Goals from midfielder Joshua Scully and striker Fabien Johnson were enough to give Chesterfield a deserved victory over struggling Hartlepool United, claiming their first win in their last six matches in all competitions.
Dave Bentley's side dominated the match for large parts, creating numerous opportunities and playing some slick football. Although they were nearly made to sweat as United striker Tom Mitchinson missed a second half penalty for the visitors.
The Spireites made a quick start to the match and created their first opportunity in the 13th minute. Defender Jordan Slack used his pace to get down the right and he picked out striker Bradley Bowland in the box, who met the ball with a header which just went wide of the post.
Only a minute later Scully's long range effort forced United 'keeper Dominic Scott into a smart save as the hosts began to stamp their authority early in the half.
Slack's positive start to the game was cut short as he was forced off with a groin injury and replaced by Regan Edridge who slotted in at right back. Despite the change, the one way traffic continued as Chesterfield dictated the tempo of the match.
Midfielder Mark Fereday showed his pace with a run down the right hand side and managed to weave his way through the Hartlepool defence but he blazed his shot over the bar.
The pressure eventually paid off as Chesterfield took the lead in the 24th minute after they capitalised on some poor defending. Ryan Tuck and Jonathon Wright failed to clear a long ball in the box and Bowland managed to flick the ball to Josh Scully who smashed the ball into the back of the net from the six yards.
Johnson thought he had doubled the lead a minute later as a clever one- two with midfielder Cormac Noel sent him through on goal and he found the top corner with a superb effort but was ruled offside as the Spireites looked to build on their lead.
Hartlepool struggled to create chances in the final third but they were given an opportunity after defender Tim Whittaker was caught in possession, however striker Connor Halpin couldn’t capitalise; hitting his effort off target.
With only minutes remaining in the first time the visitors grabbed an equaliser against the run of play. Spireites captain Jack Broadhead’s clearance fell kindly to Pools midfielder Bradley Walker who composed himself and hit a long range effort which sailed into the back of the net, giving 'keeper Josh Barrington no chance.
The visitors could have taken the lead early in the second half after a long ball by defender Aaron Brown wasn't dealt with by Whittaker which allowed Mitchinson to burst through into the box and win a penalty after Barrington tripped the striker. Mitchinson stepped up himself but fired wide as the Spireites were let off the hook.
The miss seemed to spur on Bentley's side and they should have retaken the lead as Bowland found Cormac Noel in box but he fired his effort past the post as another opportunity had been spurned.
Defenders Tim Whittaker and Matthew Clarke both had chances to give the Spireites the lead but they couldn't find a way past the visiting ‘keeper.
Scully was pulling the strings in midfield and the pace of Fereday was a constant threat as Chesterfield chipped away at United. They finally got the reward their play merited after a clever pass from midfielder Alex Hewitt found Scully free on the left. He headed the ball back into a dangerous position and the ball fell kindly to Fabien Johnson who rifled the ball home in the 69th minute.
Hartlepool desperately tried to get back into the game but were thwarted by the colossus Broadhead who frustrated the opposition. The young Spireites were comfortable and in firm control and should have built on their lead as Johnson and Bowland were unlucky in front of goal.
With only ten minutes left Hartlepool probed for the equaliser but couldn't create an clear chances and had to settle for long range shots which didn't really test Barrington.
The win was more than deserved after a terrific team effort, with Broadhead and Scully the standout performers and Bentley was delighted with what he saw today as he said:
"We were the better team on the day and we applied ourselves in the right way. Our passing and movement was terrific and we also created lots of chances.
“The game could have been different if they had scored the penalty but it seemed to spur the lads on and we played some good football which is really pleasing to see."
Chesterfield Xl: Barrington, Slack, (Edridge 21), Broadhead, Whittaker, Clarke, Fereday, Scully, Hewitt, Noel, Bowland, ( Beasley 84), Johnson. Subs: McNicholas, Dakwa, Edridge, Mullins, Beasley.