Dean Saunders saw his side get off to a comfortable winning start under his leadership tonight, with Spireites picking up the Autoworld Trophy for their efforts against Matlock Town.
Chesterfield, who played different elevens in each half barring the triallist keeper, took a comfortable two goal lead into the break after Jay O’Shea banged in a penalty whilst marquee signing Sylvan-Ebanks Blake headed in a Dan Gardner cross.
Armand Gnanduillet hit a rising shot to make it three late on after a pinpoint pass from one of the triallists on display.
O’Shea and Clucas went close early on before Chesterfield took the lead. Ebanks-Blake turned in the box only to be upended by the Matlock keeper; O’Shea, whose fast feet and trickery was delightful to watch, stepped up to convert the penalty.
Within five minutes Gardner worked well down the left and delivered a perfect cross for Ebanks-Blake to head home. The summer signing went close with an overhead kick and he returned the favour for Gardner but the winger was unable to guide the ball beyond Jonny Maxstead.
O’Shea had a decent 20 yarder saved before Ebanks-Blake was replaced by Jake Orrell, a player from the North East based Catalyst4Soccer Academy with which Spireites has a link.
The second half side, featuring first year professional Jake Beesley, a striker, at right back, almost added to the score when the attacking-midfield triallist saw a last gasp save deny him after Gnanduillet’s ball in and the ‘keeper also kept out a Gboly Ariyibi rocket.
The home ‘keeper kept out two efforts from Gnanduillet and Ariyibi, who both looked sharp, as did Michael Onovwigun in the middle.
Beesley showed his predatory instincts but his back of the net effort was ruled out by an offside flag as the sun set over Causeway Lane. But Gnanduillet’s effort counted to send the visiting fans home happy.
This evening Chesterfield travel to Buxton (7.45pm) to play another game before they depart, on Sunday, for a training camp in Portugal.
Spireites (first half, 4-4-2): Triallist, Darikwa, Evatt, Hird, Jones, Gardner, Morsy, Banks, O’Shea, Clucas, Ebanks-Blake (Orrell 38).
Second half (4-4-1-1): Triallist, Beesley Raglan, Maguire (Triallist 81), Humphreys, Harrison, Onovwigun, Triallist (Dieseruvwe 81), Ariyibi, Triallist (Triallist 81), Gnanduillet (Orrell 85).
Goals: O’Shea (pen) 13, Ebanks-Blake 18, Gnanduillet 84