Chesterfield marked their first home match of 2017 with a 0-0 draw with MK Dons. In a match that had few scoring chances.
It was a very subdued start from the two sides at the Proact and despite controlling much of the early possession, Dons first real attempt came as George B Williams scuffed a first-time shot past the post.
Having seen little of the ball in the opening exchanges, Chesterfield could have taken the lead when Jon Nolan’s cross fell sweetly for Ched Evans, but it was on the striker’s weaker left foot and his volley was caught by David Martin.
A trio of Jake Beesley, Gary Liddle and Evans ran at an outnumbered Dons defence, Beesley’s through ball looked to be heading for Liddle but it struck the back of Evans’ foot who had edged narrowly offside.
The Spireites were beginning to take control of the match, Jay O’Shea left-footed cross was travelling into a packed out Dons box, but Martin was first to claim it. On the attack again, Dion Donohue’s over hit cross was dragged back into the box by Reece Mitchell, but cleared for a corner before Evans could latch onto it.
The resulting corner was sent to Ian Evatt whose powerful header nearly snuck past Martin, but for a Dons defender on the line. The away side were on the back foot and could only counter through Chuks Aneke, the attacking-midfielder found Nicky Maynard but his cross was too early for Kieran Agard and sailed past the striker.
Desperate for a goal before half time, Donohue skipped past two Dons players and crossed low into the box, but his ball was cleared by Darren Potter.
On the counter once more, Dons got the ball to Maynard but the striker was on his own outside of the box and went for goal, his shot was deflected and out for a corner. While at the other end O’Shea curved a ball into the box late into injury time, Mitchell went to ground in his battle to reach it but the Spireites calls for a penalty were ignored.
The hosts were continuing to be frustrated by the Dons backline in the opening stages of the second half. O’Shea’s shot deflected off a defender and was headed for Evans but Martin beat the striker to it.
MK countered and Agard floated a cross towards Aneke in the centre of the area, but Ryan Fulton intervened with an impressive one-handed catch.
It looked as if Chesterfield were going to be made to pay for not making more of their domination as the away side were attacking in numbers and Aneke had a clear shot on goal as the ball was pulled back for him but Liddle snatched it away from his feet.
Dons stronghold on possession was continuing but quality in the final third was still lacking, their latest attempt coming as Ed Upson turned and struck high and wide from the edge of the area.
The scoring was nearly opened by a spectacular effort from Maynard, the striker’s overhead kick was palmed away by the hand of Fulton.
The away side went close again moments later, Williams low cross was deflected as it went into the box and almost fell for Daniel Powell but Evatt intervened.
Fulton was keeping the Spireites in the match, Powell was through on goal after a ball from Maynard but his driven strike was punched past the post.
This time Evatt was the saviour for Chesterfield, the centre-back’s superb block kept Maynard out and then his clearance ensured the Spireites were safe.
After controlling the majority of the match Chesterfield were now defending for their lives as they clung onto a draw, Powell was through on goal again after beating his man but thrashed it wide.
Chesterfield: Fulton, O'Neil, Evatt, Anderson, Donohue, Mitchell (Ariyibi 66), Liddle (C), Nolan, O'Shea, Beesley (Wilkinson 61), Evans
Subs not used: Allinson (gk), Gardner, Dimaio, Simons, Morrison
MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Walsh, Upson, Potter, Reeves, G B Williams, Agard (G C Williams 61), Downing, Aneke (Powell 61), Maynard
Subs: Nicholls (gk), Hendry, Rasulo, Britton, Tshimanga.