Nine-man Peterborough United won 1-0 at Chesterfield as the Spireites did everything but score and a wet and windy Proact Stadium.
Goal-less at the interval, Posh took a controvertial lead ten minutes after half time when debut man Tom Nichols prodded home from close range with Tommy Lee loudly claiming he was fouled from the initial corner.
The Spireites got a break of their own two minutes later when Jay O'Shea was felled and Michael Smith was shown a second yellow card, and another Posh red followed with 15 minutes to go with Ricardo Almeida-Santos also receiving his second yellow card.
Chesterfield hammered on the Posh door late on and did everything but score, never able to get level as they fell to defeat.
The hosts started the game on the front foot at the Proact and immediately put the Posh on the back foot with a flurry of corners.
New signing Gary Liddle had the first real effort of worth in the 15th minute; after some nice build up play, the ball found its way to the former Bradford and Rochdale man but his fierce drive was deflected behind for a corner.
Five minutes later and it was the visitors turn to have an opportunity, Lee Angol played Shaquile Coulthirst through on goal but Lee in the Spireites goal got down well at his near post and make the save.
The Spireites responded well and in the 26th minute they had a double chance to break the deadlock. Firstly, Lee Novak worked some space nicely before testing Ben Alnwick and the rebound came out to O’Shea but again Alnwick made the save.
Ten minutes before the break Peterborough came within inches of taking the lead; some patient build up play led to Erhun Oztumer striker the bar with a fine curling effort before Coulthirst headed in the rebound but he was adjudged to have been offside.
The second half was only ten minutes old when the away side made the breakthrough, a looping corner swirled around in the wind and eventually it was Nichols on his debut for Posh who scrambled the ball home.
Michael Smith was then sent off after his second bookable offence when he brought down O’Shea on the edge of the area just before the hour mark with Lee Novak firing the resulting freekick just wide.
The Spireites almost made their numerical advantage count when Liam O’Neil came close to equalising after his initial cross was blocked but the ball came back to him and he fired just wide.
Peterborough were then reduced to nine men with just under 15 minutes to go when Almeida-Santos was shown his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
This allowed for a frantic last 15 minutes in which Novak was sent round the back of Posh’s backline but his low effort was saved well by Alnwick.
In the 84th minute substitute Gboly Ariyibi did well to beat his man and fire in a low cross but fellow sub Dan Gardner couldn’t quite get a stud on the ball to take it over the line.
The Spireites kept pushing and Sam Hird’s header was cleared off the line as cross after cross was launched into the away side’s box.
With time quickly running out, the Spireites threw everything at Peterborough and Gardner beat his man down the left hand side and produced a wonderful low ball in but somehow it was cleared away.
Rai Simons, who came on for Sylvan-Ebanks-Blake at half-time, found himself free in the box but his goal bound effort was again blocked by the defence as the Posh held out for the win.
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Donohue, Hird, Anderson, O'Neil - O'Shea (Gardner 79'), Liddle (c), Herd, Talbot (Ariyibi 70') - Novak, Ebanks-Blake (Simons 46')
Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Banks, Maguire, Dimaio
Peterborough United: Alnwick (gk), Smith, Almeida-Santos, Bostwick, Toffolo, Forrester, Taylor, Oztumer (Beautyman 60'), Nichols (Zakuani 79'), Angol (Samuelsen 60'), Coulthirst
Subs not used: Henry, Fox, Nabi, Coulibaly
Peterborough United: Nichols 55'
Attendance: 6,544 (707 away fans)