The Spireites were victorious in their first outing of the new season, with Danny Rowe (pen) and Kabongo Tshimanga scoring in a 2-0 win at Aldershot Town.
After a mark of respect for the NHS’ efforts over the last 15 months, the game saw very little in terms of chances in the opening exchanges, as the sides fought for some fluency to their play.
The first opportunity fell the way of the Spireites as Rowe found Jeff King down the right. The latter cut inside and a fired a shot low to the left of Mitch Walker, who saved well.
Almost halfway through the first half, the home side flashed a free kick across the Blues’ goal which resulted in a flurry of corners, none of which tested Scott Loach in the Spireites net.
Moments later, a Lewis Kinsella free kick found the feet of Toby Edsar, whose shot rebounded to Kinsella, who fired narrowly wide.
Chesterfield fired back on the half-hour, when a neat switch of play found Rowe whose cross was met by Tshimanga, who put his header just over the bar.
A period of Spireites pressure saw the away side win a free kick 25 yards out. Rowe stepped up and fired his shot low and hard to the goalkeeper’s left.
The Spireites carved out another opportunity minutes later as Gavin Gunning crossed in from the right, following a free kick, however, Jamie Grimes couldn’t make his header count at the back post.
The away side grew into the first period, putting pressure on the Aldershot defence but couldn’t create a clear-cut opportunity to go into the break ahead.
The hosts were first to take aim in the second half, when the dangerous Kinsella found space on the left side of the but saw his effort deflected out for a corner.
On the hour-mark, the Spireites had the ball in the net only for the linesman to flag Grimes offside, after a neat corner routine. Seconds later, Tshimanga had an effort well saved by Walker.
Aldershot hit back with a chance of their own, as Kevin Lokko headed over following a corner. At the other end, Rowe thundered a shot wide, as the Spireites tried to build more pressure.
The Spireites took the lead via a penalty in the 72nd minute. King was tripped in the area after being released by Jack Clarke. Rowe stepped up and slotted the penalty to the keeper’s left.
The Blues doubled their lead minutes later when George Carline won his header which set Tshimanga (76) away and he coolly turned his man before finding the bottom right corner.
The Spireites looked to finish the game as Carline linked up with Clarke on the right and the latter saw his shot flash just wide of the goal.
Chesterfield managed the game well following the two quick-fire goals to guide themselves to an opening day victory.
Chesterfield: Loach, Miller, Maguire, Gunning, Grimes, King (Carline 75), Oyeleke (Khan 80), Weston, Mandeville (Clarke 53), Rowe, Tshimanga
Subs – Carline, Clarke, Kerr, Khan, Payne
(626 travelling Spireites)