Darren Bent scored his second goal in two games as Derby County defeated Chesterfield 2-1 in Shane Nicholson’s testimonial match at the Proact Stadium.
The 32-year-old forward broke the deadlock in the fortuitous circumstances early into the second half, before Jay O’Shea struck an equaliser four minutes later.
Farrend Rawson leapt highest from a corner to make it 2-1 after the hour, before the man of moment, Nicholson, walked out to a standing ovation to play the last 20 minutes of the contest.
This meeting burst to life in patches throughout a first half that was short on opportunities.
Ched Evans, a summer signing for the hosts, registered two good openings – first heading over a left wing cross from the lively Dan Jones, before pulling the trigger on a low effort that was claimed by Jonathan Mitchell.
Sandwiched in between the two was Derby’s clear sight and, arguably, the game’s as Max Lowe collected a ball from Andreas Weimann, turned, and hit a right foot shot on to the foot of the crossbar.
After another lull, Ian Evatt, the former Rams defender, saw a header from a Chesterfield set piece hacked off the line and with five minutes of the remaining connected with another inswinging corner, but on this occasion he could only direct the ball wide of Mitchell’s near post.
A similar trend followed into the early stages of a far more entertaining second half as Chesterfield continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock.
Evans, again, was denied as Kelle Roos, on as a substitute, denied the forward at his near post, whilst the Dutch goalkeeper then scrambled across his line to deny Jay O’Shea’s deflected effort following a corner.
The same man should have opened the scoring a minute later as some confusion allowed O’Shea a free pot shot on goal, but Alex Pearce recovered to head the ball off the line.
A couple of minutes later, there was a goal and but it came at the other end of the pitch as Derby scored against the run of play.
In an almost carbon copy of a goal against Brentford at the iPro Stadium in the 2014/15 season, Jeff Hendrick lined up a shot on the edge of the area and after it took a deflection, it rolled into the path of Bent, who had the simple task of sliding it under Ryan Fulton for his second goal in two games.
The lead lasted four minutes as the Spireites grabbed a deserved equaliser four minutes later as O’Shea shifted the ball on to his right foot in the area and slammed a low effort beyond the reach of Roos.
From there, the Rams controlled the rest of the contest and should have edged back in front through Bent, after he latched on to an exquisite through ball from Hendrick, but was this time denied by Fulton.
Derby did, however, restore their lead as Rawson rose highest to meet Russell’s corner to guide a high ball across goal and into the back of the net.
Russell, himself, was then denied on two occasions in the dying stages of the contest as the Rams saw Nicholson’s testimonial out to claim their second win in two games.
Chesterfield: Fulton, Jones, Evatt, Raglan, McGinn, Gardner, Dimaio, Liddle, Ariyibi, O'Shea, Evans
Substitutes: Mitchell, Dennis, Maguire, Morrison, Humphreys, Graham, Nicholson, Allinson
Derby County: Mitchell (Roos, 46), Hanson (Stabana, 62), Forsyth, Bryson, Pearce (Rawson, 62), Baird, Lowe (Gordon, 72), Hendrick (Elsnik, 72), Bent, Weimann (Vernam, 79), Russell
Substitutes not used: Cover, Babos
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