Chesterfield Dominate The Dons
Gary Roberts gave Chesterfield the lead on the half hour mark, and defender Sam Hird headed his first of the season early in the second to seal a comfortable victory.
On a cool afternoon at the Proact Stadium, both sides named an unchanged line-up, which meant new signing Gary McSheffrey, had to settle for a place on the bench.
The Spireites started the brighter of the two sides and had a goal disallowed within the first five minutes. Ritchie Humphreys received the ball out wide and crossed for Marc Richards, who put the ball in the goal, but the linesman’s flag prevented Chesterfield their first goal of the afternoon.
Minutes later, Jimmy Ryan forced Dons goalkeeper Ross Worner into action. His half volley from 25 yards was tipped round the post for a Spireites corner.
Domination followed for Chesterfield, Roberts and Humphreys linked up well down the left-hand side, producing cross after cross, but the ball failed to land on a Spireites head.
Michael Smith had Wimbledon’s first attempt of the afternoon, picking the ball up and drilling a shot towards goal, but Tommy Lee was equal to the effort.
Midway through the first half, Lee pulled off a wonderful double save to prevent Smith opening the scoring for Dons. The goalkeeper got down well to the first effort and picked himself up to parry away the second for a corner.
Humphreys, who had started the game well, crossed for Tendayi Darikwa, but the winger’s header failed to trouble Worner, but seconds later, Chesterfield took the lead.
On the half hour mark, Darikwa fed Jay O’Shea who produced a perfectly weighted cross for Roberts, who clinically finished past Worner, the midfielder’s fourth goal of the season.
Wimbledon could have drawn level, ten minutes later. The ball fell to Smith in the six-yard box, but the striker somehow managed to scoop the ball over the bar.
The referee blew for half time and Chesterfield went into the break leading by one goal after Roberts’ fourth goal of the season put the Spireites ahead.
Five minutes after the restart, the Spireites should have increased their lead. Drew Talbot and Darikwa linked well down the right wing, the winger crossed for Richards, but the striker headed past the post.
The Spireites extended their lead minutes later. O’Shea and Roberts worked a quick free kick, with the latter crossing for defender Sam Hird, who headed his first goal of the season.
Chesterfield dominated for the period after the restart. Both Richards and Darikwa had chances to further cement the Spireites lead but both goalkeeper and woodwork prevented further goals.
Wimbledon made a double substitution as Jack Midson and Chris Arther were introduced, replacing Luke Moore and George Porter.
Just after the hour mark, Humphreys was unfortunate not to open his account for the Spireites as his drilled effort just drifted past the post.
Richards’ afternoon came to an ending on 70 minutes as he was replaced by Irishman, Eoin Doyle.
Spireites goalkeeper, Lee had to be on his toes two minutes later. Jim Fenlon hit an effort from 25 yards which he turned around the post and from the resulting corner; Sammy Moore’s curling effort just evaded the crossbar.
McSheffrey was brought into the action, making his Spireites debut in place of the impressive Darikwa.
Wimbledon should really have pulled a goal back with ten minutes remaining. George Francomb was put through on goal, but Lee stood firm and saved the effort.
Humphreys’ crosses caused the Wimbledon backline problems all afternoon. His teasing delivery just evaded the onrushing McSheffrey, and Doyle at the back post could only find the side netting.
O’Shea was replaced by Armand Gnanduillet and the Frenchman almost made an instant impact, getting on the end of a corner, but the goalkeeper punched to safety.
With two minutes of the game remaining, Hird saved the Spireites clean sheet as he cleared an effort off the line, when the ball had beaten Lee.
Gnanduillet and Harry Pell were booked in the final minute of stoppage time for an off the ball incident.
Chesterfield: Lee; Talbot (c), Hird, Cooper, Hunphreys; Ryan, Morsy, Darikwa (McSheffrey 77'), Roberts, O'Shea (Gnanduillet 87'); Richards (Doyle 71').
Subs not used: Chapman, Evatt, Togwell, Edwards.
AFC Wimbledon: Worner, Fuller, Fenlon, S. Moore, Frampton, Bennett (c), Francomb (Strutton 79'), Pell, Smith, L. Moore (Arthur 62'), Porter (Midson 62').
Subs not used: Brown, Kennedy, Sweeney, Weston.
Goals: Chesterfield (Roberts 30', Hird 53') 2 - 0 AFC Wimbledon