Gary McSheffrey’s second goal in as many games was all that separated Chesterfield and rivals Mansfield in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The Spireites reclaimed the bragging rights at Field Mill to advance into the third round of the competition and keeps their dreams of Wembley alive.
Tommy Lee was at his best to keep Stags at bay and capped off a memorable evening for the travelling support when he made an outstanding stop deep into added time to deny Ollie Palmer. Both Jay O’Shea and Chris Porter had chances late on to make the game safe but failed to add to McSheffrey’s opener.
Chesterfield had put the disappointment of back-to-back defeats behind them with a gritty performance ahead of Saturday’s clash with Fleetwood Town. Paul Cook made three changes to the starting line up with Ryan Edwards, Jamie Devitt and Chris Porter - making his first start for Chesterfield since joining on a month’s loan from Sheffield United - all named in the first 11.
Mansfield manager Paul Cox made four changes and it seemed to have the desired effect, with the Stags having the better of the opening exchanges. Sam Clucas lofted his effort over the bar from inside the penalty area before Lee had to make his first of three crucial stops to deny Lee Stevenson after he was sent in the clear.
Chesterfield saw a lot of the ball but it was Mansfield who threatened again and only some desperate defending by Sam Hird and Ryan Edwards prevented Calvin Andrew from close range. Andrew had another shot that he sent wide before Jamie Devitt forced Alan Marriott into a good save.
Porter had a glorious chance to put the Spireites ahead early in the second half but the on-loan man sent his volley wide from O’Shea’s cross. It seemed to take the front man by surprise but he had another opportunity moments later when he rose highest to powerfully head Jimmy Ryan’s deep cross towards goal, but his effort sailed narrowly wide of Marriott’s left hand post once more.
Lee denied Andrew again after the striker bore down on goal before Chesterfield, who were the livelier of the teams second half, made their dominance count.
A long ball into the box from the right touchline towards Porter drew the attention of defender and goalkeeper, who clattered into each other, and when the ball broke for McSheffrey, he was presented with the easy task of rolling the ball into an empty net.
Ritchie Sutton was stretchered off after the collision in a lengthy delay but the Spireites held on for the win.