Nicky Ajose’s goal just before the break gave John Sheridan’s men a real boost. He became the fourth player to score on his full debut this season, equalling a club record set in 1927-28.
However, with just two minutes remaining, Bury breached the Chesterfield defence when Steven Schumacher headed in from a corner.
As expected, former Bury favourite Ajose started alongside Jack Lester whilst Jamie Lowry and Alex Mendy came in for injured duo Mark Allott and James Hurst. Josh Thompson switched to right back with Gregor Robertson moving to centre half to accommodate Liam Ridehalgh’s return to the back four.
Frenchman Mendy was recalled to a role just behind the front two.
A cagey opening to the game saw precious few chances. Ryan Doble drove a low effort at Tommy Lee and Peter Sweeney drilled a box-edge effort just wide before Spireites came into the game as an attacking force.
Ajose saw a volley blocked by Sodje just before a cat on the pitch moment lifted the mood. However with the half drawing to a close, Mendy delivered from the right, Lester helped it on and Ajose slotted the ball in from close range.
Defender Mark Hughes then made a stunning goal-line headed block from a Lester blockbuster after Belford had erred but the keeper soon made up for that error with a left-leg save from a Mendy close ranger as the visitors ended the half on top.
The Shakers brought on David Worrall at the break and the wide man immediately made a difference as the hosts looked sharper and more penetrative. Talbot made a superb tackle to deny Worrall and David Amoo glanced a header wide as Bury stepped it up. Amoo’s cross was caught well by an increasingly busy Lee before Sodje escaped punishment as he forearmed Ajose in the face.
Hughes and keeper Cameron Belford got in a mix-up reminiscent of Lester’s recent goal at Oldham but this time the rear men got away with it. As Bury continued to dominate, Lennell John-Lewis shot inches wide on the turn from 12 yards before clipping the top of the bar from further out. The officials awarded a corner much to Spireites’ dismay and from the melee Schumacher finished off the move with a close range header and they could’ve finished the game off.
Bury (4-3-3): Belford 6, Picken 6, Sodje 6, Hughes 8, Skarz 6, Coke 6, Schumacher 6, Sweeney 7, Amoo 7 (John-Lewis 65, 6), Doble 6 (Worrall 46, 7), Bishop 7 (Carrington 90). Subs (not used): Jones, Williams.
Chesterfield (4-3-1-2): Lee 7, Thompson 6, Trotman 7, Robertson 8, Ridehalgh 6, Talbot 7, Lowry 7, Davis 7, Mendy 6, Lester 6, Westcarr 88) Ajose 7 (Boden 74). Subs (not used): Fleming, Bowery, Whitaker.
Goals: Ajose 41 (Chesterfield, Schumacher 88 (Bury)
Ref: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear)