Chesterfield made it four wins on the trot and are four points ahead of joint-seventh-placed Rochdale and Fleetwood, a first half Tendayi Darikwa header in the first half clinching the points.
Paul Cook selected the side that started the second half in the 3-2 win at Yeovil on Fantastic Friday.Jay O’Shea and Gboly Ariyibi came on at the break there for Byron Harrison and Ritchie Humphreys, who were both on the bench alongside fit again keeper Jon Flatt and recalled from Tranmere raider Dan Gardner.
Crewe, just two points above the drop zone, were without key midfielder Anthony Grant through suspension, he picked up a tenth yellow in the goalless draw with fellow strugglers Crawley Town on Friday. Former Spireites loanee Chris Atkinson started but another temporary Proact man, Nicky Ajose, was on the bench.
The sun was shining, the pitch looked in top order and the crowd were expectant.
Ariyibi went close for Chesterfield in the second minute, his left-footer going just over.
And he was close again but this time shot into the side netting from a difficult angle.
After a quick break Bradden Inman shot over for Crewe.
The visitors threatened again and Uche Ikpeazu’s left-footer was saved by Lee in the bottom left-hand corner.
Crewe seemed to be getting on top and Lauri Dalla Valle went close with a right-footer which went just wide.
But that fourth successive win came a step nearer for Chesterfield when they took the lead after 25 minutes, Tendayi Darikwa looping a header over the keeper into the top left hand corner after a cross by Gary Roberts.
Chesterfield were close to making it two but Ian Evatt headed narrowly wide.
After another quick Crewe break Ikpeazu was just off target.
Chesterfield forced three corners in quick succession early in the second half and following the third of these Sam Hird had a header saved.
Crewe’s James Jones received a yellow card for a foul on Jimmy Ryan and was later replaced by substitute Ryan Colclough.
Jay O’Shea had a shot just over for the hosts.
Roberts had a long shot blocked in the 68th minute and at the other end a Colclough effort was off target.
Spireites’ Ariyibi went off injured in the 72nd minute, to be replaced by Dan Gardner.
Soon after Crewe made their second substitution, replacing Ikpeazu with Nicky Ajose.
Chesterfield went within a whisker of a second when O’Shea hit the post with a right-foot shot. Two minutes later O’Shea went close again, his effort going just wide.
Roberts and Clucas went close within two minutes of each other as Spireites attemped to put the game to bed. They then forced two corners within a minute to leave six minutes of normal time.
Then Morsy had a long shot blocked, resulting in yet another corner.
There were two more substitutions with Crewe bringing on Marcus Haber for Inman and Chesterfield introducing Ritchie Humphreys in place of Roberts in the last minute of normal time.
Crewe were still battling and Alan Tate shot over a minute into added time, but Chesterfield hung on to leave them four places above seventh-placed Rochdale and Fleetwood, who are both on 59 points.
Chesterfield (4-2-3-1): Lee; Darikwa, Hird, Evatt, Talbot; Morsy, Ryan; O’Shea, Roberts, Ariyibi; Clucas. Subs: Flatt, Humphreys, Harrison, Gnanduillet, Gardner, Raglan, Banks.
Crewe (4-3-3): Rachubka; Turton, Davis, Tate, Leigh; Atkinson, Ness, Jones; Dalla Valle, Inman, Ikpeazu. Subs: Guthrie, Ray, Stewart, Haber, Ajose, Colclough, Nolan.
Ref: Kevin Johnson (Somerset).