Chesterfield secured a 2-0 victory over Plymouth after defender Matthew Brown was shown red early in the second half.
The first goal came courtesy of a Brown header on his full debut for the Spireites, after an inviting corner-kick. The second and final goal of the game was from the penalty spot after the victim of the infringement, Marc Richards, camly finished past Luke McCormick. Early in the second period, Brown was awarded a red card for a foul inside his own area that led to the visitors’ rued penalty miss.
Chesterfield opened the scoring nine minutes in, after a Ritchie Humphreys corner was met by Brown, who fired his header straight past visiting goalkeeper Luke McCormick. Moments later, Lewis Alessandra shot just wide of the post from a tight angle.
Reuben Reid’s low cross found Romuald Boco, who somehow put his effort over the crossbar from six yards. On 34 minutes, Callum McFadzean replaced the injured Armand Gnanduillet. Boco wasted another chance after he shot straight at Tommy Lee, but this time the flag was raised for off-side.
With five minutes to go in the first period, the Spireites were awarded a penalty after Richards was brought down inside the area. The striker stepped up to take it and put the ball to left-hand side of McCormick, giving the home side a welcome cusion in the game.
On the stroke of half-time, Lee produced a superb save with his legs to deny Alessandra. Chesterfield made one change before the restart, with Jay O’Shea taking the place of Richards.
O’Shea’s first contribution was a curling effort that forced a magnificent diving save from Argyle goalkeeper McCormick. On 55 minutes, Boco was replaced by Caolan Lavery.
A volleyed effort from Reid was held comfortably by Lee. Just past the hour mark, the away side were awarded a penalty of their own. Brown was shown a red card, before Lee pulled off a superb save to his right-hand side to deny Reid.
Alessandra put the ball high and wide of the target from 20 yards. Lavery failed to get the ball under control inside the area and the home side cleared the danger.
Lavery was involved once again, after he met a lofted pass in the area and forced a diving save from Lee. The away side enjoyed the majority of possession during the second period, as Chesterfield’s efforts were fully focused on hanging on to their two-goal lead due to being a man down.
Towards the end of the match, there was a lack of opportunities due to the hosts’ desire to see out the game. It was then announced that there would be four minutes of additional time.
Seconds into time added on, Tendayi Darikwa was replaced by Gary McSheffrey. The last action of the game was a header from Reid that was held comfortably by Lee, as Chesterfield maintained their position in second place.