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, 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:
"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."
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