Two second half goals from Jay O’Shea and Marc Richards helped the Spireites seal an opening day victory away at Bury.
Jay O’Shea’s superb solo effort gave Chesterfield the lead then, ten minutes later, Marc Richards’ individual effort sealed victory in-front of over a thousand travelling fans.
The visitors entered the game against Bury handing debuts to five players. The last time this happened, the Spireites gained promotion back in 2011.
Drew Talbot led the teams out today, on his 200th appearance for the club. The defender took the armband from fellow defender Ian Evatt, who missed the game through lack of fitness.
Bury kicked off and started the brighter. Sam Morsy lost possession to Craig Jones, who drove at the defence, his cross found Shaun Harrod and the striker forced Tommy Lee into an early save.
Bury’s dominance continued as they forced a succession of corners. Shaun Beeley produced a teasing cross, but it evaded everyone and the danger was averted.
The visitors nearly caught the Shakers on the break a minute later. Sam Togwell’s low cross fell to Gary Roberts, the winger’s shot was blocked before Ryan’s follow-up just nestled past the post.
Bury were unlucky not to take the lead in the 20th minute. Jones’ free-kick into the box found the head of Nathan Cameron, but his header was tame on the Spireites were let off.
Again, Chesterfield broke straight after. Jay O’Shea’s trickery took him past two Bury defenders, before crossing for Roberts, but his effort was deflected wide for a corner.
A huge chance for Bury went begging just before the hour mark. Tom Soares had the whole goal to aim at but the striker somehow managed to miss the target from six yards out.
The game started to become open, and the Spireites had a couple of chances to take the lead. Richards’ touch let him down at the final moment, and Togwell was unfortunate not to get an effort away after a great ball through from Richards.
With only ten minutes of the first half remaining, O’Shea became the first player to be booked for the Spireites this season. The attacker looked to have been brought down in the penalty area, but the referee deemed the player to have dived.
As the assistant referee indicated two minutes of additional time, Lee produced a wonderful save from the Bury central defender, Cameron. The defender volleyed the ball goalwards, but Lee was equal to the effort.
Five minutes after the restart and the Spireites took the lead. O’Shea, who earned Chesterfield’s first booking of the season, also scored the first of the season. The Irishman turned the Bury captain, Gareth Roberts before unleashing an effort into the far corner to beat Rob Lainton in the Bury goal.
Togwell’s afternoon came to end on the hour mark as he was replaced by last season’s Player of the Year Nathan Smith.
The Spireites doubled their lead five minutes after the hour mark. Ritchie Humphreys played a defence-splitting ball through the middle to Richards. His strength took him past Bury defender Richard Hinds and he rifled the ball past the goalkeeper to put the Spireites two goals ahead.
Richards, who scored the Spireites second, was substituted and Eoin Doyle entered the field, making his debut.
After the introduction of Smith, Humphreys moved further up the field, and the defender showed his versatility, easily adapting to his new role.
Chesterfield looked to see the game out, and with ten minutes remaining brought on Tendayi Darikwa in place of goal-scorer, O’Shea.
Two substitutes, Darikwa and Doyle, combined superbly in the final minutes, but the Irishman’s effort was unfortunately cleared off the line, denying the Spireites a third.
Chesterfield eventually saw the game out comfortably, and in-front of over a thousand travelling supporters, the Spireites came out 2-0 winners.
Bury: Lainton, Beeley, Roberts (c), Hinds, Cameron, Proctor, Jones, Grimes (Forrester 60'), Holden (Mayor 75'), Harrad (Jackson 68'), Soares.
Subs not used: Rooney, Reindorf, Lockwood, Charles-Cook
Chesterfield: Lee; Humphreys, Hird, Edwards, Talbot (c); Togwell (Smith 62'), Morsy, O'Shea (Darikwa 83'), Roberts, Ryan; Richards (Doyle 73').
Subs not used: Chapman, Brown, Devitt, Gnanduillet.
Goals: Bury 0 - 2 Chesterfield (O'Shea 50', Richards 66')