Chesterfield manager John Sheridan was able to field on-loan players Ole Soderberg, Leon Clarke, Neal Trotman and Jonathan Grounds in the FA Cup, first round match against Torquay United at the B2Net Stadium this afternoon. Trotman joined Dwayne Mattis in the middle of a back four that had Drew Talbot and Grounds on its flanks. Mendy, Allott, Whitaker and Westcarr made up the midfield, while Jordan Bowery kept his place up front, alongside Clarke. Torquay included the ex­-Spireite loanee Ian Morris in their starting line­-up.
Chesterfield retained possession well in opening couple of minutes, hardly giving their opponents a kick. AClarke cross was hacked away, and a Talbot cross was flicked goalwards by Clarke, but passed out for a goal kick. Another Talbot cross towards Westcarr was headed out for a corner which was worked short, and crossed deep. Trotman powered through the scrum but used his energy in doing that, and couldn't really test Olejnik with the header.
Having seen how the home side were set up to play, Torquay began to press more in the right places, and the came more into the game as the Spireites' central midfield retreated. A couple of corners went the way of the visitors and Soderberg dealt well with the last of these.
Torquay should have taken the lead on 13. Whitaker gave the ball away after receiving a weak pass and O'Kane intercepted this and found Stevens, but the energetic midfielder smeared the ball very wide when well-placed.
Westcarr claimed a weak clearance on 15 and launched a good move that resulted in a corner. The delivery did not test Olejnik. Trotman blocked Howe's shot on 18 and Morris picked it up, but could only blaze over the bar.
The Gulls edged in front on 19 when Howe laid the ball off to Morris. His cross to the near post drew Talbot to intercept, but Stevens got there first to get the vital touch.
Jordan Bowery was one of few Spireites to emerge with credit on the day, and he would have equalised after his pressure forced an error on 25, but Oastler was on the line to clear the shot from a fine angle. Talbot made a good run into the box to take a return pass from Clarke but ran in front of the ball and could only flick it up as he shaped to make an overhead kick.
Westcarr played a great ball to Talbot wide right on 36, and he swung a cross over that the keeper held with his fingertips as Bowery closed in. Morris slipped Trotman and fired just wide a minute later.
Halftime: Spireites 0 Gulls 1. Attendance: 4332 (255 from Torquay.)
Chesterfield seemed to begin the second half at a slightly more brisk pace. A Whitaker shot from a Mendy pass was blocked for an unproductive corner on 51, Bowery and Westcarr both saw headers go over the bar but JORDAN BOWERY had better luck on 59 with a well-placed downward close-range header from Westcarr's inviting cross, to pull the home side level.
Morris was booked for pulling Mendy back just outside the area on 61. Westcarr drove a shot from a worked free-kick move but it was blocked. Allott fastened on to a loose clearance but saw his shot saved by Olejnik.
Torquay regained the lead on 72 when Rene Howe outmuscled Mattis in a run from halfway and slipped the ball past the advancing Soderberg from around 12 yards.
A spate of substitutions punctuated the rest of a match that was becoming an increasingly lost cause for a Spireite team seemingly starved of ideas and, in some cases, commitment. McPhee replaced Morris on 74, and Smith replaced Mattis five minutes later. Clay replaced Clarke on 81 and Rowe-Turner came on for Stevens on 82. Rene Howe left the field to be replaced by Atieno on 85. Grounds' foul on the new man conceded a free kick to Torquay, some 25 yards out, that Nicholson fired into the top corner of Soderberg's goal to put the match beyond any doubt. A late Whitaker shot deflected for a corner but the delivery again interested only the bucket hands of the Torquay custodian. By that time, many weary Spireite fans had added this game to the growing list of great lame cup disappointments, and trudged towards the exits.