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Match Reports

Opening day victory for the Spireites!

4 August 2018

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Chesterfield took three points in their inaugural Vanarama National League fixture, thanks to a 65th minute penalty, won and scored by Zavon Hines.

Martin Allen handed Chesterfield debuts to five players: keeper Shwan Jalal, central defenders Michael Nelson and Will Evans, plus midfield duo Charlie Carter and Curtis Weston.

Newcomers Sam Muggleton, Lee Shaw, Sam Wedgbury and the latest addition, Marc-Antoine Fortune, were all on the five-man bench which didn't feature a keeper.

Hosts Ebbsfleet, managed by 35-year-old Daryl McMahon, reached the play-offs last season and they saw Jack King and Ebou Adams make their club bows whilst their last-gasp signing, Michael Cheek, was on the bench.

The game began in bright sunshine and temperatures of around 29 degrees but both sides set an impressive tempo and were happy to add physicality to their games.

Hines went close to opening the scoring when he slid in to get onto a Drew Talbot ball into the danger area but the hosts defended well and the ball squirmed just wide. Adams hit the first on-target effort but it presented no problems for Jalal and shortly after, Danny Kedwell hit wide following a cross from Myles Weston, whose influence was starting to increase.

Skipper Robbie Weir hit wide before Adams rifled a header onto the bar and Kedwell hit the rebound over with 24 played.

Weston lifted a chip from the second phase of a free-kick and George Smith's teasing cross just eluded strikers and far post alike.

Kedwell, who was booked for a foul, headed high from Laurie Wilson's cross towards the end of a first half of frantic football just edged by the hosts.

The second half started at a rapid pace and Hines free-kick brought a terrific save from Nathan Ashmore but Bradley Barry skied the rebound high. From the exulting goals kick, Ebbsfleet broke away and Kedwell chipped over Jalal and Nelson had to scoop the ball away off the line.

Evans headed wide and Ugwu's driven in angled shot forced a save ahead of a pinball play in the Spireites box that was sandwiched by a brace of home corners. Carter fired wide and then just couldn't quite connect with a Smith cross at the far post as Chesterfield enjoyed their most sustained spell which culminated in Sam Magri upending Hines who confidently stroked low from 12 yards to the keeper's right.

Whilst sub Sean Shields caused problems down the wing, the visitors rarely looked too vulnerable in the final 25 minutes and despite being under the cosh, plenty of blocks and tackles were witnessed and tired legs were clear when the final whistle sounded and three points were in the bag.

The large visiting support was noisy throughout and they celebrated heartily at the end of the game with the manager orchestrating the joy.

Ebbsfleet: Ashmore, King, Bush, Magri, Wilson (Shields 67), Adams (Cheek 60), Payne, Weston, Drury (Powell 72), Whitely,Kedwell. Subs: Miles, McQueen

Chesterfield: Jalal, Barry, Evans, Nelson, Talbot, Carter, Weston, Weir (Muggleton 83), Smith (Maguire 68), Hines, Ugwu (Fortune 55). Subs:, Wedgbury, Shaw

Goal: Hines 65 pen

Ref: Sam Allison (Wiltshire)

Booked: Ugwu, Jalal (Chesterfield), Kedwell, Adams (Ebbsfleet)

Attendance: 2,041

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