Chesterfield went into the match at Edgar Street knowing that a win would propel them into the play-offs and produce a situation where only a very specific combination of results could deny them automatic promotion. With this in mind, perhaps, Manager John Sheridan opted for an attacking formation that included Jack Lester, making his first away start since the visit to Accrington on January 3rd. Mark Allott was rested to the bench, making way for Scott Griffiths. Gregor Robertson went across to partner Dean Holden at centre-back and Dwayne Mattis teamed up with Danny Whitaker in central midfield.
A Colbeck cross was judged to have gone out for a 3rd-minute corner despite Lee's attention, but Tommy rose commandingly to claim the flag kick. Stam's mis-kick might have let Lester in, but the ball ran thought to Bartlett in the Hereford goal. Hereford were looking to play an offside game; with the quick-thinking players like Lester, Morgan and Davies in the side, though, that might have suited the Spireites.
Hereford took the lead on 10, when a deep Leslie cross was headed back across goal to Fleetwood, who headed in with Lee unable to get across to prevent the goal. The Bulls had their tails up and McQuilkin forced Lee into a save a minute later. With the visitors' defence in some disarray Colbeck missed a good chance to double the lead from Fleetwood's cross on 12.
Talbot forced Chesterfield's first corner on 14 but Whitaker's short kick was defended for a throw in. A Hereford corner on 19 was taken by Lunt and punted long, going too high for Stam to get a connection at the back post. Morgan took Chesterfield's second corner on 23 but Lester was unable to direct his header on target. Chesterfield were showing a little better as the half developed; Morgan found Lester on 26 but Jack was unable to muster an accurate shot.
Hereford remained dangerous, and came straight back at The Spireites; Fleetwood's cross came to Heath and his shot was sent over the bar. Talbot was fouled to present the visitors with a chance to get the ball into the Hereford box. Whitaker took the free kick and found Lester's head, but the ball went frustratingly wide. On 31 Fleetwood broke and saw Lee off his line; his measured shot drifted inches wide of the post with Lee completely beaten.
A Colbeck cross was intercepted by Griffiths on 36 for another Hereford corner. The ball was cleared and returned by McQuilkin, but it drifted harmlessly through to Lee. A Davies cross-shot was deflected for a corner but the move from the short one broke down when the ball went unattended to the back post.
Halftime: Hereford 1 Chesterfield 0. Attendance: 2,492 (629 from Chesterfield)
With one minute of the second half gone Craig Davies posted a statement of intent, perhaps, by firing the ball against Bartlett's post. Colbeck saw a shot blocked by Robertson on 53. Davies was played in after a fine tackle from Griffiths but Stam was equally strong to deny Chesterfield's leading scorer on 55. Whitaker's cross on 56 was met by Holden's head but Bartlett saved well.
Chesterfield made a double substitution on 57, with Boden replacing Lester and Allott coming on for Griffiths. Robertson went to left-back and Mattis dropped back to centre-half. A chesterfield corner was taken by Whitaker on 59 but Hereford easily cleared the low-driven cross.
Robertson went down injured but the game continued, momentarily, until a head injury to Talbot brought play to a close. The stretcher took an age to get around to Gregor who lay clutching his face as Hereford brought Purdie on for Green. Ian Breckin came on for Robertson, meaning a switch to left-back for Dean Holden.
A mistake from Mattis in trying to play the ball back to Lee nearly let Fleetwood in as the second half passed the halfway mark. Hereford continued to look dangerous and extended their lead on 76 when Leslie drove a shot home from around thirty yards out.
Hereford took a 3-0 lead on 81 with another stunning strike, this time from Colbeck. Rose came on for Hereford, replacing Colbeck in the 85th minute. Boden had a couple of chances for a consolation in injury time but put the ball wide on both occasions; in the end a fighting Hereford side deservedly claimed all three points.