There was no place in the Spireites' starting line-up for Martin Whing, the new right-back. Derek Niven came into the side for the now-departed Dominic Green to give it a clear look of 4-4-2, with Wade Small starting up front instead of Drew Talbot. Gary Madine returned to the squad, and a place on the substitutes' bench.
Allott found Whaley in space with a fine ball to the right on 6. He crossed, but Small could not connect as the ball flashed out for a goal kick. Cheltenham won the game's first corner on 7, after Breckin tackled Lescott. The kick to the back post went over everyone and Gray cleared the returned.
Richards hit the bar with more of a flick than a shot, after the ball broke loose from Breckin on 20. Chesterfield went forward with a lovely Niven pass to Whaley; Rundle and Small tried to convert the cross but the ball ran for a corner, that Richards cleared. Small got in behind Lowe on 26 but Ridley got in to tackle as Lowe seemed to tug Small's shirt.
Chesterfield were beginning to exert some pressure but Cheltenham were still dangerous; the ball squirted through from Hayles to Lowe on 29 and was cleared for a corner, which Ridley took for Pook to flick past the near post, with Goodall in attendance. Rundle broke after Robins pressure but the move broke down in the Cheltenham box with the ball under Niven's feet. Lescott overreacted to a Conlon challenge but referee D'Urso saw nothing beyond a simple foul.
Rundle cut in on Lescott's mistake after 35 but it was on his unfavoured right foot, and he shot wide. Hayles got the last touch between three Chesterfield defenders to put the ball just wide.
Small broke into the box onto a Gray pass and was pulled down on 39, leaving the referee a simple decision - Penalty. BARRY CONLON was made to wait by gamesmanship but stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and put the Spireites into the lead. Small slipped the ball to Conlon and, with the adrenaline of scoring still pulsing through his veins, the Irishman blasted a shot so wide that it went for a throw!
Halftime: Cheltenham Town 0 Chesterfield 1
Lee pulled off a great save to deny Elito early in the second half, pushing his shot onto the crossbar. Whaley had to come back to prevent Thornhill from capitalising on a good Robins move. Chesterfield came back and won a corner, but Rundle was unable to get it over the man at the near post. Conlon got his head to another corner but the looping effort was blocked. Whaley pulled it back into the box towards Small and Rundle on 57, but the home defence just got a foot in to clear.
Alsop replaced Hayles on 62. Whaley took a Chesterfield free kick from distance and Brown was forced into a save. Richards slipped his marker but headed into the ground on 64, and Lee was able to collect with ease. Whaley carried the ball from Niven and shot on 70 but Brown palmed away for a corner, which Lescott cut out.
Lee did well to hold a Pook shot low down on 74. Breckin blocked a shot on 73 as Chesterfield worked hard to keep their determined hosts at bay. Scott Boden came on for Small after 75 minutes.
Elito won a corner on 79. Thornhill's kick was nodded away with great determination by Page, for Whaley to clear. Cheltenham brought Watkins on for Ridley with ten minutes left. The visiting support tried to lift their side
Elito's cross was met by Alsop and his header hit the bar with eight minutes remaining. Breckin fouled the lively Elito some 25 yards out on 86. Thornhill drove at the wall and Whaley blocked it; the ball was cleared but suddenly it was back in the Spireites box, and Alan Goodall was forced to take a boot to the face in order to preserve his side's lead. At the other end Whaley brought the ball down, swapped feet and cracked a shot just the wrong side of the woodwork on 88.
Madine came on for Conlon as three minutes of added time began. Boden broke but passed the ball behind Madine; Allott retained possession, though, as the visitors retained possession. Niven had to pull out a fine tackle to deny Elito, but Whaley's clumsy challenge gave the Robins one last chance to put the ball in; Thornhill's poor kick was easily caught by Lee in the last action of the game. Chesterfield climbed into the automatics on the day John Sheridan received his second "Manager of the Month" award. What curse?!