Spireites win at Hartlepool

A first-half goal from Armando Dobra gave the Spireites a 1-0 win at Hartlepool United to remain eight points clear at the top of the National League.

Paul Cook made nine changes from the side that beat Southport 6-1 in the FA Trophy, with Ryheem Sheckleford and Joe Quigley keeping their places.

The hosts had a golden chance to gain the lead within the first minute. Former Chesterfield striker Mani Dieseruvwe nodded the ball past Jamie Grimes and Harry Tyrer and, with an empty net, skewed the ball wide of the goal.

Just four minutes later, Chesterfield struck. Liam Mandeville’s corner was cleared as far as Dobra, who saw his scuffed volley from the edge of the box roll past Joel Dixon.

After the opener, the game became very stop-start with the referee giving quite a few free-kicks.

Another set-piece from Mandeville almost brought a second for the visitors; the ball eventually fell to Ollie Banks and the midfielder volleyed over from eight yards.

Dieseruvwe was slipped through on goal with just Tyrer to beat before the striker slotted his effort inches wide of the post.

A few yellow cards were handed out towards the end of the half as the game once again became scrappy – Callum Cooke, Joe Quigley and Branden Horton were all booked.

The Spireites controlled possession in the second period, rarely giving Hartlepool the chance to build an attack.

Dobra’s early cross almost looped over Dixon before the goalkeeper tipped the ball over the crossbar.

Mandeville’s corner on the hour-mark found skipper Grimes, who signed a new contract in the week, and the defender volleyed an effort into the side-netting.

Chesterfield could not find a way to extend their lead with Tom Naylor having a strike ruled-out with the flag going up.

Naylor did stop the home side from grabbing an equaliser against the run of play; his last-ditch tackle denied substitute Josh Umerah.

The victory is the Blues’ fifth victory on the bounce since the defeat to Southend United in November.

Chesterfield: Tyrer, Sheckleford, Palmer, Grimes ©, Horton (Freckleton 70), Naylor, Oldaker, Mandeville, Banks (Berry 70), Dobra, Quigley (Grigg 81).

Unused Substitutes: King, Jacobs.