MATCH REPORT: First defeat for high-flying Spireites
A late header from Adam El-Abd saw hosts Shrewsbury snatch a 2-1 victory from Chesterfield at the Greenhous Meadow, bringing the Spireites' strong start in League One to an abrupt halt.
Jay O’Shea had put Chesterfield ahead, but their unbeaten league came to an end after Junior Brown levelled and El-Abd had the final say.
Stoke City loanee and Barcelona academy prodigy Moha El Ouriachi Choulay was particularly impressive for the hosts in the opening exchanges, robbing Dion Donohue after two minutes before driving to feed Ivan Toney for a shot that went wide.
Gboly Ariyibi won a free-kick just outside the box on the right after 11 minutes, and was aggrieved shortly after when he saw credible claims for a penalty waved away after he was upended in the box.
But the Spireites’ frustrations were forgotten within a minute as O’Shea strode onto a deft touch from Ched Evans and drove the ball past Jayson Leutwiler from 15 yards to give Danny Wilson’s men the lead.
The typically lively Ariyibi came close to making it two before 20 minutes when he cut into the box with Ryan McGivern and Brown trailing in his wake, but his low effort was pushed around the post superbly by Leutwiler.
But Shrewsbury were not easily deterred, and levelled mid-way through the half when the last of four successive corners from Choulay was met by the head of Brown.
Evans turned defence into attack for the Spireites after another Shrewsbury set piece on the half hour – driving forward down the left before finding Jon Nolan, who teed Dan Gardner up for a long-range effort just wide.
Gardner tested Leutwiler with his next effort, forcing the Swiss stopper to parry his bending effort after fine work in the build-up from O’Shea.
And O’Shea drew another good save from the home keeper before half-time with a bouncing effort from outside the box.
Danny Wilson’s men generally had the better of the second half, with Ariyibi a persistent threat, and Evans forcing Leutwiler to concede a corner with a ferociously struck 35-yard free kick shortly before two blocked efforts.
But the Spireites’ were again undone from a corner when Shrews skipper El-Abd crashed through a crowd of bodies six minutes from time to power Jim O’Brien’s delivery beyond Ryan Fulton.
SHREWSBURY: (4-4-2): Leutwiler; Riley, El-Abd, McGivern, Brown; Choulay (Jones 59), Black, Deegan, O’Brien; Leitch-Smith (Dodds 65), Toney (Waring 82). Subs not used: Halstead, Lancashire, Ogogo, Mangan.
CHESTERFIELD: (4-2-3-1): Fulton; McGinn, Hird, Evatt, Donohue; Nolan, Liddle; Ariyibi, O’Shea (Dennis 90+2 N/A), Gardner (Morrison 87 N/A); Evans. Subs not used: Allinson, Raglan, Dimaio, Simons, Maguire.