Chesterfield took control of their Johnstone's Paint Trophy northern area final with a 3-1 first-leg win at fellow League Two club Fleetwood.

Ian Evatt poked in Gary Roberts' free-kick from close range and Sam Morsy quickly doubled Chesterfield's lead with a shot from the edge of the box.

David Ball's header before half-time reduced the deficit.

But Jimmy Ryan struck from 25 yards to give Chesterfield, the 2012 winners, a commanding lead in the tie.

Fleetwood, with a strong wind at their backs in the first half, had the better of the opening exchanges.

Alan Goodall's early header was ruled out for offside, before visiting centre-back Liam Cooper produced a heroic block to deny Ball.

Fleetwood fact

Fleetwood, playing in the Football League Trophy for only the second time in their history, have defeated four League One clubs - Tranmere, Crewe, Carlisle and Rotherham - to reach the northern area final

Chesterfield's opener came against the run of play, with Spireites captain Evatt scoring for the first time since April 2012.

It was soon 2-0 to the League Two leaders when some hesitant Fleetwood defending let in Ollie Banks and, although goalkeeper Scott Davies kept out his close-range effort, midfielder Morsy fired in the rebound for his second goal in two matches.

The misery continued for Fleetwood as the hosts had another goal disallowed before the break - the officials ruling that veteran striker Jon Parkin had been in an offside position as Mark Roberts' hooked attempt trickled over the line.

However, Ball's header from Parkin's flick-on gave Fleetwood hope.

A quiet second period was brought to life by Ryan, who controlled neatly before firing in a powerful half-volley past the helpless Davies.

A Gareth Evans shot, well saved by Tommy Lee, was the closest Fleetwood came to salvaging something from a disappointing night.

With a two-goal advantage to take into the second leg in a fortnight's time, Paul Cook's side will be strong favourites to progress to the final at Wembley on 30 March.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOMS

Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander told BBC Radio Lancashire:

Post-match: Fleetwood boss Alexander

"They've scored two goals in four minutes from nothing - one free-kick that wasn't a free-kick and a straight ball up the pitch that we haven't dealt with.

"The response from the players was fantastic, and then in the second half their lad has scored a wonder goal, but it's from another throw-in that we've given away.

"If you take the goals out of it, we haven't done much wrong, but I've been in the game a long time and goals are what the game is about.

"I still don't think the tie's over. We could have been 2-0 up by the time they scored their first goal. We know we're more than a match for Chesterfield."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Fleetwood Town

  • 01 Davies
  • 15 McLaughlin
  • 20 Taylor Booked
  • 13 Goodall
  • 05 Roberts
  • 06 Pond
  • 04 Murdoch (Evans - 75' )
  • 18 Sarcevic
  • 09 Parkin Booked
  • 23 Ball (Mandron - 68' )
  • 12 Brown

Substitutes

  • 07 Evans
  • 08 Schumacher
  • 14 Hogan
  • 28 Maxwell
  • 34 Mandron

Chesterfield

  • 01 Lee Booked
  • 07 Darikwa
  • 15 Humphreys
  • 12 Ryan (Hird - 85' )
  • 23 Evatt
  • 06 Cooper
  • 26 Gardner (Talbot - 53' )
  • 05 Morsy Booked
  • 17 Doyle (Richards - 77' )
  • 02 Banks
  • 11 Roberts

Substitutes

  • 04 Hird
  • 09 Richards
  • 10 O'Shea
  • 25 Talbot
  • 35 Dunbavin
Ref: David Coote
Att: 3,508

Match Stats

Shots

12 6

On target

3 3

Corners

6 3

Fouls

9 12