Chesterfield Edge Past Stanley
Tendayi Darikwa’s early second half goal was enough for the Spireites to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Marc Richards’ initial shot rocketed off the upright, but Darikwa was on hand to put away the rebound to keep Chesterfield at the top of the Sky Bet League 2 table.
There was one change for the Spireites as Nathan Smith was ruled out with injury, meaning Darikwa was given his first league start of the season.
On a cool afternoon at the Proact Stadium, it was Accrington that kicked off proceedings, but it was Chesterfield who instantly started on the front foot.
With only three minutes on the clock, Ritchie Humphreys’ initial cross turned into a shot at goal which the goalkeeper found uncomfortable to take, holding it at the second attempt.
It was nearly the visitors that took the lead minutes later. Danny Webber’s first time effort forced Tommy Lee into action, tipping the ball round the post.
Accrington defender Peter Murphy was the first player into Darren Deadman’s notebook. The defender unfairly challenged Sam Morsy after the ball was played and was consequently booked.
Gary Roberts had the first clear cut effort after 15 minutes. Jay O’Shea’s shot was deflected into the path of Roberts, but his effort was blocked by an onrushing Accrington defender.
Chesterfield should have taken the lead five minutes later. Sam Hird found acres of space in the box, but his volley whisked past the post.
Tom Aldred was the next Stanley player into the book before the half hour mark. The right back challenged Darikwa unfairly and was given a yellow card.
The Spireites were creating clear cut chances, but finding it difficult to get them on target. Ritchie Humphreys delivered a cross from the right, but Marc Richards’ effort flew high over the crossbar.
With five minutes of the half remaining, Accrington were forced into their first substitution. The injured Webber was replaced by Will Hatfield.
The visitors could have taken the lead just before the break. George Miller played a through ball to Michael Richardson, whose effort hit the side netting.
O’Shea’s effort blazed harmlessly over the bar and the referee soon signalled for the end of the first half.
The Spireites kicked off for the second half and instantly took the lead. A poor back pass from an Accrington defender presented Richards with a sight of goal. His shot rebounded off the post and straight into the path of Darikwa who finished clinically. The winger’s second goal in as many weeks.
Chesterfield really started to take control. Roberts set O’Shea through, but a last ditch tackle prevented an opportunity. From the resulting corner, Hird was close not to double the Spireites lead.
O’Shea’s afternoon came to an end just before the hour mark, being replaced by last week’s goalscorer, Armand Gnanduillet.
The Frenchman again made an impact coming from the bench. He forced a corner, which Roberts delivered on the head Drew Talbot, but the ball was cleared off the line by an Accrington defender.
Both sides made substitutions on 70 minutes. Eoin Doyle was introduced in place of Richards and Connor Mahoney replaced Piero Mingoia.
As the rain started to pour over the Proact, the game started to become end to end. Accrington enjoyed a bit more possession; however it was the Spireites that had the better opportunities.
Sam Togwell made his first appearance since the opening day victory over Bury, replacing captain, Drew Talbot.
Going into the last five minutes, Accrington looked to rescue a point from the game. Substitute Mahoney’s shot was comfortably saved by Lee after panic in the Spireites backline.
Gnanduillet was unfortunate not to increase Chesterfield’s lead, but the offside flag came to the rescue of the Stanley defenders.
As three minutes of were added, the Spireites should have sealed the game. Doyle’s initial shot rebounded off the crossbar and Togwell’s follow up was blocked by Gnanduillet.
Chesterfield: Lee; Talbot (c) (Togwell 85'), Hird, Cooper, Humphreys; Ryan, Morsy, O'Shea (Gnanduillet 58'), Darikwa, Roberts; Richards (Doyle 71').
Subs not used: Chapman, Evatt, Edwards, Devitt.
Accrington Stanley: Bettinelli; Murphy, Joyce (c), Alored, Winnard, Richardson, Webber (Hatfield 40'), Naismith, Miller (McCartan 84'), Mingoia (Mahoney 73'), Atkinson.
Subs not used: Wilson, Clark, Windass, Jenkins.
Goals: Chesterfield (Darikwa 46') 1 - 0 Acccrington Stanley
Attendance: 6,588 (84 away)