Chesterfield gained a point at Bristol Rovers and finished the game with 10 men after Eoin Doyle was sent off near the end.
The start to the match was very true of both sides’ form of late, as possession was lost far too easily during a scrappy opening at the Memorial Stadium.
Paul Cook made two changes to the starting line up midweek that came back to draw 2-2 with York City. Tendayi Darikwa and Eoin Doyle were restored with Ryan Edwards and Gary McSheffrey dropping to the bench.
Drew Talbot was the only absentee for Chesterfield through injury.
Rovers lined up without Manchester City loanee Alex Henshall, who had a brief spell at Chesterfield towards the back end of last season. Forward David Clarkson was absent again as he served the second of his three-match suspension.
Morsy was lucky not to receive a caution when he brought down Richards in full flight after the winger had cut out a loose ball from the Chesterfield midfielder on halfway.
The home side’s midfielders were winning the battle in the centre of the pitch and it wasn’t long before a crunching tackle by Clarke on Gnanduillet brought Rovers’ first effort on goal. Clucas broke and played the ball up to Brunt who set up O’Toole to fire over the bar from 25 yards.
O’Toole was next to battle his way through two challenges, but at the crucial point, with Clucas down the right, the midfielder looked inside and played a sloppy ball behind the onrushing Richards.
Chesterfield were let off the hook and Devitt almost made Rovers pay when his miscued cross, intended for Gnanduillet, nearly caught Mildenhall out. But the keeper sorted his feet out quickly to take a simple catch.
Devitt continued where he left off midweek against York and looked the most likely to cause the opposition problems.
Banks replaced Morsy after another crunching tackle in midfield left the Spireites’ number five in a heap on the floor. Banks, making his league debut for the Spireites, was immediately involved and won his header in the centre circle to set up an attack. Gnanduillet shifted the ball wide for Roberts to attempt a chip that looped towards goal after taking a deflection and Mildenhall conceded the corner.
Roberts took the resulting kick deep towards the back post that Doyle met back-peddling but his header lacked any power and it was easily scooped up by the Rovers stopper.
The winger volleyed an effort out the ground from Devitt’s corner just before half-time as the teams went in after what was largely a half true to both sides’ recent form.
Chesterfield kicked off the second half looking to improve on a disappointing first 45 minutes.
But it was the visitors who saw the first sight of goal when Evatt only half-cleared a right wing cross into the path of O’Toole who sliced one over the bar from inside the area.
The Spireites, almost effortlessly, carved the hosts open when Gnandiullet wrestled free on halfway and slotted the ball through to Doyle. The Irishman was in the clear but opted to chip Mildenhall and his effort went harmlessly over the bar.
Rovers began to move the ball around and for the first time in the match Chesterfield looked a little stretched.
But Spireites hung in there and could have had a penalty when Doyle sneaked behind Packwood to latch on to Ryan’s long ball into the box. The striker nipped in ahead of Mildenhall and went to ground under the keeper’s challenge but the referee remained unmoved and the ball went wide.
Spireites began to find some rhythm themselves and had two good chances to take the lead.
Mildenhall was at full stretch to save Roberts’ volley with his feet and when the ball dropped to Doyle to strike first time, Parkes had to be alert to block on the line.
here were worrying signs for Chesterfield when club captain Evatt limped off on 72 minutes. Brunt fired over the bar from a long way out after a long ball forward sat up nicely for the front man before Ryan forced Mildenhall into a routine stop.
Doyle was sent off for a second bookable offence four minutes from the 90 minutes.
Clarke unleashed a thunderbolt from the edge of the area that Lee pushed away at full stretch.