Besides a tense finale the Spireites served up a Boxing Day feast to beat Peterborough United 3-2 at a buzzing Proact Stadium.
Eoin Doyle reached two landmarks, netting his 20th goal of the season with his first goal and then his 30th of the calendar year with his second in what was an impressive performance from the Spireites.
Despite a nerve-jangling finish the Spireites were worthy winners and the win sees them move up to ninth in Sky Bet League 1.
The home side came out of the blocks quickly with Gary Roberts pulling the strings in midfield. The talismanic midfielder came closest for the home side in the opening minutes as his left-footed volley from just inside the six yard box was glanced to safety by the Peterborough ‘keeper.
He was at the heart of the home side’s next chance as well as he twisted and turned on the edge of the box before his right-footed shot was deflected away for a corner.
In the tenth minute Chesterfield got the goal their opening spell deserved as Doyle netted. After measured build-up play the Irishman ran onto a Tendayi Darikwa shot to flick the ball past a helpless Ben Alnwick in the Peterborough goal.
Almost immediately after the restart the home side were on the attack again, this time Roberts crossing for Armand Gnanduillet who was unable to get a shot away.
As the away side looked to get back into the game Erhun Oztumer was at the heart of their best move of the opening 20 minutes, flicking a ball over the Spireites backline but Lee was able to clear.
Doyle and Gnanduillet looked in sync up front, combing well to break free of the Peterborough defence only for Doyle’s final ball to be too heavy for the Ivorian, who won a corner. From the set-piece, Romy Boco headed just wide as the Spireites kept piling on the pressure.
The Spireites continued to dominate possession and doubled their lead in the 34th minute. Roberts played a neat one-two with Doyle before the Irishman slid the ball across the six yard line to find his strike partner Gnanduillet who calmly slotted the ball home.
Captain Ian Evatt then had two chances in as many minutes, first blazing a shot over the bar, then forcing a save out of Alnwick low to his left. At the other end Lee was forced to make a save from Luke James’s low shot but the Chesterfield ‘keeper was well-positioned.
The Spireites almost made it three first-half goals in the dying minutes as they created two great chances. First Doyle set Sam Clucas free on the left-wing but his cross managed to evade everyone in the middle. Then in the last chance of the half Gnanduillet laid the ball off for Roberts on the edge of the area, but the midfielder’s shot flew past the far post.
The second half started with Peterborough showing greater intensity, winning a free-kick after Charlie Raglan mistimed a tackle on Marcus Maddison. The curling free-kick was claimed by Lee just under his crossbar and from then on the home side resumed their domination.
The Spireites did make it 3-0 in the 54th minute with a sensational goal to mark Doyle’s 30th of the calendar year. Darikwa chipped the ball to Roberts who chested it off to Boco. The Benin international played a first-time through ball to Doyle who took two touches to line up a shot before firing past the stranded Peterborough ‘keeper.
Gnanduillet received a standing ovation from the home faithful as he was replaced by Daniel Jones just before the hour mark. Chesterfield boss Paul Cook changed the shape of the defence slightly as he looked to close out the match.
However, The Posh did score a goal moments after this substitution when Michael Bostwick headed in a free-kick from the edge of the box.
At the other end Roberts had a golden opportunity to round off what had been a fantastic performance with a goal. But after being put clean through on goal by Doyle, the midfielder scooped his shot over the bar.
The game suddenly got nervy as Marcus Maddison’s 71st minute cross from the left wrong-footed Lee in the Spireites goal and the ball defeated everyone, trickling into the net.
Peterborough were well in the game as the last 15 minutes approached and another nail-biting finish was in store for the Spireites’ fans.
However, the home side dug deep to clear their lines as Luke James kept searching for the ball over the top to break Chesterfield’s defence. Oztumer continued to cause problems with quick passing moves on the edge of the box but each time they were broken up by the Spireites defenders.
The Posh kept pushing forward throughout the five additional minutes at the end of the second half and Maddison had a glorious one-versus-one chance to level the scores but after pressure from Charlie Raglan, his shot was well smothered by Lee to rubber stamp the victory.
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) – Darikwa, Evatt (c), Raglan, Clucas – Humphreys, Hird, Roberts (Banks 72’), Boco (O’Shea 72’) – Gnanduillet (Jones 59’), Doyle
Subs not used: Wright, Gardner, Ariyibi, Beresford
Peterborough United: Alnwick (gk) – Bostwick, Zakuani, Burgess, Smith (Mendez-Laing 72’) – Newell, Burgess, Payne (c) (Maddison 28’), Beautyman, Otzumer – James, McLean (Washington 60’)
Subs not used: Day, Vassell, Santos, Anderson
Chesterfield FC: Doyle 10’, 54’ Gnanduillet 34’
Peterborough United: Bostwick 62’ Maddison 71’
Attendance: 8,353 (835 away fans)