Bravery galore from ten man Chesterfield who ended the game with two central defenders making their league debut after Sam Hird was injured and Ian Evatt sent off. Eoin Doyle and Gary Roberts goals sandwiched Mark Marshall’s 40th minute effort for Vale.
Mark Marshall equalised Eoin Doyle’s early goal as a stop-start first 45 ended all square.
Former Vale man Jones, sacked by the club back in March for a training ground bust up, was roundly booed every touch right from the start. Another man who used to be employed by the Valiants, Morsy, was made much more welcome.
Pope headed well over and Williamson won the first corner and Lee had to hold Marshall’s decent on-target header. Doyle’s cross picked out Roberts whose shot was defected for a corner by Lines that led to another after Veseli blocked from Morsy that O’Connor cleared.
Jones wellied out for a throw and his safety first kick sent the ball miles out of Vale Park and towards the Britannia Stadium!
Spireites took the lead on 9 minutes when Gnanduillet fed Roberts, his curling shot from the right hit the post and DOYLE followed up to bundle the ball home from close range.
Doyle got on the end of another Roberts ball in but he just couldn’t get enough of a touch on it to trouble keeper Johnson.
Darikwa, making his 100th club appearance, nicked the ball off Lines on the edge of the six but his clearance only found Pope who was unable to take advantage of his potential gift.
Jones made a superb tackle to rob Marshall in the box and from the clearance Veseli was booked for a nasty foul on Hird and the referee was close to losing control as handbags started. Jones soon joined him in the book for a foul on Duffy, the referee being surrounded by several home players encouraging the penalisation of the left back.
Marshall stepped over, crossed and earned a corner but the delivery was poor and gave no worries to the blue shirted black line.
Williamson did well to get the ball after a strong Evatt tackle, he fed Pope whose rising shot rattled the upright.
Hird and Jones both seemed to be nursing knocks following the earlier yellow card incidents but it was Duffy that needed treatment after he clipped Roberts with a clearance. Hird also took the opportunity to see physio Jamie Hewitt.
Hird was unable to continue so former Vale youth teamer Charlie Raglan came on for his league debut on 29.
Gnanduillet ran 50 yards showing great skills but his shot was weaker that he’d have hoped for and Johnson saved as he did moments later from Ryan.
Williamson was booked for a foul on Evatt.
Johnson hit high whilst Roberts and Morsy had shots blocked as Chesterfield began to enjoy plenty of possession in what was a stop-start game with injury stoppages galore. Roberts tried a 45 yard chip but the keeper was wise to it.
Vale leveled on 40 from nowhere. A long ball found Marshall just inside the right side of the box and he hit an unstoppable rising shot into the roof of the net.
Lines cross in just eluded Williamson and Morsy’s driving run saw his shot blocked as both sides looked capable of adding to the score.
Lee caught a Vale corner ahead of 5 extra minutes.
More handbags after Dickinson fouled Ryan, the Vale man and Doyle were both booked. Johnson punched away Roberts’ free kick.
Just 15 seconds after the restart, Gary Roberts mazy run ended with a shot across the face of goal and the ball nestled in at the far post to give Spireites the lead again.
Roberts hit high a couple of minutes later before Vale began to throw men forwards and create some danger.
Gnanduillet was carded for simulation and Roberts then won a corner but Raglan fouled and Vale escaped punishment.
Lee saved well from Daniel as the game really opened up. Morsy thumped a 25 yarder against the bar with the keeper well beaten and Dickinson escaped a second yellow after felling Roberts.
Moore and Slew replaced Williamson and Daniel for the hosts and Vale had to partially clear twice before eventually getting the free-kick away. Johnson burst forwards but Duffy nicked the ball off his toe as he prepared to shoot.
Slew’s cross was caught by Lee whilst McGivern had to head off the line from Gnanduillet’s shot after Doyle’s great play. Johnson caught the corner.
Evatt was booked for dissent.Brown replaced Lines, Vale’s last change.
Doyle left footed wide after fantastic play by Ryan whilst Marshall also was a whisker away from scoring after latching on to a through ball, the shot went inches wide.
Marshall’s shot was parried by Lee and Slew hit the target with the loose ball but an offside flag denied the ex Blades striker.
Evatt picked up a second yellow on 83 for a foul, Broadhead came on for his league debut. Roberts was booked for a foul.
Pope headed wide as Vale looked to get back into the game in the five extra minutes.
Port Vale: Johnson, Veseli, Dickinson, Williamson, Daniel, Duffy, Pope, O’Connor, McGivern, Lines, Marshall. Subs: Neal, Birchall, Dodds, Brown, Jennings, Moore, Slew.
Chesterfield: Lee; Darikwa, Evatt, Hird, Jones; Morsy, Johnson; Ryan, Roberts, Doyle; Gnanduillet. Subs: Chapman, Ariyibi, Banks, Broadhead, Onovwigun, Dawes, Raglan.
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).