Spireites match report: Chesterfield 2 AFC Wimbledon 0
Armand Gnanduillet scored one and set up the other as the Spireites got back to winning ways in League Two.
The striker came off the bench to net his first goal in English football before providing the assist for Jack Lester to seal the points for Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium.
It was a comfortable win in the end for Paul Cook’s men against the division’s bottom side AFC Wimbledon.
The result sees Chesterfield move up to 10th in League Two, four points off the play-offs, ahead of next week’s visit to rivals Rotherham.
The Spireites welcomed back Drew Talbot following a month out with a broken toe while there was a place in the starting line up for Mark Randall, who came in for the injured Tendayi Darikwa.
Marc Richards passed a late fitness test for his sixth consecutive start for Chesterfield but only managed 20 minutes before a niggling hamstring problem forced him out of the game.
The visitors were quick out of the traps and a quick throw out from Tommy Lee almost presented an opportunity for Stacy Long, but player of the month Nathan Smith got his keeper out of jail with a well-timed tackle.
Cook’s side responded immediately in creating a chance of their own that in-form forward Jay O’Shea should really have done better with.
A flowing move, reminiscent of Chesterfield’s goal at Rochdale, presented the Irishman, who has found the net in three of his last four games, with a chance 12 yards from goal but Jim Fenlon recovered and conceded a corner.
Danny Whitaker’s delivery was met by Neal Trotman, who’s downwards header bounced harmlessly wide.
The Spireites then had a goal disallowed when Richards had a 30-yard free kick blocked before he lobbed a ball back into the mix for Sam Togwell to power a header against the crossbar.
Whitaker scored from the follow-up but the linesman’s flag put a stop to the home side’s celebrations.
It was Richards’ last action of the afternoon as he was replaced by Lester in the 20th minute.
Randall almost caught out Neil Sullivan when the visiting keeper dallied in possession, but he recovered just in time with the midfielder closing in.
Lester then fell cheaply in the penalty area and was booked for simulation by the referee.
Jim Fenlon was cautioned moments later for a late lunge on O’Shea before Gary Alexander blazed over the bar from inside the 18-yard box with the goal at his mercy.
Sam Hird dragged a shot wide of Sullivan’s right hand post and Fenlon was on hand again to prevent O’Shea reaching a Randall cross to the back post in the last action of the first half.
Gnanduillet came on for Randall as Cook gave 37-year-old Lester some support in attack for the second half.
Liam Cooper had a shot blocked after Sullivan had flapped at Whitaker’s in-swinging free-kick from the left touchline.
But the breakthrough soon came through substitute Gnanduillet just before the hour-mark, after a good interchange between Smith and Whitaker down the left saw the latter square the ball for the Ivorian to finish calmly into the top right hand corner of the net from 10 yards.
It was the first time the Spireites had carved the visitors open, and they were close to doubling their lead minutes later when Lester found room on the edge of the penalty area. His shot took a deflection and bounced just over the top of Sullivan’s goal.
Lester then headed wide of the left hand post before Gnanduillet marauded forward from half-way, played a one-two with Togwell, but ran out of steam as he closed in on goal.
Sullivan rolled back the years with a flying save diving to his right to prevent Talbot’s 30-yard powerful drive.
The host’s second goal of the afternoon came after a long ball up field from Togwell.
Gnanduillet out-muscled and bamboozled the Dons’ defence with a combination of step-overs before feeding the ball to his right for Lester to strike the ball across goal into the far corner of the net.
It took until the 85th minute for Wimbledon to notch up their first shot on target, which Lee saved diving low to his left.
Toby Ajala fired a shot over the top from 35 yards as the visitors tried in vein to get back into the game.
Spireites: Lee; Talbot, Trotman, Cooper, Smith; Togwell, Hird (c); Whitaker (Brindley 89), Randall (Gnanduillet 45), O’Shea; Richards (Lester 20)
Subs not used: Barrington, Townsend, Wafula, Clay
Wombles: Sullivan, Fenlon, Hussey, Sweeney (Moore 79), Bennett, Mitchel-King (c), Long (McCallum 68), Meades, Alexander, Midson (Ajala 45), Moore
Subs not used: Cummings, Jaimez,-Ruiz, Yussuff, Balkestein
Referee: Iain Williamson
Attendance: 5,235 (441)