Kyle Letheren was the hero as he made three penalty saves as the Spireites won 4-3 on penalties in their FA Trophy tie against Brackley Town, following a 0-0 draw in normal time.
James Rowe made three changes to the side that beat Barnet last week with Jonathan Smith, Liam Mandeville and the suspended Will Evans replacing Joel Taylor, Curtis Weston and hat-trick hero Akwasi Asante.
Despite a slow start from both sides, Chesterfield created two good chances after nine minutes. Firstly, Laurence Maguire’s well-struck effort forced a save from Danny Lewis before Tom Whelan fired wide from inside the box.
Liam Mandville was presented with a great chance to open the scoring after 15 minutes. He was played through by Whelan, but denied by the feet of Lewis.
Jonathan Smith, Josef Yarney and Scott Boden were all denied by the Brackley goalkeeper, who was in inspired form.
Brackley’s only chance of the half came with five minutes of the first period left. Ash Chambers did well to bring the ball down from a Shane Byrne pass before side-stepping Haydn Hollis and seeing his shot deflected over the goal.
The Spireites thought they had broken the deadlock just before the break, but were denied by the offside flag. Letheren’s long-kick found Whelan through on goal, who slotted home. However, the linesman denied the midfielder his goal for the club.
The two sides went into the half time break goalless, the same scoreline at half time in the last meeting between the teams.
Whelan continued to be a creative force in the middle of the pitch; his game the ball to Jak McCourt, who saw his low-drive whistle past the post.
Chesterfield continued to pressure the Brackley back-line, but couldn’t carve out any chances. Whelan was brought down in the box; the referee waved any penalty appeals away.
Will Evans came close with a chance just before the 70th minute. He latched onto Joel Taylor’s cross and his header was saved by Lewis once more.
The away side continued to stay strong defensively and even carved out a half-chance. James Armson rose highest and headed wide from Shane Byrne’s free-kick.
Despite both side’s best efforts, the game ended goalless and went straight to a penalty shoot-out.
The score was 1-1 after two penalties with Boden and Ethan Coleman having their penalties saved by Lewis and Letheren respectively.
McCourt stepped up for the third penalty, but it was saved yet again by the Brackley Town goalkeeper.
The visitors held the advantage and looked to go into the last penalty with the lead.
Substitute Tre Mitford blasted his spot-kick over the bar.
The shoot-out went to sudden death after successful penalties from Akwasi Asante and Morgan Roberts.
Laurence Maguire hammered home his spot-kick to put the Spireites 4-3 up. Shep Murombedzi stepped up to keep his side in the game, but Letheren pulled off a brilliant save down to hisnledt to send Chesterfield through to the FA Trophy fourth round.
Chesterfield: Letheren, Carline, Yarney (Taylor 60), Evans, Maguire, Mandeville (Asante 56), McCourt, Boden, Whelan, Smith (Weston 73), Hollis.
Unused Substitutes: Buchanan, Rowley, Cropper, Tyler Denton