Spireites Win at Torquay
Two firsts half goals from Ollie Banks and Jay O'Shea sealed a 2-0 victory for the Spireites at Plainmoor extending Chesterfield's undefeated streak to six games.
The Spireites lined up with the same side that emphatically defeated Rochdale in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Tuesday night.
Torquay started the brighter side, enjoying a couple of early opportunities through Paul McCallum and Jordan Chapell but neither could direct their efforts on target and Tommy Lee's goal remained untroubled.
Chesterfield quickly countered the home side's pressure with a spell of their own, enjoying extended periods of possession inside the Torquay half but without creating a clear cut opportunity.
The Spireires breakthrough came in the 15th minute after Banks pounced on a defensive error before firing a placed effort past Martin Rice, his third goal in two outings for Chesterfield.
The North Derbyshire side doubled their lead a matter of minutes later when Armand Gnanduillet turned his defender on the edge of the Torquay area before shooting. The striker's effort was blocked but fell kindly to O'Shea who finished past Rice at the second time of asking.
Chesterfield didn't appear to let up and continued their onslaught on the Gulls goal through Gnanduillet. Gary Roberts fired a corner towards the striker on the edge of the six-yard box but the Frenchman could not get enough on the ball to direct it on target.
During the Spireites' prolonged spell of pressure, Torquay countered and had the ball in the back of the Chesterfield net after Paul McCallum found himself in space inside the travelling side's area but he was flagged offside and the goal would not stand.
Banks then had an opportunity to grab his second goal of the day, finding himself in space on the edge of the Gulls' six-yard box but the cross to find him was a little too hot to handle and the ball evaded the Spireites midfielder.
The former FC United of Manchester man continued to trouble the Torquay defenders, finding a yard of space on the edge of the home side's area before composing himself and attempting to curl an effort past Rice but his shot was deflected over the bar.
Gnanduillet then enjoyed two chances within a matter of minutes. First receiving the ball on the angle of the Torquay area before shooting sharply on the volley, then just moments later firing a right footed shot from space on Rice's goal. Unfortunately for the striker, both efforts fell just wide of the target.
As the first half came to an end a Chesterfield corner was headed into the air by the home side and looped towards Ian Evatt at the back post, the defender shielded the ball and appeared to be barged over but the referee was unmoved by Chesterfield's penalty appeals.
Banks picked up where he left off as the sides began the second half, receiving a smart ball from O'Shea on the right wing before cutting inside and forcing a great save from the Torquay 'keeper.
Chesterfield continued to press through Jimmy Ryan, the midfielder linked up brilliantly with O'Shea on the edge of the home side's area, receiving a one-two before trying to lift the ball over Rice but his lofted effort just cleared the crossbar.
O'Shea was involved again just moments later, finding enough space in the Gulls area to be picked out by a Roberts cross from the left wing. The Irishman took the shot on first time through a left-footed volley but his effort sailed wide of Rice's goal.
The Spireites made their first change of the afternoon on the hour mark as Gnanduillet, who had looked dangerous all afternoon, was replaced by Marc Richards.
Chesterfield nearly added to their lead as the game approached the 70-minute mark. Banks forced a defensive error that released O'Shea down the right wing with nobody around him, the midfielder fired a low ball across the Gulls area but the home side did just enough to nick the ball off the toe of Richards before clearing.
That was to be O'Shea's last involvement of the afternoon as the midfielder was replaced by Tendayi Darikwa who took up position on the right side of midfield.
As the second half progressed, Chesterfield appeared to be content with their two goal lead and looked to dominate possession of the ball. Keeping it well amongst the holding midfielders and the back four.
The Torquay defenders started to tire and Darikwa found himself in space on the right side of the Gulls area before firing a low ball across the six-yard box. Richards stretched to meet the cross and rattled the crossbar but the striker had already been flagged offside.
As the game came to a close, Roberts and Richards both attempted to extend Chesterfield's lead from similar positions. First Roberts was found in space on the left side before composing himself and unleashing a fierce drive towards the far corner of the goal forcing a strong save from Rice.
Minutes later Richards made his own space, cutting inside from the left wing before firing a low shot towards Rice's near post but the striker's effort was deflected out for a Chesterfield corner.
Tuesday night's Man of the Match Banks was substituted as the game drew to a close, receiving a standing ovation from the travelling support as he was replaced by Eoin Doyle.
Torquay United: Rice, Downes, Pearce, Mansell (c), Hawley (Sullivan 77'), Chapell (Cameron 85'), McCourt, McCallum (Benyon 70'), Craig, Cruise, Mozika.
Subs not used: Poke, Tonge, Nicholson, Azeez.
Chesterfield: Lee; Talbot, Evatt, Hird, Cooper; Hird, Ryan, O'Shea (Darikwa 70'), Banks (Doyle 88'), Roberts, Gnanduillet (Richards 61').
Subs not used: Chapman, Togwell, Devitt.
Goals: Torquay United 0 - 2 Chesterfield (Banks 15', O'Shea 19')
Attendance: 2,361 (311 Chesterfield)