The Spireites both scored and won as goals from Jay O’Shea and Ched Evans saw them progress to the FA Cup second round with a 2-1 away win at Colchester United.
Tarique Fosu was brought on at the break, and within 60 seconds the on-loan man had levelled matters with his first touch, a neat finish across Fulton.
Spireites we soon back in front, however, as Tom Anderson’s knock-down header found Evans, who smashed a volley home to see the Spireites into the FA Cup second round with their first away win of the season.
A packed-out Spireites box ensured that a quiet start to the game remained just that when Drey Wright broke free down the left-hand side, his low delivery into the box hit the back five like a brick wall before being cleared by Ian Evatt.
Evans had the Spireites best chance of the early stages, Evatt rose highest to meet O’Shea’s free-kick which fell to the unmarked Welsham, but his volley was struck straight into the hands of Sam Walker.
Despite still featuring in his new centre-back position, Gary Liddle found himself at the forefront of Chesterfield’s next chance; a lobbed ball into the box fell at the captain’s feet, but a challenge from the Colchester defence kept it at 0-0.
The resulting corner provided an opportunity for Liddle’s defensive partner Anderson but the centre -back couldn’t direct his header past Walker.
The goal drought was finally brought to an end in the 24th minute when Kristian Dennis charged forward after Gboly Ariyibi had won the ball back.
Three-on-three with the U’s defence, Dennis slipped it into the path of O’Shea who guided it past Walker and into the bottom corner.
Relief had spread throughout the Chesterfield 11 and having reverted to a 4-4-2 formation O’Shea found the ball at his feet on the left wing.
The Irishman cut inside and curled a strike towards the far corner, Walker parried and it fell at Evans who was unable to double their lead from a tight angle.
Despite seeing as much of the ball as the away side, Colchester were yet to truly test Ryan Fulton and it remained that way when Wright found space on right-hand side, his low delivery found a diving Kurtis Guthrie but his header was sent wide.
Fulton had to be at his sharpest when the home side finally did test him, Wright had rounded two of the Spireites’ defence, but the onrushing ‘keeper twice blocked the winger’s shot to keep the home side at bay.
On the brink of half time, Evans twice had the chance to double the Spireites’ lead, a 40-yard free kick was sent powerfully into Walker’s gloves before the Welshman won the ball back from the goal kick.
The defence failed to control the ‘keeper’s pass which Evans won and charged forwards with, but again his strike couldn’t creep in at the left corner.
A half-time substitution paid dividends for the home side as Fosu (46) scored with his first touch. The winger, on-loan from Reading, was unmarked when he received the ball from a deflection and struck it across Fulton and into the right corner.
The U’s equality was short-lived as Evans (51) ended his own drought thanks to some old-fashioned route one football. A long ball into the box from O’Shea was headed down by Anderson and thrashed in by the Welshman.
The pace of Guthrie was too much for Evatt to handle and having beaten the centre-back it left the forward with only Fulton in his way, but the goalkeeper made himself large and blocked the attempt.
In search of the safety a third goal could provide, Kristian Dennis struck from 22 yards but his effort was blocked, it fell for second attempt but the volleyed effort swung wide.
Following two injury breaks Colchester picked up the attack, Wright’s delivery was blocked by Anderson and landed at the feet of Sammie Szmodics, but again Anderson was there to head clear.
The U’s were threatening from set pieces and their latest attempt from former Spireite Richard Brindley was met by Denny Johnstone and despite a few moments of uncertainty Chesterfield managed to clear.
With six minutes added to the clock the away fans were left with their hearts in their mouths as Fulton saved a powerful header from Macauley Bonne, but the ‘keeper pounced on the loose ball to retain their lead and see the Spireites through to the second round.