitaker, Mattis and Davies - the same number that made Chesterfield debuts on the opening day of the 2008-9 season, against the same opponents. Ian Breckin started his 250th League game for Chesterfield, while Jack Lester made his 100th League start for The Spireites. Having narrowly avoided the drop last season, Barnet's line-up showed nine changes from their last League game, eight of which were debutants.
Barnet started brightly and won a corner on 55 seconds off Breckin. A poor delivery was cleared by Lester at the near post; Talbot broke quickly but was just beaten to the ball outside the box by the advancing goalkeeper.
Whitaker had Chesterfield's first effort at goal on 4 but the show screwed wide of the target.
A Byrne shot looked bound for the right-hand corner on 6 but Lee dived to save in spectacular fashion. Leach headed corner over from 8 yards out, when he had the freedom to do a little better.
Chesterfield came closer when Davies beat Leach in the corner and crossed low towards Lester at the near post, but Uddin stretched to clear. The short corner was worked towards Ford but over his head, and it was easily cleared.
Morris gave away a free kick by Chesterfield's left touchline. Poole crossed but Lee came out to catch well. Indeed, safe handling was a feature of Tommy's game throughout.
Barnet, with the wily Kabba leading their attack, were enjoying the greater share of useful possession at this stage but were unable to mount a clear threat on the Chesterfield goal. Still, the Spireites were able to get forward and threaten, and a Hunt cross on 21 was headed narrowly wide by Whitaker.
Chesterfield took the lead in the 23rd minute. A Davies cross from the left looked like going out as Lester was held in the box, but Talbot rescued the ball round the back and found DWAYNE MATTIS at the post for a simple tap-in.
Barnet came back, and it needed a brave, point-blank save from Lee to deny Kabba four minutes after the goal. Lester dropped a little deeper to collect on 35 and fashioned a good shooting chance from the edge of the box; Cole tipped the shot wide for corner that Whitaker took, but was cleared.
As the first half drew to a close, a Morris shot from 35 yards was held by Cole.
HT 1-0. Attendance:6,431.
Chesterfield pressed from the start of the second half but were soon confronted by an extra man up front for Barnet, who looked likely to give as good as they got. A Poole cross on 49 from the left was cleared by Ford from the approaching Kabba; the resultant corner was headed out by Ford, who was having a game of great authority at the back.
Ian Morris received the game's first caution for a trip on Marshall in midfield on 53. Barnet replaced Jarvis with Holmes. Uddin was presented with something of a free header from a free kick at the far post; his effort flashed wide when he should really have scored.
Chesterfield continued to have the edge and won two more corners, but they could never be confident enough to take risks at the back, and tensions were eased when the lead was extended on 59. JACK LESTER received the ball with his back to goal some 14 or so yards out and worked ferociously to hold the ball as he drew his man to his left; when the marker over-committed Jack turned and cleverly worked the ball on to his left foot before curling a measured shot beyond Cole's reach and into the net.
Barnet threw extra men forward to overrun midfield and Chesterfield had to repel determined pressure. Allott was sold short and beaten on 60; Kabba took the ball on but Ford tackled in fine style just as the ex-United man was about to pull the trigger. Defending was a team game, and Jack Lester made two important clearances in the following two minutes.
Dennehy replaced Parkes on 62. Ian Morris went down after being unable to shake off an earlier injury and was replaced by Scott Griffiths on 67.
Barnet came back into the game with a goal born of determination. Kabba used his greater strength to shove hunt off on 70, talking the ball forward; Hunt got back to try a recovery tackle but the ball ran only as far as POOLE, who shot from edge of the box into the top corner of Tommy Lee's goal.
A Barnet corner off Allott was cleared by Mattis. Chesterfield broke through Talbot to Davies; he worked the ball in to Allott, who shot narrowly wide from 20 yards out.
Hunt was tripped up off the ball by Holmes in the 80th minute to prevent the Chesterfield man tackling the player in possession. Holmes was yellow-carded for his foul. Davies was sent off for serious foul play after a challenge on Kabba on 81. After a long delay Kelly replaced Kabba, who was stretchered off. Lester was replaced by the fresh legs of Jordan Bowery.
Chesterfield survived a scare when the free kick for the Davies foul was lofted in to Byrne and into net but the offside flag brought Barnet celebrations to a speedy end.
Bowery was roughed up by Devera behind the referee's back but kept his composure and won a corner off Uddin. Talbot was fouled 35 yards out as the home side tried to run the clock down in Barnet's half. Chesterfield won two more corners in injury time but Barnet worked the second one forward; much to home fans' relief, Byrne shot comfortably over from 20 yards.
Result: Chesterfield 2 Barnet 1.