The Valiants fell to defeat at the Proact Stadium on Saturday as goals from Kristian Dennis and Jordan Sinnott handed Chesterfield all three points.
Vale did create several opportunities themselves and controlled possession for parts of the game, but the afternoon ended in frustration for Michael Brown and his men.
During the opening exchanges both sides kept possession well, but Vale looked the most dangerous going forward.
Tyler Denton almost picked out Tom Pope with a curling cross on six minutes, but Chesterfield defender Sam Hird managed to head clear. Up the other end just moments later, Kristian Dennis flashed an effort wide for the hosts after finding room inside the box.
With 17 minutes on the clock, Ben Whitfield almost profited from a loose ball as he saw a powerful strike blocked from a tight angle. Vale’s clearest opportunity then came via a set piece three minutes later as Nathan Smith headed a Tonge corner just over the bar.
As the Valiants continued to attack, Dan Turner poked a low Marcus Harness cross narrowly wide before the offside flag was raised by the assistant referee. Harness was causing problems for the Spireites’ defence and a superb diagonal ball from him found Turner out wide on 28 minutes. The young striker then pulled a pass back to Whitfield, but he couldn’t direct the ball towards goal from 12 yards.
The home side did enjoy a spell of possession themselves soon after and Chris O’Grady called Sam Hornby into a low save with 35 minutes played. Against the run of play, Chesterfield then opened the scoring as Dennis latched onto a Jordan Sinnott through ball to slide a finish beyond Hornby and into the far corner in the 38th minute. Sinnott then struck the bar five minutes later, but he was on hand to convert the rebound and send his team into half-time with a two-goal lead.
Following the restart Vale searched for a route back into the game and Tonge went close to finding the net with a free-kick on 50 minutes as he curled a strike inches wide of the far post. Chesterfield almost carved out a chance of their own seven minutes later, but some excellent defending from Nathan Smith denied O’Grady from close range.
Michael Brown’s men did almost reduce the deficit with 71 minutes on the clock following some neat build-up. Pope and Tonge combined well down the right before the latter delivered an enticing cross, but substitute Rekeil Pyke could only send a stooping header wide of the target under pressure from a defender.
Another determined attack opened up a chance for Vale soon afterwards as Denton found de Freitas inside the Chesterfield box. The midfielder then sent a low drive towards goal but it flashed wide of the target with Lee at full stretch. Harness then took aim himself on 82 minutes, but similarly to the last attempt, it flew the wrong side of the post.
With just two minutes remaining of normal time, the Valiants came just a yard away from pulling a goal back as a downwards header from Pope was thwarted on the line by Lee in the home goal. Anthony de Freitas then worked his way into a promising position just seconds later but his shot was blocked, meaning the match ended 2-0.
Chesterfield: Lee, Evatt ©, O’Grady (Ugwu 90), Sinnott (McCourt 85), Barry, Wiseman, Weir, Flores (Maguire 90), Reed, Hird, Dennis.
Unused Substitutes: Anyon, Wakefield, Brewster, Mitchell.
Port Vale: Hornby, Wilson, Smith, Kay ©, Denton, Harness, Reeves (Stobbs 79), Tonge, Whitfield (de Freitas 62), Turner (Pyke 62), Pope.
Unused Substitutes: Boot, Davis, Gibbons, Gunning.
Attendance: 5,058 (833 away)