The Spireites missed out on FA Cup progression after an entertaining Cup replay saw the home side edge the tie thanks to a first half JJ Hooper strike. It was a deserved lead at the break but the Spireites came out like an express train in the second half and could consider themselves unlucky not to have taken the game into extra time after Lainton came to Wrexham’s rescue at the death.
John Sheridan made six changes to Saturday’s starting eleven as Luke Coddington, Anthony Gerrard, Jonathan Smith (captain), Liam Mandeville, Anthony Spyrou and Scott Boden returned. Tom Denton, Mike Fondop and Will Evans had to settle for a place on the bench with Shwan Jalal, Curtis Weston and the injured Sam Wedgbury missed out on the eighteen.
Wrexham had the best of the early exchanges and looked liveliest down the right flank. James Horsfield went on a mazy run and moments later Bobby Grant flashed his effort over the crossbar.
J J Hooper’s header after eight was the first on target but lacked power.
Haydn Hollis conceded a corner from the lively Hooper. The flag-kick reached Hooper and his downward header found Jake Lawlor who scooped over from close range.
The Spireites went close when Spyrou received outside the six-yard area and but his angled ball into the goalmouth needed better direction and pace and was cleared by the alert Horsfield.
A neat three man move that Akil Wright began saw Paul Rutherford head over from James Jennings’ cross from the left as the home side continued to push.
Scott Boden registered the Spireites’ first shot on target after Mandeville was the provider, his curled effort from the edge of the area failed to test Rob Lainton who collected coolly.
Chesterfield cracked on the half-hour when Jennings received near the left byline, he jinked and poked the ball into the six-yard area for the energetic Hooper to confidently flick home.
A long Gevaro ball from the left found the Spyrou who headed across goal but couldn’t find a taker.
At the end of the first half, a well-struck Sheridan free kick on the right found the head of Scott Boden who could only steer it towards Lainton.
John Sheridan decided to leave any changes until later as the second half got underway with the Spireites knowing they had to step up a gear.
Mandeville provided a peach of a ball forward for Spyrou who hesitated and failed to capitalise but the move triggered a positive spell that saw Gevaro slot across goal but Spyrou just failed to reach.
All of a sudden Chesterfield were bossing the game; Mandeville was looking for openings and Gevaro had been pushed further forward and was a constant danger.
On the hour mark, Gevaro’s free-kick from twenty-five yards brought a superb low save from Lainton but the flag-kick came to nothing.
Scott Boden almost levelled after 65 minutes. A superb Mandeville through ball found Boden in the area, he received and turned to the right but his angled effort was well saved by Lainton.
The first change for the Spireites saw Jermaine McGlashan replace Joe Rowley; shortly after Tom Denton took over from Spyrou.
Moments later Wrexham should have doubled their lead as first Mark Harris and then Paul Rutherford had close-range efforts well saved by Coddington.
The third and final change saw Charlie Wakefield replace Josef Yarney.
The Spireites went agonisingly close when Scott Boden headed on Mandeville’s free-kick and Tom Denton was inches away from a connection at the far post.
Both sides were pushing strongly in a lively closing stage with the Denton - Boden partnership causing constant problems. With two minutes to go Denton headed down in the area but Boden failed to control and Barton cleared.
Right on ninety minutes, Boden sets up Denton but he just couldn’t connect.
In added time Coddington saved the day as Grant was clear through but time ran out as the Spireites’ battling second-half showing wasn’t quite enough.
Spireites: Coddington, Yarney (Wakefield, 76), Rowley (McGlashan, 66), Spyrou (Denton, 71), Mandeville, Gevaro, Gerrard, Boden, Smith (C), Hollis, Sheridan
Subs (unused): Buchanan, Evans, McKay, Fondop
Attendance: 2,023 (71 Chesterfield supporters)