Chesterfield, who previously played in the league two weeks ago, roared back in to action with a 4-0 victory over Bury,
Despite several changes, Chesterfield began the game looking like a team that had played together for weeks, such was the cohesion between players.
A sequence of one-touch passing left the visitors chasing shadows during the opening exchanges which saw Roberts at his influential best. How the Spireites have missed him.
The winger was first to threaten the scoreline after he battled his way through a couple of challenges on half way. And when the ball broke for O’Shea, the Irishman picked out the run of Roberts inside the box but the returning winger angled his shot just wide of Jensen’s left hand post.
The game had a good tempo to it, no doubt helped by the recent postponements for either side, and when Richards was held back by Cameron, who was booked, Spireites came close once more.
A quick free kick down the right released Talbot on a rampaging run to the byline. His cross somehow evaded everyone in the penalty area and a chance went begging.
The hosts didn’t have to wait too much longer to break the deadlock through none other than ROBERTS.
O’Shea’s cross to the back post took a slight deflection which only found Roberts waiting and with the simplest of tasks to volley the ball past Jensen from inside the six yard box.
Lee had largely been a spectator for the majority of the first half until Forrester sent a swerving, dipping shot towards goal that the home keeper parried at the first attempt and pounced on at the second.
Bury’s top marksman, Nardiello, was next to test Lee after he jinked inside Talbot and angled a shot towards the near post which the keeper was equal to, diving low to his right.
Chesterfield were soon on the attack, however, and only a last-ditch intervention from Cameron sent Richards’ goalbound effort over the bar, after the lone striker had been found at the back post by Roberts’ left wing cross.
The visitors had grown into the game and attempted to unsettle Chesterfield’s rhythm. Banks showed his quality, first by holding off the close attention of Miller before spraying a crossfield ball to O’Shea, which sent the Irishman free. The forward skipped past Burke but his shot was deflected wide.
Banks and Roberts sprung the next attack after good link-up play, which began on their own 18-yard box from a visitors’ corner. The winger’s cross was deflected behind for another Spireites corner.
Bury were reduced to 10 men just before the break when Mayor was sent off for a knee high challenge on Brown on halfway. Referee Tony Harrington had no hesitation in showing the red card.
Chesterfield had a strong penalty claim shortly after the break when a crossfield ball to Banks caught out Burke, who seemed to bundle into the back of Banks as he attempted to get goal-side. The referee, though, remained unmoved, as did the linesman on the near side.
Smith’s afternoon came to an end on 55 minutes when he was replaced by Humphreys in a like-for-like on the left side of defence. The home faithful showed their appreciation for his efforts with a standing ovation for the returning defender. O’Shea came close to finding a second for the hosts when he drilled a shot just wide of Jensen’s right hand post from the edge of the area.
Banks was also just inches away from putting the seal on matters when he instinctively prodded an O’Shea cutback towards goal. Morsy came close to notching up his first goal in a blue shirt but his shot was deflected narrowly over the bar. Spireites were banging down the door and a second soon followed when O’SHEA picked the ball up midway through the opposition’s half and unleashed a thunderbolt from fully 30 yards which arrowed into the top corner via the post. Jensen had no chance. RICHARDS latched on to Gnanduillet’s header to nod in at the back post. Gardner came close to a debut goal moments after coming on but Jensen, more luck than judgement, sat on the ball.
But GARDNER did get his goal five minutes from time when he raced on to the ball and had the confidence to go alone, his shot deflected off Jensen and looped up into the air but the sheer power of the shot saw the ball fall in.