SPIREITES HT: Chesterfield FC 1 Barnsley 0

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Eoin Doyle scored his 18th goal of the season to put the Spireites in to a half-time lead over Barnsley.

It had been a positive start for Chesterfield, who were searching for their first win in eight attempts in the league, with Jay O’Shea quick to get himself on the ball as the hosts looked for an early breakthrough to silence the travelling support.

They were given an early warning though of Conor Hourihane’s shooting abilities when the midfielder let fly from distance and forced Tommy Lee in to a smart save diving low to his right within the first three minutes of action.

The visitors to the Proact Stadium had started as brightly as their alternative selection of kit and the Tykes’ other in-form man, Sam Winnall, caused Ian Evatt and Charlie Raglan problems with his pace and movement.

It was typically end-to-end and Eoin Doyle and Gary Roberts linked up well before the latter swung in an inviting centre Sam Clucas was inches away from, with Barnsley’s Lewin Nyatanga well positioned to clear.

Chesterfield continued to press with a flurry of corners and when Dan Jones was sent charging down the left, his cross was met cleanly by Doyle whose powerful header lacked any direction and was easy for Ross Turnbull in the Barnsley goal.

There were more encouraging signs for the Spireites moments later when Doyle held off Peter Ramage, cut inside from the left but dragged his shot harmlessly wide of Turnbull’s right hand post, as the Irishman looked to add to the 17 he already has for the season.

Lee was called upon again to keep out Nyatanga’s back post header before a crowd of blue shirts cleared the danger when the ball was pin-balling around the six-yard box.

Chesterfield were getting some joy down the left and Evatt stole a march on his marker to meet Roberts’ centre but glanced a header over the bar before the deadlock was broken.

Doyle showed his composure in front of goal when he raced through to latch on to a ball over the top and lofted an effort over the onrushing Turnbull for his first league goal since Bristol City away on October 11.