Chesterfield's youth team's poor run of form continued as they went down 1-0 to Grimsby Town on Saturday.
Sam Loughran’s goal just after half time was enough for the home side to take all three points despite the Spireites being on top for majority of the game.
Both sides were reduced to 10 men when Cormac Noel was shown red along with Grimsby’s Jack Griffin for unsporting conduct, a decision both managerial parties failed to agree with.
Dave Bentley made two changes to the side that lost 3-0 to Doncaster just four days previous with Cameron Mason replacing Josh Barrington, who was away with the club's first team and Oliver Brock coming in for Mark Fereday, who dropped to the bench.
Chesterfield made a bright start to the game and almost took an early lead. Midfielder Ben Partridge rose highest to meet Josh Scully’s corner kick and his effort was cleared off the line.
The young Spireites continued to press and almost forced a mistake from Grimsby defender Paul Walker, the strong centre half misjudged a Scully throw in and almost headed the ball into his own net.
For all their possession, the visitors had failed to create any real chances to cause Grimsby ‘keeper Callum Bastock any problems. However, they did come close on the half-hour mark, Scully again the maestro, his cross-field ball found Jamie McNicholas out wide and his pin-point cross just missed the outstretched foot of striker Bradley Bowland.
Chesterfield never looked like taking their foot off the gas and came close again after a spell of continuous corners - this time through Brock - but the midfielder’s first time effort from the edge of the box flew wide of the home side’s goal.
Just before half time Grimsby almost took a shock lead, catching Chesterfield on the break. Caine Winfarran did well to get the ball in midfield and his pass found a Grimsby striker, who saw his effort well saved by Mason.
It didn’t take long into the second half before the game saw its first goal. Grimsby captain Blaize Kerr stole the ball from McNicholas down the left hand side and his low driven cross was met by the unmarked Loughran who tapped home from three yards.
The goal came as a shock to Chesterfield who had been on the front foot all game, but Grimsby almost doubled their lead on the hour mark but were denied again by Mason.
Just seconds later Grimsby’s keeper was called into action after some good passing and movement from Jordan Slack and Bowland. The ball was crossed deep into the Grimsby box and was met by a fierce shot by McNicholas whose effort was saved spectacularly by Bastock.
After a crazy few minutes both teams found themselves down to 10 men. After some pushing and shoving between the players the referee showed a red card to Chesterfield’s Cormac Noel and Grimsby’s Jack Griffin, accusing the two of misconduct, something that surprised both camps and the supporters.
The decision seemed to have a negative effect on the game's momentum, as both team struggled to get the ball down and test either ‘keeper. However Chesterfield continued to have more of the possession and almost scored with ten minutes remaining, substitute Mark Fereday met the cross of Slack with a powerful header that went just wide.
Mason was forced into action again just before the end, denying Loughran another good chance with a very smart save.
And the lively ‘keeper almost grabbed himself a goal in the dying seconds of the game, after going up for a corner, the ball fell to him edge of the box and his first time effort went inches wide of the Grimsby goal, keeping the game at 1-0 for Grimsby.
Speaking after the match, Bentley said: “I thought we were excellent today, we got the ball down, and we played well, and I feel the better lost today.
Chesterfield Team: Mason; Slack, Broadhead, Whitaker, McNicholas, Scully (Mullins), Hewitt, Brock (Maguire); Partridge (Fereday), Noel, Bowland.