The Spireites moved easily into fifth place in the League One table with what turned out to be a comfortable win over Crawley Town on their first ever visit to north Derbyshire.
The Irish contingent of Eoin Doyle, with a brace sandwiching a Jay O’Shea cracker, put the home side three up within the hour.
From then on the destination of the three points was never in doubt, although you can give credit to Crawley who did at least force a chance or two in the final half hour.
Pre-match talk was about the acquisition of Byron Harrison. The 27 year old striker has signed until the end of next season after joining the club from Cheltenham Town.
Paul Cook indicated it was a squad-strengthening move rather than a move to fill a future gap, but he’ll struggle to get a game the way Doyle and Armand Gnanduillet played last night.
Cook selected the same team that lost 2-0 at Derby and Dean Saunders also put out an unchanged side after narrowly losing at Fleetwood, meaning ex-Spireite Dean Morgan was on the bench. He came on and headed inches wide with his first touch.
Doyle received a short pass from Jimmy Ryan but put his angled shot on the turn just too high as Spireites started the stronger side.
Keeper Lewis Price had to move sharply to the left to save Gnanduillet’s header whilst at the other end Tommy Lee gathered Jimmy Smith’s corner but, under pressure from Izzy McLeod, dropped it and the experienced striker bundled the ball in. Referee Atwell thought it was a foul and the effort was chalked off.
Jones’ cross wasn’t dealt with and the ball zipped to Gnanduillet but his 18 yard shot was snaffled up by Price.
Spireites took the lead with a fine Doyle goal. Gnanduillet nodded a Lee kick on, Doyle burst beyond the back line but was soon crowded out. He drifted in beyond two defenders and the opportunity to shoot opened up and he right footed home from 12 yards.
Moments after Sam Clucas looked to be tripped in the box but no penalty was awarded, Price had to dive to save a Sam Hird header, a Dan Jones cross somehow eluded a touch in, Clucas hit wide and Gnanduillet shot over as the pressure on the hosts lifted and they began to flow and Crawley will have been glad for the break.
O’Shea hit high after a superb Clucas burst forwards and Doyle did the same after a shorter Clucas burst as Spireites retained control and they scored two in two minutes to effectively end the contest. O’Shea curled a beauty from the box-edge after Doyle’s pin-point pass and then Doyle reacted quickest to a defensive lapse to side foot in from close range, his 24th goal of the season.
There was a huge cheer on 80 minutes when Drew Talbot came on for just his second appearance in almost a year after a chronic stomach and groin injury and the home side saw out the game to notch another clean sheet.