John Sheridan made one change from the starting line-up that came back with three excellent points from Hampshire at the weekend, bringing Gregor Robertson in for his first start, in place of Dwayne Mattis, who was sidelined for the first time this season, with 'flu. Oxford made three changes to the side that lost at home to Gillingham.
Ford's clearance under McLean's pressure on 3 created a chance for Hall, but he fired a couple of yards wide. Ford's clearance was def out to Morris and his whipped cross was headed wide by the diving Lester. Lester had a decent opportunity on 8 after good work by Talbot but fired narrowly wide as Oxford defenders raced to close him down. Morris forced Clarke into a fine diving save at his right-hand post after being set up by Whitaker on 11.
A free kick for a foul on Lester in the "D" saw Oxford bring every man into their wall; it blocked Morris's kick but left space for Allott to return a cross on 14. When this was not properly cleared IAN MORRIS struck a fine shot that caught a faint deflection on its way into the net, to give Chesterfield the lead.
McLean took a free kick from around 30 yards on 19 and Lee was forced to punch away as he dived; fortunately the return was safely claimed by the Chesterfield keeper. Oxford enjoyed a decent spell of possession after conceding but the home side punctuated it with a quick break on 29 that saw Davies curl a shot wide from close to the edge of the area.
Oxford won their first corner from a deflected Wooton shot on 30 and Ford headed clear. Robertson passed wide to Morris on 32 and he crossed to Lester, who fired narrowly wide.Whitaker set Talbot up for an inviting cross on 42 and Davies headed wide from around eight yards with Morris and Lester calling for a penalty.
The Oxford skipper Jake Wright was replaced by Harry Worley with two to go until halftime. McLean and Robertson challenged inconclusively on the edge of the Chesterfield box and Hall picked up the loose ball, blasting it narrowly wide of Lee's right-hand post. Oxford won a late corner off Hunt but seemed to lack the cohesion to do anything with it.
Halftime: Chesterfield 1 Oxford United 0 Attendance: 5929 (345 away)
Oxford re-set to a more adventurous approach at the start of the second half, pushing Craddock up to help out McLean. Batt skipped into the Chesterfield box and slid to the ground; Craddock fired the loose ball goalwards but Lee was well-placed and took the ball in comfort. Heslop was put through by Hall on 54 and it took a fine block from Tommy Lee to preserve the Spireites' lead.
Oxford gained reward for a more adventurous approach when they equalised through Craddock after a quick break pierced the Chesterfield defence. Mclean crossed from the right and the former Luton man got up well at the back post to power the header home on 58.
A desire to bring increased impetus to his side's attacking persuaded John Shreidan to ring the changes. Scott Boden replaced Jack Lester on 65; Jordan Bowery replaced Morris two minutes later. Sheridan's plans were undone, though when Oxford took the lead on 69; McLean was presented with a ball worked over from the left and lashed it home from around eight yards or so. This was deserved on the visitors part, for the fact that they didn't go back to the unadventurous stuff of their first half display after equalising.
A Chesterfield free kick was struck firmly by Davies and a deflection took it out for a corner. Keeper Clarke rather flapped at this and a defender was obliged to make the clearance sure at the expense of another corner, which was cleared.
Oxford brought Constable and Payne for Craddock and Heslop after 83. Payne needed lengthy treatment after he and Lomax contested a 50-50 ball. Payne initially looked the most badly-hurt but it was Lomax who had to be helped off, being replaced by Page on 85.
Chesterfield applied belated pressure as time slipped away; Bowery headed a forward ball down to Ford, whose shot from close range struck the bar. Goalkeeper Clarke was booked for time wasting. Ultimately, though, this renewed effortproved to come too late to prevent a second successive home defeat.