Chesterfield weathered an early storm against newly-relegated Bury to kick off their League Two campaign with a win at Gigg Lane.
Second-half strikes from Jay O’Shea and Marc Richards sent the away support home happy on the opening day of the 2013/14 season.
Only a combination of poor finishing and one eye-catching save from Tommy Lee prevented the Shakers from going into half-time ahead.
Tom Soares in particular will not have an easier chance to score all season when he missed the target from four yards with the goal gaping.
The Spireites came out after the break a different team and, after getting their noses in front through O’Shea’s brilliance, never looked like giving up their lead.
Following the game, first-team coach Kevin Lynch said it was a classic game of two halves.
He said: “I thought the lads conducted themselves superbly well and got the rewards for all the hard work they put in. We dug in deep and good players always find time and space. We have got good players at this club and the goals matched the performances.”
Drew Talbot captained the side in his landmark 200th appearance for Chesterfield in the absence of club captain Ian Evatt.
New signing Evatt is still short on match fitness while Liam Cooper missed the game with a side strain. It meant transfer-listed Sam Hird partnered on-loan Ryan Edwards on his debut at the heart of the visitors’ defence.
Ritchie Humphreys, Jimmy Ryan and Sam Morsy were all handed their full debuts and Eoin Doyle was introduced in the second half for his first appearance for the club.
Bury’s new chairman, Stewart Day, was paraded in front of the home faithful before the kick off to rapturous applause and it seemed to inspire Kevin Blackwell’s side.
Shaun Harrad forced Lee into a smart save at his near post before Craig Jones’ free-kick caused confusion in the visitor’s back line. Nathan Cameron bundled the ball towards goal but somehow Lee found himself in the right place at the right time to smother the ball.
Soares’ chance came and went before Lee was called upon again to acrobatically push Cameron’s volley away from danger when it looked destined for the top corner.
Shortly after the break, Gary Roberts sliced a right-footed shot wide of the mark from the edge of the area after patient build up play from Chesterfield.
But the Spireites were soon celebrating when O’Shea put the visitors ahead with a sublime solo effort. The Irishman picked the ball up on the right touchline before running at Gareth Roberts, twisting one way then the other before cutting inside and curling a left-footed shot into the far corner of Rob Lainton’s goal.
The hosts looked for an immediate response and only some last-ditch defending from Hird and Talbort prevented Harrad and then Soares from levelling the scores.
Chesterfield were lifted by the goal and doubled their lead after a long ball from Humphreys released Richards.
The lone frontman showed a turn of pace to collect the ball before cutting inside of Richard Hinds and firing a low drive into the bottom corner of the net.
The Spireites defenders continued to put their bodies on the line to ensure a clean sheet and give manager Paul Cook food for thought ahead of Wednesday’s Capital One Cup first-round tie at Leeds United.
Doyle almost extended the scoreline further.