Chesterfield's good recent away run came to an end in the snow at Vale Park as they fell to a 3-2 loss in Sky Bet League 1.A lightning first ten minutes saw Vale take the lead on the snow-covered pitch through Sam Kelly, before Lee Novak strick back for the Spireites within two minutes, and within another two Vale were again ahead after Ajay Leitch-Smith struck.
Vale scored their third minutes after the second half restart as Louis Dodds grabbed a goal when he finished off the post. Substitute Ollie Banks hit the bar for the Spireites and Rai Simons scored a well-taken late consolation but the away side came up short in their attempts to get back level.
Jay O’Shea delivering a peach of a cross but Gardner couldn’t guide his volleyed effort on target.
However, it was the hosts who took the lead with their first attack of the game. The ball was nicely worked down the left-hand side and it found its way to Kelly who finished past Tommy Lee from eight yards out.
The frantic start to the game continued when the Spireites equalised a couple of minutes later through Novak. The ball was pumped into the box from the defence towards Richard Wood, it was half cleared only as far as Novak who finished superbly on the volley.
Port Vale retook the lead two minutes later in the tenth minute when Leitch-Smith met goal-scorer Kelly’s ball in to finish with ease past Lee.
The visitors responded well to the set back and had a good spell of pressure, frequently hitting crosses into the box but with no avail.
The visitors came close to a second equaliser when Novak again picked up the ball outside the area but his powerful drive flew just over the bar.
Wood thought he had found the equaliser just before the half time whistle but his neat finish past Jak Alnwick from seven yards out was correctly ruled out for offside.
The second half was barely four minutes old when Vale went further ahead through Dodds. After patient build up from the hosts down the right hand side, the ball was fed in Dodds who’s near post shot cannoned off the post before beating Lee.
The Spireites continued to probe the hosts back four and O’Shea went close on the hour mark after cutting inside following a fine switch pass by Novak.
Chesterfield again came close in the 67th minute when O’Shea’s freekick was flicked on by a Vale defender but Alnwick made a fine diving stop.
With the Spireites continued pressure, Vale had chances to finish the game on the counter attack but Leitch-Smith and Byron Moore couldn’t’ finish when chances came their way.
Substitute Banks came within inches of pulling a goal back for the visitors when he drove into the box but his powerful shot came crashing back off the crossbar.
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake should have scored with just over three minutes remaining but he missed the target with his header from inside the six yard box.
The Spireites did eventually pull a goal back through Rai Simons, who curled in superbly from just inside the box after turning his man with ease.
The visitors through the kitchen sink at the Vale defence in stoppage time as Lee ventured forward for a corner but they couldn’t force an equaliser.
Port Vale: Alnwick (gk) (Neal 81'), Dickinson, McGivern, Duffy, Dodds. Foley, Yates, Kelly (Daniel 88'), Moore, Leitch-Smith, Grant
Subs not used: Purkiss, Streete, Birchall, Ikpeazu, Hooper
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Jones, Evatt, Wood (Simons 73'), Hird - Morsy (c), Herd (Banks 69'), O'Shea, Gardner (Ariyibi 60') - Novak, Ebanks-Blake
Port Vale: Kelly 6', Leitch-Smith 10' Dodds 48'
Chesterfield: Novak 8' Simons 90+2
Attendnce: 4,402 (356 away supporters)