Chesterfield made the short trip up to the Coral Windows Stadium - this year's name for Valley Parade - with three changes to the starting line-up that beat Macclesfield; illness and injury forced the replacement of Phil Picken, Jack Lester and Ian Breckin, although the first two were fit enough to occupy places on the bench.
City won a corner within the first 30 seconds which was cleared, and Lowry and Allot combined to clear the return. City had more of the ball in the first ten but the visitors were able to restrain them with comfort, restricting their hosts to one off-target shot from O'Brien.
Robertson fouled Nielson on 17 and Hanson tried to force his head onto O'Neill's free kick but could not connect. The halway point of the half came with the match looking scrappy, and players on both sides making too many unforced errors for there to be much pattern.
From nowhere, City took the lead. Gray remained static to allow Flynn to round him in the box on 22 before the City man fired past an equally static Lee.
McDermott replied immediately with a shot that looked to shave the woodwork as it curled goalwards, but City's goal gave them the confidence to increase the impetus. Chesterfield's opportunities were few; Small got a toe onto a loose ball on 31 but Eastwood saved. The Spireites retained possession and won a corner, which Currie took, and which was cleared.
Neilson advanced on 34 and rifled in a shot from 25 yards that Lee saved well, at the expense of a corner. Lee got his fingertips to the cross and conceded a corner on the other side. Niven headed clear but O'Brien returned, before Gray got the ball away.
City won another corner on 38 after more doubtful defending but the ball was worked clear. O'Brien lost possession and Small broke through; seconds later the referee brought play back to penalise Small, who had played no foul part in O'Brien's simple stumble. Small worked a decent opportunity a minute later but screwed the ball wide. Currie was hacked down by Rehman on 41 as Chesterfield tried to get back into the game.
Halftime: City 1 Chesterfield 0. Attendance: 11664 (434 from Chesterfield.)
Chesterfield began in a more intelligent fashion than they started the first, playing balls to feet. Niven broke onto Lowry's through ball but the keeper saved on 54 and Lowry, following up, mis-kicked at the rebound. Bradford broke; Neilson was left unattended to sidefoot home after Evans' initial shot was saved. 2-0 to Bradford.
Jack Lester came on for McDermott after 59 minutes. Bradford broke through Evans on 60 but Gray cut out the danger as Niven pulled up injured. Page was yellow-carded for a late challenge on 61 but the stoppage in play at least allowed Harsley to step on for Niven.
Chesterfield continued to try to play neat football, with Small particularly prominent. O'Brien was replaced by the former Spireite Chris Brandon on 69. Brandon's first act was to foul Harsley. Small was fouled near the edge of the box on 72 but Robertson's free kick drifted over the bar. Martin Gritton came on for Currie after 74. Bullock's challenge left Allott injured but, with all three subs having been used, the midfielder got back to his feet. Boulding replaced Evans for City on 81.
A cross was not dealt with by Chesterfield's defence on 85; Lee didn't get the ball and it came only to Brandon, who rolled it into the net. At 1-0 and 2-0, the Spireites had begun to play some promising football, but City had developed the habit of coming from nowhere, it seemed, to score again. As frustration crept in Lester received a booking after a challenge on Bullock that the City player reacted to. Neilson should have made it four on 90 after Austin and Lee collided with eachother, illustrating a lack of understanding that bedevilled the defence all afternoon.
Full time: Bantams 3 Spireites 0.