A goal in each half was enough for the Spireites as they dispatched Cheltenham Town 2-0.
Gary Roberts put Chesterfield in the lead midway through the first half, but Cheltenham made it uncomfortable for the Spireites. However, Eoin Doyle sealed the win in the final minutes to give Chesterfield two wins out of their opening two games.
On a cool afternoon at the Proact Stadium, Chesterfield entertained Cheltenham looking to continue their impressive start to the league campaign.
The Spireites made two changes from the side that lost to Leeds United in the Capital One Cup. Out went midweek goalscorer Eoin Doyle and Tendayi Darikwa, and in came Marc Richards and Jay O’Shea, who both grabbed goals in last week’s victory over Bury.
Chesterfield started lively, and had the first opportunity of the game two minutes in. Roberts was allowed space to cross, but Richards’s header just went wide of Scott Brown’s goal.
The visitors had their first opportunity of the game in the tenth minute. Terry Gornell nodded the ball down to strike partner, Byron Harrison, but his effort was tame and didn’t test Tommy Lee.
Soon after, Cheltenham threatened again through a long range effort from captain, Russell Penn. The midfielder thundered an effort from around 30-yards out, but Lee was behind the effort to make the save.
Roberts’ crosses from the left side were causing Cheltenham danger. Richards was unfortunate not to latch onto the end of a cross, and the danger was cleared.
Jermaine McGlashan had two chances to give the visitors the lead with a header and a strike from 20 yards, however the midfielder went onto rue his missed opportunities as Chesterfield took the lead.
Neat play in the middle between O’Shea and Richards set Roberts through. The winger evaded the offside trap and despite pressure from the Cheltenham defenders, the Liverpudlian smashed the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to give the Spireites a deserved lead.
Chesterfield then started to dominate play. Roberts was in the thick of things again, nearly getting on the end of a cross, whilst Richards’ audacious overhead kick was easily saved by Cheltenham goalkeeper, Brown.
Richards and Roberts were the instigators in everything the Spireites seemed to do in the first half, the two combined to set up Ritchie Humphreys for a header, but the former Hartlepool man couldn’t direct his header on goal.
Minutes before the break, the Spireites nearly doubled their lead. A free-kick was awarded 25 yards out, Roberts got it up and over the wall, but Cheltenham stopper, Brown, was equal to the effort.
Against the run of play, Cheltenham was nearly gifted a way back into the game. A sloppy back-pass from Nathan Smith was intercepted by Robins forward Harrison, and he lifted the ball over Lee, but central defender, Ryan Edwards, got back to clear the ball off the line.
In injury time, Smith lunged into a challenge with a Cheltenham player and was lucky to only get away with a booking.
The left back, after his booking, was replaced at the break for Darikwa, with Humphreys dropping to a defensive role.
Darikwa almost made an instant impact within the first minute of coming on. The winger danced his way through to set up O’Shea to have a crack at goal, but the Cheltenham stopper got down to the effort well, and the danger was cleared.
Ten minutes after the restart, Cheltenham thought they had equalised. Troy Brown’s header beat Chesterfield goalkeeper Lee, but the linesman flag rescued the Spireites and preserved their lead.
Chesterfield were living dangerously and the visitors looked to exploit the home side. Harrison danced his way through the Spireites defence, and Lee made a smart save to deny the forward.
The Spireites looked to take a grip of the game and brought on Doyle in place of Richards, and the Irishman was soon into the action, setting up another substitute Darikwa, but the winger’s effort was well saved by Brown in the Cheltenham goal.
Chesterfield fashioned their best opportunity of the second half on 70 minutes. Roberts, who has been instrumental for the Spireites all afternoon, dinked a ball to O’Shea but his effort just whisked wide of the Cheltenham goal.
As the game started to open up, O’Shea again opened up the visitor’s back-line, but again, Brown in the Cheltenham goal was equal to the effort and denied the Irishman his second goal of the season.
Doyle and Roberts both had opportunities for the Spireites, but both didn’t test the Cheltenham goalkeeper.
As the game entered a nervy last ten minutes, Chesterfield made their third and final change with O’Shea being replaced by midfielder, Sam Togwell.
For all Cheltenham’s pressure, it was Chesterfield that finally sealed the game beyond doubt. Roberts jinking run fed the Irishman, and from the edge of the area, his deflected shot weaved its way past Brown, to double the Spireites lead.
The referee blew the final whistle to end a nervy second half, and in-front of 5,367 supporters, it’s the Spireites that head home happier.