Spireites defence leaked its most goals since Roy McFarland’s side were hammered 7-0 at Paul Sturrock’s Plymouth Argyle back in January 2004.
Architect of their defeat was highly rated striker Sam Baldock, who scored a hat-trick and got an assist. MK Dons have reportedly turned down a seven-figure bid from Peterborough for him. But with West Ham boss Sam Allardyce watching him at stadiummk, he could well soon be London rather than London Road bound.
Alex Mendy’s international clearance wasn’t received in time so John Sheridan sprang a surprise by starting with regular subs Scott Boden and Jordan Bowery up front alongside Jack Lester.
The selection raised a few pre-match eyebrows but Boden bagged both Chesterfield goals, both with the assistance of Bowery.
Spireites were soon behind. Jabo Ibehre’s precise ball saw Baldock outpace Aaron Downes and the striker slid the ball in from an acute angle, Tommy Lee will feel he should have saved it.
After being outplayed for much of the rest of the first hale, Spireites levelled out of the blue. Mark Allott and Lester combined to find Bowery on the right. He skipped by Dean Lewington and crossed in. Keeper David Martin got a palm to the ball but Boden was on hand to tap in.
Chesterfield looked to be in the hunt for points but they succumbed just short of the hour mark when Ibehre’s cross mirrored that of Bowery and Baldock was on hand for the close range finish.
Before you could draw breath, it was three. Shaun Williams’ angled cross saw Drew Talbot slip and Dean Bowditch was on hand to receive and finish.
Briefly, Chesterfield were back in it. Allott’s long throw saw Bowery, at the near post, control and cross for Boden to head in at the far stick. Moments later the striker was a whisker away from a hat-trick and an equaliser but his shot rolled inches wide of the post.
That was Spireites’ last chance of a point as they then self-destructed. The usually calm Dwayne Mattis just passed the ball across the box into Baldock’s path but, rather than shoot, he picked out sub Luke Chadwick who shimmed past Lee to all but kill the game.
Stephen Gleeson then robbed Allott, passed to Baldock who skipped by Mattis and Niven before claiming his hat-trick with a 25 yarder that Lee managed to get a faint touch to.
The agony was added to when a Daniel Powell pass to fellow sub Jay O’Shea led to a trip by Talbot and the fouled player stepped up to score from the spot.
Sheridan conceded: “It was embarrassing towards the end. I’m hurt.”
He added: “I don’t like any team of mine that only play in patches in a game because we played alright at times. I thought we’d got back into the game in the last 20 minutes of the first half and in the first 15 minutes of the second half, we were right in the game and I really thought we were the team on top.
“But for the remainder of the game we looked really disjointed and every goal they scored should have been dealt with by us a lot better than it was. I apologise to everyone. Our fans, and I’m not saying this to get on anyone’s side, were great and got behind the team. They could see we were trying to get into the game.
“It’s the manner of the goals, and it’s not the first time it’s happened this season, so I’ve got to question if I’m doing the right thing and whether I’ve got the right players in the side and am I picking the right side.”
It’s not the first time Sheridan has seen his side lose 6-2 at Milton Keynes. Oldham were beaten by the same score in what turned out to be his last game in charge of the side.
His reaction to this defeat will be to redouble his efforts to bring in fresh faces, they’re desperately needed now.
MK Dons: Martin 6; A.Smith 6, Lewington 6, Mackenzie 7, Chicksen 6; Balanta 7 (Powell 79), Gleeson 6, Williams 7 (Chadwick 66), Bowditch 7; Ibehre 8, S.Baldock 9 (O’Shea 77). Subs (not used): McLoughlin, G. Baldock.
Goals: Baldock 12, 59, 72, Bowditch 61, Chadwick 70, O’Shea (pen) 85
Booked: Lewington 35, Williams 64
Chesterfield: Lee 4; Talbot 5, Mattis 4 (Holden 73), Downes 5, N.Smith 5; Whitaker 5, Allott 5 (Lowry 80), Niven 6; Bowery 7, Lester 6 (Morgan 73), Boden 8. Subs (not used): Fleming, Clay.
Goals: Boden 37, 66
Booked: Lester 35, Talbot 84