Zavon Hines magic gives Chesterfield a winning start to National League life
Zavon Hines' second-half spot-kick handed Chesterfield a winning start in the National League at Ebbsfleet United.
Hines’ brilliant trickery won the penalty and he then scored it himself, midway through the second half, to settle a keenly-fought contest.
New Chesterfield boss Martin Allen named five debutants in his starting line-up with a further four new faces warming the bench for the visitors.
Chesterfield lined up with a 4-4-2 formation and Will Evans looked particularly strong in defence after joining from Aldershot in the close season.
It was down the left wing where Ebbsfleet enjoyed most success in the first 45 minutes with former Gillingham and Southend winger Myles Weston giving Bradley Barry plenty to think about.
Weston’s 18th-minute cross was turned wide at the near post by Corey Whitely while Danny Kedwell nodded over for the hosts before the break from another Weston centre.
Ebbsfleet went close on 24 minutes when Lawrie Wilson’s cross was met by the onrushing Ebou Adams but his header came back off the crossbar before Kedwell nodded the rebound over.
Chesterfield looked too long too often and Gozie Ugwu cut a frustrated figure up front, with his movement coming under scrutiny from close quarters by boss Allen.
Myles Weston had a weak effort straight at keeper Nathan Ashmore from a half-cleared free-kick as the visitors lacked a cutting edge.
Allen matched up Ebbsfleet’s three-man defence after the break and his team dominated proceedings.
Hines was at the fore of their play, having a free-kick beaten away by Ashmore, before delivering an excellent set-piece which ended with Evans nodding just wide.
New signing Marc-Antoine Fortune impressed after coming on for the visitors and Chesterfield never looked in danger once Hines’ magic put them in the driving seat.
Ebbsfleet: Ashmore, King, Magri, Adams (Cheek 60), Kedwell, Drury (Powell 72), Weston, Payne, Whitely, Bush, Wilson (Shields 67).
Unused subs: Miles, McQueen.
Chesterfield: Jalal, Ugwu (Fortune 55), Evans, Smith (Maguire 68), Weston, Nelson, Hines, Barry, Talbot, Weir (Muggleton 84), Carter.
Unused subs: Wedgbury, Shaw.
Referee: Sam Allison