Oldham Athletic and Chesterfield played out a goalless draw this afternoon at SportsDirect.com Park.
Billy Mckay smashed the post at the start of the second half whilst substitute Lee Croft forced a smart save from Ryan Fulton on the hour mark.
Connor Ripley was forced into action in the final 15 minutes of the game, saving well from Gboly Ariyibi and he preserved a third clean sheet in four league games.
Stephen Robinson made two changes to last weekend’s squad as Marc Klok and Darius Osei replaced the suspended Ousmane Fane and Freddie Ladapo who missed the game through illness.
It was a slow start to the game with both sides having half chances in the opening 10 minutes.
Ched Evans stabbed goalwards inside the penalty area from a Conor Dimaio corner but Ripley saved well whilst at the other end a rehearsed free kick routine found Osei but the striker could not direct his shot on target.
Latics started to dominate the game as a corner from Klok found Billy Mckay on his own in the penalty area but his shot towards the top corner was saved well by Chesterfield goalkeeper Fulton.
He had to be aware a minute later also as Osei’s header was nodded on by Cameron Burgess but the ball was cleared off the line by Spireites defender Sam Hird.
Former Latics loanee Conor Wilkinson wriggled his way into the box on 17 minutes and crossed into the centre but Ariyibi’s shot was held by Ripley.
Wilkinson was booked a minute later for a reckless challenge on Klok and a minute later Lee Erwin found his way into the referee’s notebook for a late tackle on Gary Liddle.
After Erwin forced a smart save from Fulton, Chesterfield had a great opportunity to take the lead just before the half hour mark.
Captain Peter Clarke, who was named the August Player of the Month before the game, was adjudged to have handled the ball just outside the box.
Evans stepped up but fired his shot from 18 yards over the crossbar and that was the closest Chesterfield came to opening the scoring in the first half.
Five minutes before the end of the half, Tom Anderson was booked for the Spireites but Josh Law’s free kick from the edge of the box was well held by Fulton.
Deep into additional time, another well worked free kick routine saw Klok find Green but he could not pick out Osei in the middle as it remained goalless at half time.
Latics were much the better side in the second half and started well.
Five minutes into the half, Ripley’s long ball found Mckay on the edge of the Chesterfield box. His exquisite touch created space inside the penalty area but his shot rebounded off the post and wide.
Minutes later, Klok lined up a free kick from 25 yards which hit the side netting as Latics knocked on the door of the first goal.
Croft was introduced into the game just before the hour mark and almost gave Latics the lead straight away.
He picked up the ball 25 yards from goal, curled towards the top corner but Fulton excellently tupped the ball over the crossbar to deny the midfielder his first goal of the season.
Just after the hour mark Erwin volleyed goalwards but the ball struck Mckay on route to goal and the chance was lost.
Latics had to be wary of the counter attack but Ripley was in fine form when called into action.
Dimaio’s cross found Ariyibi at the back post and he volleyed goalwards but Ripley, who was wrong footed, tipped the ball past his far post to preserve the draw.
Chesterfield continued to put the pressure on Latics’ goal with Ariyibi’s fierce shot headed off the line by Clarke.
Neither side managed to find the winner in the final 10 minutes of the game with substitute Ryan McLaughlin going closest for Latics.
However, after eight goals conceded in the last two games, Robinson will be delighted to record a clean sheet this afternoon.
Oldham Athletic: Ripley, Law, Burgess, Clarke, Dunne, Green, Flynn (Croft 57’), Klok (Banks 84’), Mckay (McLaughlin 72’), Osei, Erwin.
Subs not used: Kettings, Wilson, Winchester, Dummigan.
Chesterfield: Fulton, McGinn, Hird, Liddle, Gardner (O’Shea 63’), Evans, Dimaio, Donahue, Anderson, Wilkinson (Dennis 85’), Ayiribi.
Subs not used: Parkin, Mitchell, Maguire, Graham, German.
Goals: Oldham Athletic 0-0 Chesterfield