Mario Beretta made his debut on the Cesena bench, but was beaten only by a late Davide Moscardelli goal for Chievo.
The Sea Horses introduced their third Coach of the campaign this week when Daniele Arrigoni terminated his contract by mutual consent. Beretta happened to make his debut in familiar surroundings, as he was in charge of Chievo in 2004-05.
The visitors were without Djokovic, Nicola Ravaglia, Vangelis Moras and Steve Von Bergen. Chievo had a trio of suspended stars – Drame, Michael Bradley and Cyril Thereau.
Sergio Pellissier failed to make the most of a Roberto Guana error in the box, while Luca Rigoni was booked for cynically preventing a Vincenzo Iaquinta counter-attack.
There were some complaints over a potential handling offence in the Chievo box, but Rigoni was very close to the ball and it did not seem to be voluntary. Pellissier aimed straight at the goalkeeper and Alberto Paloschi was a little too late to make contact with the Hetemaj assist.
Adrian Mutu knocked down a long ball for Daniel Pudil, whose scuffed volley took a deflection wide off Gennaro Sardo. From the resulting corner, Gianluca Comotto’s header was charged down.
Paloschi nodded inches wide of the upright, but was offside anyway. In the second half Adrian Mutu went on a solo run and his left-foot finish skimmed the far post.
Cesena went down to 10 men, as Massimo Lauro received his second yellow card of the game for going in with his arm on Paloschi as they jumped. It seemed a rather harsh decision, though.
The visitors somehow failed to score on 69 minutes, as a Iaquinta cross found Comotto totally unmarked round the back of a distracted Djokovic, but he incredibly ballooned over from six yards.
Davide Moscardelli tried to dribble into the box, but lost his footing on the typically-woeful Stadio Bentegodi turf. A Paloschi looping header was off target.
Chievo did finally get the breakthrough with 12 minutes left on the clock. Moscardelli sprung the offside trap at the back post, getting away from Pudil to volley in a Hetemaj cross from the left at full stretch.
Cesena poured forward in the final stages looking for a last-gasp equaliser, but Mario Alberto Santana just failed to redirect the Iaquinta strike.
Sent off: Lauro 56 (Ce)