Spireites midfielder Joe Rowley scored the only goal of the game as Chesterfield beat Port Vale 1-0 at the Proact this afternoon.Rowley converted the rebound after Kristian Dennis' effort was palmed away by goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet.
Gary Caldwell made just the one change from the impressive draw from Bolton, Dan Jones coming in to replace the suspended Jon Nolan. The Spireites were looking for a first win in six following a series of frustrating draws.
Rowley signed his first professional contract with Chesterfield on Friday and looked impressive from the off. In just the fifth minute, the midfielder snatched possession from the Vale midfield and darted past a strong challenge, he laid the ball to Dennis, but the striker drilled his shot past the post.
The Spireites caught the Vale defence off-guard with an unexpected corner routine, Rowley dummied as Dan Gardner received the ball short, Gardner cut inside and lashed a shot from the edge of the area that scuffed the post on its way out.
The hosts had started the stronger of the two sides, their latest attack coming asJones pushed the ball past two Vale defenders and curled it into the box, Paul McGinn beat his marker but could only knock it wide.
Much of Vale’s early possession had come down their right-wing but Chris Eagles was struggling to beat the height of the Spireites three-man defence.
Chesterfield were turning possession around with increasing urgency as they looked to make the most of their first half dominance, Gardner received the ball on the right and turned to leave his marker sliding at thin air, but his cross was too long for Jones and went out for a throw-in.
Jones again broke down the left and sped past the Vale full-back, his cross into the box curled invitingly for Dennis but he could only place his header wide.
Sam Foley should have scored after latching onto J J Hooper’s low driven cross but he was denied superbly by Thorsten Stuckmann at point-black range.
At the other end Dennis brought down a long ball from Connor Dimaio, he took a touch and laced it at Deniz Mehmet, but the stopper could only palm to his left and Rowley (54) blasted it into the open net.
Buoyed by the goal, Rowley collected the ball on the byline and placed a low ball for Rai Simons, but the substitute’s first time shot deflected out for a corner.
Chesterfield played the corner short and Dimaio eventually crossed for Sam Hird to head back across goal to Tom Anderson, but the centre-back’s effort shaved the post and went out for a goal-kick.
Still looking to double their advantage Jones bolted down the left and crossed for Dennis, the striker beat his marker and headed at Mehmet but the stopper caught safely.
The home sides were in full control of match but could not find a second goal, some smart footwork from Rowley set Simons free and the striker powered forward but then saw his shot blocked.
Known for his audacious attempts Gardner collected the ball from 25-yards and didn’t think twice before thumping a strike at Mehmet who pushed it past the post with his fingertips.
Neither side looked like scoring again, and with time petering out Ryan Taylor’s whipped free-kick sailed past Stuckmann’s left-post to all but confirm the three points.
Chesterfield: Stuckmann, McGinn, Jones, Hird (C), Gardner (Grimshaw), Dimaio, Donohue (Simons), Dennis (Ebanks-Blake), Anderson, Maguire, Rowley.
Subs not used: Fulton (GK), Angel, Mitchell, Beesley
Port Vale: Mehmet, Purkiss, Smith, Bikey (Reeves), Kiko (Tanser), Foley, De Freitas (Turner), Taylor, Eagles, Hooper, Cicilia
Subs not used: Fasan (GK), Gibbons, Shalaj, Tavares.