Chesterfield edged past Morecambe with a well-deserved 1-0 victory at the Proact Stadium on Tuesday night.
A Jay O’Shea goal was enough to give the Spireites all three points as Ritchie Humphreys, captain on the night, celebrated his 700th career appearance.
In a quiet opening to the game, it was Morecambe who were first to threaten when an early corner was headed at goal by Tony Diagne, but his effort was tame and straight into the arms of Tommy Lee. Keeping up their pressure, Ryan Williams floated a free kick into the area and Lee was again called into action, this time tipping the ball over the bar.
The Spireites were looking to make their own impression on the game and O’Shea tried to get his team going when he made a foray towards the opposition area on the left wing, but his shot went harmlessly over the bar.
O’Shea came forward again, this time finding Mason Bennett free down the left side, his low cross was dangerous but was just inches away from the boot of Eoin Doyle who was sliding in.
Chesterfield had a good chance on the quarter of an hour mark when Doyle was sent racing through on goal by the increasingly influential O’Shea. Doyle’s effort across goal beat Morecambe keeper Barry Roche but went past the left-hand post.
The Spireites were growing in confidence by the minute and they soon took the lead. Doyle this time was the provider to O’Shea when his cross on the right wing expertly found the midfielder in the box. With time place his spot the Irishman made no mistake in nodding home in the 19th minute.
Both sides were involved in a battle in the middle of the park as the first half drew to a close. Chesterfield were showing a lot of desire for the ball, but so were Morecambe and the half fizzled out with both sides struggling to create any real openings.
The Spireites began the second half well with Bennett finding Doyle down the right hand side and the striker received the ball with a neat first touch before forcing Roche into an exceptional save at his near post from a tight angle.
Another excellent opportunity came their way and it was again Doyle and O’Shea involved in the move. This time the latter with the ball at his feet on the edge of the area played in his team-mate, but Doyle’s effort in the area produced the best of out Roche who saved brilliantly to keep the score at 1-0.
Chesterfield had now taken control of the game and three more chances quickly followed. Firstly O’Shea found himself in space with his back to goal on the edge of the area, the midfielder turned neatly before firing low and hard but the strike went wide of the right hand post.
The second came from a right wing cross from Tendayi Darikwa when his centre found Marc Richards whose goal bound header was tipped away at the near post by Roche. The Morecambe keeper was standing tall against a barrage of Chesterfield attacks and he once again saved the Shrimps when Jimmy Ryan drove forward down the right side. His shot was low but Roche was equal to it and turned the ball behind.
Paul Cook made a double change just past the hour-mark with Bennett being replaced by Gary Roberts, while Doyle was substituted for Richards. Not long later, O’Shea was substituted and he received a well-deserved rousing reception to be replaced by Ollie Banks.
In a rare venture forward, Morecambe’s Kevin Ellison from 25 yards out tried a shot at goal and his effort went just wide. It wasn’t long before Chesterfield threatened again when Sam Morsy found some space just outside the Chesterfield area and with time he bended an outstanding effort towards goal but the ball narrowly went past the far post.
Morsy went even closer with ten minutes remaining when his pile-driver from 25 yards out struck the bar and over as the Spireites searched for a second goal to kill the game.
Despite their best efforts they couldn’t find a second, but they comfortably held on to their lead to the final whistle to record their 19th league win of the season.
Chesterfield’s attention now turns to the JPT Final against Peterborough on Sunday. The Spireites can travel to Wembley in high spirits on the back on an excellent performance.
Chesterfield: Lee; Darikwa, Evatt, Cooper, Humphreys (c); Morsy, Ryan, O'Shea (Banks 71'), Bennett (Roberts 63'), Kearns; Doyle (Richards 63').
Subs: Dunbavin, Hird, Talbot, Gnanduillet.
Morecambe: Roche, Threlfall, Kenyon, Huges, Diagne, Wright, Williams, Ellison, Marshall (Redshaw 56'), Amond (Sampson 69'), Edwards.
Subs: Arestidou, Sampson, McCready, Mwasile, Doyle, Dunleavy.
Goals: Chesterfield (O'Shea 19') 1 - 0 Morecambe
Attendance: 4,891 (55 Morecambe)