A brace from Mansfield Town’s Pat Hoban, and a classy finish from Alfie Potter condemned Chesterfield’s reserve side to a 2-3 defeat at the Proact Stadium.
Two late goals from second half substitutes Charlie Wakefield and 15-year old Luke Rawson gave Richie Humphreys’ men hope of a miraculous comeback, but it was too little too late as the experienced Stags held on for the win.
The first chance of the game went the way of the visitors, the lively Potter swung in a cross from the right, it was met by striker Yohann Arquin but Dylan Parkin did well to parry the header. Hoban then tested Parkin, but his low shot was collected easily by the goalkeeper.
Brian Jensen had to be alert at the other end, charging out of his box to beat on rushing Spireites striker Owen Darwent to a Joel Phillip’s through ball.
Parkin’s busy start to the game continued in the seventh minute, he showed excellent reflexes to block a CJ Hamilton cross-shot and then smoother the loose ball. Just three minutes later Hoban had another chance, this time his high drive beat Parkin but not the upright.
The Mansfield striker’s luck was in just moments later though, he charged down a George Lynam clearance on the edge of the box, the ball rebounded off his shins and in to the bottom corner of the Chesterfield goal, leaving Parkin with no chance.
The personal battle between Parkin and Hoban resumed in the 20th minute, the striker blasted a swerving volley from 12 yards out, but the young Spireites stopper flew to his right and deflected the ball to safety.
Hoban continued to be a thorn in the side of the young Chesterfield back three, he grabbed his a second of the game on 30 minutes. The Stags striker pounced on a defensive mix-up between Parkin and Connor Fowler and rolled the ball in to the empty net.
Phillips had the first real chance of the half for Chesterfield, he found himself in space on the left hand side of the box but his low drive was straight at Jensen who collected comfortably.
The Spireites had the final chance of the opening period. Neat inter-play between Darwent, Phillips and Iffy Ofoegbu down the left hand side of the visitors’ box, lead to another effort but Jensen did well to save Ofoegbu’s bouncing shot at his near post.
Mansfield started the second half in a similar vain to the first. Potter had a long range effort held by Parkin and soon after, half time substitute Zayn Hakeem- on for Hoban - dragged a shot just wide of the left hand post.
The Spireites tried to respond with a spell of pressure of their own. Jack Brownell’s deep corner fell to Darwent but his drive was blocked well by Jamie McGuire.
Moments later the Stag’s grabbed their third goal.
Potter showed excellent footwork on the edge of the Spireites box and his superbly lofted effort beat Parkin and flew in to the top right hand corner.
Jake Beesley started the second half in a more advanced position for the Spireites and the move almost paid dividends in the 66th minute. He did well to direct a flicked header on target but Jensen made a routine save.
Beesley continued to cause problems for the Mansfield back line, he linked up well with substitute Rawson, on the edge of the visitors’ area but he couldn't quite reach the tall striker’s return pass.
The Spireites’ much improved second half performance was rewarded on 83 minutes.
Substitute Wakefield then picked up a cross field pass from Brownell, he then played a one-two with Harry Taylor, before beating a defender and playing another one-two, this time with Beesley, rounding Jensen and slotting in to the empty net.
And with a minute remaining, Chesterfield grabbed their second of the game. Rawson latched on to a Wakefield through ball, showed pace and strength to hold off James Baxendale, power in to the box and cooly finish underneath Jensen in to the bottom right-hand corner.
It set up a tense finish but the Spireites couldn't quite grab that elusive equaliser as Mansfield hung on for the win.
Chesterfield: Parkin, Ofoegbu, Fowler (Wakefield), Taylor, Hand, Lynam, Darwent (Rawson), McKenna (Smith), Phillips, Brownell, Beesley (C).
Subs not used: Jones (gk).
Mansfield: Jenson, Baxendale, Hemmings, McGuire (C), Howkins (Harrison), Taft, Potter, Collins, Hoban (Hakeem), Arquin, Hamilton.
Subs not used: Roughton (gk), Healey, Law.