Chesterfield sealed their spot in the second round of the EFL trophy by beating Crewe Alexandra 2-0.
Danny Wilson’s men finished second behind Wolves in Northern Group B after goals from Jay O’Shea and Connor Dimaio either side of the break secured the Spireites successive victories for the first time since the middle of August last night.
After turning a corner with a first-round FA Cup win against Colchester on Saturday, manager Danny Wilson named no less than five changes for the Spireites CheckATrade trophy encounter.
Any sort of victory, in 90 minutes or through a penalty shoot-out, would have seen the visitors progress but Ryan Fulton, Liam O’Neil, Gary Liddle, Dion Donohue, and Ched Evans all went out of the starting line-up that beat the U’s 2-1.
Neither side came out of the blocks quickly on a bitterly cold evening at Gresty Road as Lloyd Allinson easily saved Zoumana Bakayogo’s early shot before the visitors started to create chances.
After breaking the Spireites’ 502-minute wait for a goal at the weekend, O’Shea netted his second in as many games with a powerful strike from outside the box on minute 23.
Minutes later the advantage was almost doubled with the out-stretched Kristian Dennis unable to get on the end of Rai Simons’ probing cross.
Highly-rated wideman Gboly Ariyibi caught Ben Garratt napping off his line, with his audacious lob landing on the roof of the net.
The hosts’ best chance of the first-half fell to substitute Callum Saunders at the back post, who fired wide under pressure from Alex Kiwomya’s cross.
After the interval the visitors were content to defend their goal lead as Steve Davis’ charges upped the ante.
The Spireites had to stay focused to continuously clear the danger from long balls into the box.
There was a heart in mouth moment for Allinson as the pressure almost told.
The shot-stopper made a mess from a long ball, Callum Ainley kept it in play with Tom Anderson eventually scrambling the ball off the line.
Connor Dimaio sent the visitors into the next round from the spot eight minutes from time after Ricky German was brought down inside the box.
Crewe: Garratt, Davis, Nugent, Lowe (Saunders 16), Cooper, Bakayago, Hollands (Kirk 78), Udoh (Lowery 62), Kiwomya, Ng, Ainley.
Unused subs: Richards, Guthrie, Kirk, Wintle, Finney.
Chesterfield: Allinson, Evatt, Anderson, Maguire, Mitchell, Nolan, Dimaio, O’Shea (Ofoegbu 64), Ariyibi, Simons (German 64), Dennis (Humphreys 78).
Unused subs: Parkin, Liddle, Evans, Humphreys, German, Donohue.
Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)
Attendance: 929 (74)