Chesterfield grabbed a vital three points with a 1-0 victory over Halifax Town at the Proact Stadium on Saturday, courtesy of a Scott Boden penalty in the second half.
John Sheridan made five changes to his starting line-up from the 2-0 defeat against Brackley Town in the FA Trophy. Boden and Ellis Chapman both came in for their first appearances since their arrival.
Shwan Jalal was forced into an early save inside four minutes. Matty Kosylo curled a free kick from just outside the box, the ball was heading in but Jalal tipped over for a corner.
The Spireites came close 15 minutes in when Chapman delivered a dangerous left-footed free-kick into the penalty area which found Haydn Hollis who headed down well but Sam Johnson got across and pushed the ball away from danger to his left-hand side.
Chesterfield’s adopted 3-5-2 formation was providing real width for the Spireites and causing problems for the visitors. Halifax nearly took the lead in fortunate fashion when Jordan Preston’s cross nearly found its way into the top corner, but Jalal was at full stretch to tip over the bar and keep it at 0-0.
Lee Shaw nearly opened the scoring for Chesterfield when he was released down the right and rushed into space. Shaw fired a shot which Johnson got down well to save for a corner.
The Spireites kept pushing and threatened again just before half-time, this time through Marc-Antoine Fortune. An intricate bit of play between Shaw and Jonathan Smith created space for Fortune who turned in the box but dragged his shot just wide of the target.
Chesterfield were on top in the second half again and came close when Boden’s header down found Curtis Weston on the edge of the box whose flying volley sailed narrowly over the bar.
Chesterfield finally took the lead they deserved in the 68th minute when they were awarded a penalty. Shaw found Boden in the box who was bundled over to hand the Spireites a huge opportunity. Boden picked up the ball and calmly slotted home past Johnson in net.
Substitute Tom Denton came close to doubling the lead from a Weston corner, darting to the front post and providing a beautiful flick which was brilliantly saved by Johnson.
Smith came close five minutes from time, finding space on the edge and firing in a strong shot goal-bound but Johnson stood tall to keep it out.
Halifax nearly equalised in stoppage time when Kosylo’s inswinging cross found Scott Quigley who couldn’t direct his header goalwards from close range.
Chesterfield held on to their 1-0 lead to earn a well-deserved victory.
Spireites: Jalal, Hollis, Evans, Yarney, Weir, Smith (c), Weston, Shaw, Chapman, Boden (McKay 90’), Fortune (Denton 66’)
Unused substitutes: Rowley, Anyon & Reid
Attendance: 4,523 (387 away)