A pair of goals from a largely unplayable Tom Denton and Scott Boden’s sixth in five games gave Chesterfield a comfortable 3-0 win over Sutton United.
The Spireites, playing live on BT Sport in the day’s early game, started well enough, but even after taking a 28th minute lead they allowed Sutton to start to dictate proceedings.
After the interval it was a different story, two early goals making life so much easier for John Sheridan’s men, who rose to 12th, albeit before the rest of the division kicked off.
The visitors almost caught Town napping in the first five minutes, the hosts switching off as a corner was taken, Will Evans making a vital block to deny Roarie Deacon.
A second corner was half cleared by Tom Denton and and James Dobson fizzed one over the bar from 25 yards.
Chesterfield’s young midfield stamped their authority in the game early on and Harry Beautyman was the unfortunate recipient, first crunched by a completely fair Laurence Maguire tackle, then left prone after an aerial challenge with Joe Rowley.
Charlie Carter got involved nice and early too, playing a key role in a lovely bit of football, started by Maguire, with Ellis Chapman eventually released down the left before his cross was cut out in the middle.
It was Sutton who created the next shooting chance however, taking advantage of a missed tackle by Josef Yarney on the right, Dylan Kearney blasting over from the edge of the box.
The hosts were playing some nice stuff without really cutting Sutton open, until Scott Boden’s clever run saw him carve out a chance, his acute angled shot beaten out by Ross Worner who collided with Denton looking for the rebound, referee Simon Mather waving play on.
Sutton United were playing a full part in what was an even first half and when Dobson skipped all too easily away from Haydn Hollis on the right touchline, they threatened with pace, but Kearney was once again off target with the resulting shot.
Chesterfield took the lead just before the half hour mark, when Rowley picked out Denton with a perfect cross, the targetman heading it into the ground and watching as the ball bounced up, away from Worner and goalward, Jonathan Smith coming in to make doubly sure it crossed the line.
There was a collective sigh of relief around the ground on 35 minutes when Deacon was afforded too much space and time to shoot from the edge of the box, Shwan Jalal rooted to the spot as the ball flashed past the post.
The men in yellow began to take control of the game in the latter stages of the half, Town’s young midfield looking stretched out of possession and failing to settle things down when they did have the ball.
But three minutes after the break, Sutton found themselves with a mountain to climb.
Denton’s flick on found the run of Boden, who got goalside of his marker and shot back across goal, Worner unable to get a hand to the ball before it found the net.
Sutton, again, bounced back well and came close to pulling one back when a ball over the top released Kearney and although Jalal rushed out and didn’t get to the ball, Will Evans headed behind to save the day.
Seconds later, it was game over, Maguire clipping a delightful cross to the back post where Denton stood head and shoulders above his markers to head into the top corner.
Rowley looked to increase the lead when he burst onto a Denton pass on halfway, getting through a tackle and shooting wide from distance.
Boden then went hunting his second but his curling shot was well held by Worner.
Denton departed, to a standing ovation, with 18 minutes remaining, Marc-Antoine Fortune his replacement.
Lincoln loanee Chapman didn’t have his best afternoon on the left for Town, but did produce a sublime bit of skill late on to feed Rowley in the box and he curled a shot just over the top.
There was a rash cards as the game entered the final 10 minutes, more for scrappy and niggly fouls than anything truly malicious, Robbie Weir and Yarney in the book for the home side.
Chesterfield crafted one more decent chance before the final whistle, Fortune’s cut-back finding Rowley who got under his shot and skied it.
Chesterfield: Jalal, Yarney, Chapman, Evans, Hollis, Maguire (Weston 66), Smith, Rowley, Carter (Weir 58), Boden, Denton (Fortune 72). Not used: Shaw, Anyon.
Sutton: Worner, Bolarinwa, Thomas (Toure 53), Bennett, Beckwith, Deacon, Dobson, Beautyman, Barden (Bellikli 69), Kearney, Williams (Ayunga 70). Not used: Lema, Butler.
Goalscorers: Denton 28, 56, Boden 48
Yellows: Weir 83, Yarney 84; Bennett 79, Beautyman 80
Referee: Simon Mather. Assistants: David Hunt, Jack Nield.
Attendance: 4,311 (151 away)