The Spireites' Sky Bet League 1 safety nerves where swept aside as a flowing performance secured a brilliant 3-0 win over Bury at the Proact on True Blue Day.
After Gary Liddle was fouled in the box, Jay O'Shea put the Spireites ahead with an unstoppable penalty, Lee Novak doubling the Spireites' fun on half time as his deflected effort made it two.
Substitute Dan Gardner slotted home a third after a gloriously slick Spireites break tore the Shakers' defence apart, with a clean sheet an added bonus to the afternoon - the 100th of Tommy Lee's career.
After a quiet opening 15 minutes to the game, it was the visitors who had the first sight of goal. Ex-Chelsea trainee Jacob Mellis picked up the ball from 25 yards and fired towards goal, but it was a comfortable save from Tommy Lee.
The Spireites began to grow into the game with Gboly Aryibi and Jamal Campbell-Ryce looking particularly dangerous on the wings. It was Ariyibi who had Chesterfield’s first real chance in the 19th minute after a swift counter attack involving Lee and Novak. Lee picked out Novak from his goal-kick before the latter found Ariyibi on the left hand side, he cut min but his goal-bound effort was blocked by a defender.
The hosts were beginning to dominate the game and it was O’Shea’s turn to come close when his free-kick from 25 yards went agonizingly wide as the Spireites hunted for that all-important first goal.
With 25 minutes played, Ariyibi’s mazy run which lead to his side having another chance to open the scoring. After bursting into the box and beating three men, his low cross was blocked out for a corner and it was Novak who met it but his flick went just wide.
Two minutes later and the Spireites won a penalty when centre-back Cian Bolger brought down captain Gary Liddle; O’Shea stepped up to smash the ball into the bottom left corner to open the scoring.
Chesterfield continued to dominate the game and came within a lick of paint away from doubling the lead when Ollie Banks hit the post in the 40th minute. After patient build up, O’Shea’s half volleyed attempt was saved before Banks rattled the post, the rebound falling to Liddle whose shot was blocked.
In time added on at the end of the half, the Spireites did double their lead. Novak found himself in space on the edge of the area, he swivelled and fired towards goal; the ball hitting a defender before flying in. Chesterfield in complete control as the half time whistle went.
The second half started with the same pattern as Chesterfield continued to control the game, with Bury looking to counter. It was the visitors who fashioned the first chance of the half when Danny Mayor did well to work some space inside the box, but his shot was blocked by a Spireites defender.
A ball from substitute Reece Brown caused Chesterfield problems as they saw the ball roll wide of Tommy Lee’s goal.
With just under 20 minutes left of football at the Proact this season, Gardner put the icing on the cake for the Spireites. Gardner, who had only been on loan at Bury two weeks ago, tapped in from an O’Shea. The ever-impressive Ariyibi picked out Gardner on the counter attack, who found O’Shea in the box; he had time to find Gardner – who finished with style.
The hosts continued to control possession with slow build up play and probably should have scored a fourth in the 87th minute. Novak did superbly inside the Bury box to fire a low ball in to Gardner who found himself in space, but his strike was saved by Chris Neal.
The Spireites saw the game out with ease to record the all-important win that keeps Chesterfield in League One for 2016/17.
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Donohue, Hird, Anderson, Talbot - Campbell-Ryce (Gardner 69'), Banks, Liddle (c), O'Shea, Ariyibi (Dimaio 90'), Novak
Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Evatt, Ebanks-Blake, Simons, Slew
Bury: Neal (gk), Clarke, Etuhu, Mellis (O'Sullivan 46'), Mayor, Pope (Rose 46'), Jones (Brown 46'), Lowe, Soares (c), Pugh, Bolger
Subs not used: Lawler, Clare, Sedgwick
Chesterfield: O'Shea (pen) 29', Novak 45', Gardner 71'
Attendance: 7,232 (413 away fans)