Chesterfield are top of the league and four points ahead of their nearest rivals after their win over AFC Wimbledon,
The opening few minutes at the Proact Stadium were, perhaps unsurprisingly, somewhat scrappy as two of League Two’s in-form teams Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon sized each other up, with neither side taking immediate control of the game.
However, it would take just one Spirites attack to give them the offensive impetus they needed as, on five minutes, O’Shea’s intelligent pass, from midway into the Wimbledon half, looked like picking out Richards but the pre-match spinklers proved to be his undoing on this occasion as the ball skimmed off the surface and beyond Richards.
That lifted the crowd and the home side, and a minute later they had the ball in the net when Humphreys, who was seeing a lot of the ball down the left hand side, fired in a superb cross which was met by Richards who volleyed past Worner from six yards.
Celebrations were cut short, though, as the assistant referee raised his flag for offside.
Chesterfield maintained their grip on the game and on nine minutes it took a good stop from Worner to prevent the deadlock being broken.
Humphreys, again, was at the heart of it as his dangerous cross was only cleared to the edge of the box by the Dons defence and as the ball fell to Morsy 20 yards from goal, his low strike through a crowded goalmouth was parried away by the keeper.
The visitors’ first real attempt on goal arrived in the 18th minute when Smith’s low shot from the edge of the box was pushed away by Lee for a corner which came to nothing.
From then there was a short lull in proceedings as Wimbledon’s midfield worked harder to quell the Spirites threat and although the home side had most of the ball, they weren’t finding as many openings.
Neal Ardley’s men were coming into the game a little more and on 28 minutes they should have taken the lead.
A mix-up in the home defence gifted Smith a shot on goal, which Lee saved with his legs. The ball rebounded back to the tall striker, fresh from two goals against York City last week, but he was denied again by Lee who produced a superb parry as Smith’s 12 yard strike was beaten away for a corner.
From there the keeper was fouled and Chesterfield’s backline breathed a sigh of relief.
That Dons chance seemed to spark Paul Cook’s men into life. On 29 minutes Humphreys’ cross from the middle of the park found an unmarked Darikwa, who headed wide.
However, a minute later the breakthrough finally arrived when O’Shea’s pinpoint cross from the right went all the way to the back post, where ROBERTS ghosted in unchallenged to volley home from six yards at an angle.
That flattened the Dons and from then until the break, Spirites stayed in control, with neither side threatening the goal again.
Spireites started the second half well and just three minutes after the break it took a good blocking tackle from Bennett to deny Richards who had got into a good position after playing a neat one-two with Roberts.
A minute later though, Richards should have doubled the lead when Talbot’s strong run down the right released Darikwa whose cross found the onrushing striker but he didn’t get enough on the header and it glanced wide of goal from a few yards out.
It seemed only a matter of time before Chesterfield’s second half dominance would be rewarded and the second goal arrived on 52 minutes. A quickly taken free kick gave Roberts space to cross from the right and defender HIRD rose highest to head powerfully into the net despite the attempts of Francomb, on the line, to clear.
It was one way traffic now and only the width of the post denied Spirites a third on 57 minutes. Roberts picked the ball up in the middle of the park and threaded a superb pass through to Darikwa whose shot looked to be heading for the bottom corner, only to curl slightly and agonisingly to the left and off the woodwork.
Chesterfield continued to press and on 65 minutes Roberts’ free kick from the left was pushed away by Worner but only to Humphreys whose half volley from 20 yards fizzed just wide of goal.
The home side made their first change on 70 minutes when Doyle came on in place of Richards, but it was Wimbledon who would have the next chance on goal as Fenlon’s skill won him the space to let fly with a 22 yard right foot efofrt which Lee did well to turn away for a corner.
From there, a scramble in the box saw Darikwa clear a header off the line before Sammy Moore shot over the bar.
New signing McSheffrey made his debut on 76 minutes, coming on for the impressive Darikwa.
O’Shea saw an effort blocked on 77 minutes after a pull back from Humpherys.
On 88 minutes Wimbedon should have set up a grandstand finish as Smith went through only to see his effort saved by Lee and Strutton’s follow up was deflected away.
The final whistle greeted by a chorus of ‘We are top of the league’ from the home supporters, as Chesterfield kept up their unbeaten start.