MATCH REPORT: Bury 2 Chesterfield 1

Chesterfield's Conor Wilkinson is tackled by Bury's Antony Kay. Pic by Andrew Roe.
Chesterfield's Conor Wilkinson is tackled by Bury's Antony Kay. Pic by Andrew Roe.

Chesterfield were denied a point at in-form Bury as Tom Pope struck on 89 minutes to hand the hosts a 2-1 victory.

Zeli Ismail volleyed the Shakers into a 42nd-minute lead, only for summer signing Kristian Dennis to equalise three minutes later with his first league goal for the Spireites.

James O'Shea battles with Bury's Jacob Mellis. Pic by Andrew Roe.

James O'Shea battles with Bury's Jacob Mellis. Pic by Andrew Roe.

But after an even second half, Pope headed home late on to condemn Chesterfield to their third defeat from five away games in League One.

The only change to last week’s starting line-up saw Liam Graham come in for Dion Donohue for his league debut, and the Kiwi defender was soon called into the action, blocking Ismail’s shot for a corner.

A superb cross-field ball by Jacob Mellis then put Ismail in behind Tom Anderson and through on goal but Bury’s right winger dinked the ball just wide of the far post.

Jay O’Shea replied with a free-kick which struck the stanchion behind the Bury goal, before the Spireites defence had to block two Bury shots.

Yet Dennis then spurned a great chance to open the scoring on 13 minutes as Conor Wilkinson found O’Shea on the left and, from right in front of the Bury goal, Dennis somehow failed to connect with O’Shea’s low ball in.

Ismail was giving Graham a tough time and cut inside the left-back before forcing a fine low save from Ryan Fulton in the Spireites goal.

Hallam Hope and Wilkinson then went close at each end before the game finally settled down, giving Graham and the rest of the visitors’ defence some respite.

Graham even got forward to support Dennis and fired wide before Tom Soares bundled O’Shea over right on the edge of the Bury box on 38 minutes.

Wilkinson smashed the free-kick against the post only for Bury to break the deadlock moments later as Ismail latched onto a loose ball in the right channel to burst into the box and volley past Fulton.

The Spireites soon drew level as Wilkinson got down the left to square for Dennis, whose close-range effort bobbled in off home keeper Ben Williams.

Danny Wilson’s men made a positive start to the second half too, Anderson sending a looping header over from a Jon Nolan corner before O’Shea’s 20-yard shot deflected onto the roof of the Bury net.

Neil Danns came on for Bury and tested Fulton with a 25-yard strike while Spireites substitute Connor Dimaio saw a goalbound shot blocked.

But the hosts claimed all three points as sub Tom Walker delivered a diagonal ball from the left and Pope got in front of his man to steer a header past Fulton.