The Spireites Johnstone's Paint Trophy run made it only as far as the first round this year, after a 2-0 defeat at Scunthorpe United.Goals from Sean McAllister and former Spireite Gary McSheffrey sent the Iron on their way, before youngster Jack Broadhead was dismissed for a second yellow card late on.
The hosts made a rapid start to the tie as the former Chesterfield man McSheffrey attempted an audacious effort from range with just seconds on the clock, but his drilled shot was saved well by the legs of Town’s number one Tommy Lee.
Chesterfield responded well to McSheffrey and Scunthorpe’s early pressure, with debutant Gboly Ariyibi’s blistering pace causing the Iron defence problems early on.
The Spireites continued to trouble Scunthorpe’s backline following Aribiyi’s purposeful running, with Armand Gnanduillet nearly grabbing his first goal of the season as his deflected effort beat Bobby Olejnik in goal, but also narrowly beat the post.
Despite Chesterfield’s reaction it was the Iron who were first to hit the back of the net, as McAllister was sent to chase a hopeful through ball by forward Paddy Madden, before McAllister was able to smash a left-footed effort past the stranded substitute Aaron Chapman in goal.
McSheffrey was the focal point of every Scunthorpe attack, and soon after it was the forward who was coming back to haunt the Spireites as he doubled Scunthorpe’s lead. Full-back Daniel Jones passed the ball back to Chapman in goal, whose unfortunate slip allowed McSheffrey to capitalise and slot the ball into an empty net.
Gnanduillet was proving to be a handful for the Scunthorpe defence as the Spireites looked for a route back into the game, but his header following a Daniel Johnson corner flicked off of the head of Miguel Llera as the ball evaded Olejnik’s goal.
However that proposed route was almost blocked immediately as it was McSheffrey again who drove forward for the Iron, but his thunderous right-footed shot drifted just wide of Chapman’s post.
The Spireites were hoping that the half-time break would be the turning point in the tie, and Chesterfield raced out of the blocks as young Charlie Raglan latched on to a Johnson cross before heading over Olejnik’s crossbar.
Scunthorpe were looking vulnerable from set pieces and Chesterfield were looking to exploit that weakness, as yet again Town wo the aerial duel following Johnson’s free-kick, however Ollie Banks’ header sailed off target.
Johnson was becoming a key figure in how the game was panning out, and it was the midfielder who had a glorious opportunity to reduce the deficit as the Spireites chased the game, but Johnson’s sweet strike agonisingly missed the far corner.
Paul Cook’s inevitable stern words at the break appeared to have shocked Chesterfield in to life as they attempted to resurrect their pursuit of a Wembley final for the second year running, and Banks’ tricky footwork inside the Scunthorpe half created a yard of space, but his rocket from 25 yards was parried away from danger by Olejnik.
In a period where the home side were struggling to threaten, the Spireites’ momentum was nearly the catalyst of their own downfall, as a quick Scunthorpe breakaway saw recent signing Billy Kee rise highest in the Chesterfield penalty area, but his glancing header shaved the post on its way out.
The Spireites were fielding a total of three full competitive debutants for this fixture, and one of those men Jack Broadhead was given a night to remember for all the wrong reasons, when he was shown a second yellow card for a pull on substitute Kee.
Despite the sending off Chesterfield continued to press in the hope of forcing a dramatic late twist, and on his return to Glanford Park, Jimmy Ryan let aim from the age of the area, only to be denied by a reflex save from Olejnik.
An injury stricken Spireites side were not able to claw back any form of consolation goal in stoppage time, meaning Cook and his men will not be emulating last season’s trip to Wembley via the JPT.
Scunthorpe United: Olejnik (gk) – Dawson, Llera, O’Neill (Myrie-Williams 45’), Bishop – McSheffrey (Kee 71’), McAllister, Canavan, Hawkridge – Adelakun, Madden (Taylor, 71’)
Unused substitutes: Weaver (gk), Boyce
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) (Chapman 7’) – Darikwa (c), Raglan, Broadhead, Jones – Dawes (Beesley 73’), Ryan, Johnson, Ariyibi (Onovwigun 77’), Banks – Gnanduillet
Unused substitutes: Massey, Maguire