For the first time in 364 days, John Sheridan was afforded the luxury of an unchanged side, naming the same eleven to start the difficult-looking task at Charlton as had started the fine 4-1 win over Carlisle United. Dean Morgan returned to
Mendy broke down the wing in the opening seconds and found Clarke, who fashioned a half-chance for Johnson; his drive didn't find the target, but was a decent statement of team intent.
Wright-Phillips went away and saw a shot blocked on 4. The Addicks won the game's first corner on 5 and Wright-Phillips found space between two defenders too easily, but could only head behind for a goal kick.
In a fine match atmosphere, Hollands had a shot blocked on 10 after Charlton found space in the area; Grounds blocked Jackson's shot from the throw, and a corner ensued. Grounds again cleared the ball to the far post as the home side began to dominate the opening exchanges. A long throw drew Fleming out of goal but Morrison hooked the ball goalwards; Fleming recovered to save, though, and Jackson had a great chance with his head, but the ball was cleared.
Another Charlton corner on 15 was aimed for Wright-Phillips and he again managed a free header, but again put it wide. Talbot knocked another ball out for a corner on 17, as the home pressure mounted; Hayes' acrobatic effort from the cross was saved very well by Fleming. Eventually, though, Charlton took the lead; Hayes shot, and Fleming saved, but it fell to Wright-Phillips; he scuffed his shot but it fell kindly for Hayes to force over the line on 19.
A careless push on Whitaker presented that player with a crossing opportunity from a free kick; Allott's shot from the clearance didn't trouble Hamer in the Charlton nets. Another Allott shot was screwed wide on 24. Wright-Phillips was allowed in by poor work in the defence but Ford came to the rescue on 25. Hayes' shot forced Fleming into another fine save on 26 and Allott blocked the follow-up.
Clarke came within an ace of playing in Westcarr, but was denied by Morrison's sliding interception. Charlton extended their lead from a free kick on 28; while everyone expected the cross, a simple pass was played to Jackson near the penalty spot, and he rifled home.
Westcarr was penalised for a foul when trying to get past Solly; Westcarr thought he had had his shirt pulled, though, and removed it to offer it to the Charlton man. Another Charlton corner on 32 was perhaps wrongly awarded, and Fleming had to be alert to turn the in-swinger over.
A great Mendy run on 34 caused problems before the home defence rallied to clear. Whitaker won a corner off Solly and Westcarr helped it on, but Clarke put the ball over from short range. Solly's cross was deflected for another corner on 38 which Talbot met. At the other end, Mendy drove forward again but saw a cross blocked. Smith's hesitation allowed Hayes in, but Wagstaff fired the pass over.
A lovely Johnson pass towards Clarke just spun away from the intended target in first-half injury time. Chesterfield finally looked like settling into the game in the last fifteen of the half, but considerable damage had been done in an opening half-hour when Charlton looked likely to overwhelm the Spireites.
Halftime: Addicks 2 Spireites 0. Attendance: 22,151 (1,225 from Chesterfield.)
Chesterfield made a more constructive start to the second half and Hamer came to collect a couple of passes into the box. Stephens fouled Allott on 49 and Hamer came to claim the rather aimless free kick.
A Mendy cross appeared to hit a Charlton arm in the box but no action was taken. Immediately, Talbot was brought down by Jackson on 53 and yellow-carded for it. Manager John Sheridan continued to complain about the Mendy handball incident and was sent to the stands by the referee.
Chesterfield continued to press. Talbot and Mendy were linking well and Whitaker had upped his game from first half levels. A Mendy cross on the hour was blocked for a corner which Whitaker took short; he put the return from Johnson into the box but Hamer fisted away. Whitaker had a good chance when released by Clarke on 63 but drifted a shot wide.
In their first threat of the half, the Addicks' Stephens put a header over from a Hayes cross, on 65. Wagstaff couldn't get decent contact on a Jackson cross on 66.
As Chesterfield's early impetus flattened out, Dean Morgan was called back from a warm-up, to be brought on; before that could happen, though, Clarke was brought down by Morrison in the penalty area. Morgan was held up by the Chesterfield bench as Leon Clarke made a point of wanting to take the penalty; under the extra pressure DANNY WHITAKER waited for what seemed like an age before emphatically burying the ball into the top corner, sending Hamer the wrong way. Morgan put his tracksuit back on - had he come on before the pen, would he have replaced Whitaker?
Johnson's free kick into the Charlton box was met by Grounds, and his effort was turned behind for a corner that Hamer gathered under mounting pressure. Jackson wormed his way into the area but Whitaker blasted the ball upfield to clear. Stephens shot from 25 yards but cleared the crossbar on 76.
Charlton stepped up a gear in response to Whitaker's goal. Hayes hit the bar with a volley after playing on following a handball shout, but the offside flag went up against him. Hayes was withdrawn for Kermogant on 79.
Morgan replaced Johnson on 80 minutes. A fine Hollands challenge denied Clarke breaking through into the box on 82. Talbot was booked on 84 for a foul and Charlton won a corner from the short free-kick. Kermogant's header ran to the edge of the box and Matt Taylor went down in the box under a fair Smith challenge. Mendy went up the other end and blasted a dangerous shot wide.
Wright-Phillips should have killed the game off on 86 but Fleming saved well.
Boden replaced Westcarr with three minutes left. As Chesterfield pressed into stoppage time a Charlton clearance was chased upfield by Wright-Phillips, who won a corner. Smith blocked an effort on goal from the corner. Wright-Phillips sealed the game with a diving header at the back post after a good move and a Wagstaff cross.
Boden won a corner at the other end; Morgan was unlucky with a shot that Hamer saved. Wagstaff was replaced by Hughes in the third minute of stoppage time.