John Sheridan was forced into one change to the starting line-up to the side that beat Northampton in midweek, for the visit of Crewe Alexandra. Drew Talbot was replaced by Jack Lester, so the starting line-up reflected that which finished the Sixfields match. Chesterfield went into the game with six substitutes after Rob Page was absent due to a family illness.
Chesterfield were left with a mountain to climb almost from the kick off. Crewe took the lead on three minutes through Luke Murphy, stooping at the far post to head in a largely uncontested cross from Moore. Lee Bell extended the lead on six, firing home a delightful free kick from the corner of the penalty area.
Morgan won a corner after 11 that was taken quickly and worked across but without great effect; if anything it just made the Railwaymen angry, and Byron Moore made it three-nil on 12 after a quick counter-attack caught out Scott Griffiths to leave the Crewe man with a one on one that he dispatched clinically. Lee was very nearly caught out taking an extra touch on the ball, when Leitch-Smith chased the ball down and was perhaps unlucky not to win a corner.
Artell's clearance from six yards gave Chesterfield their second corner, which Whitaker and Morgan worked before the latter crossed; JACK LESTER stole in to head The Spireites back into the game and make it 1-3..
Mattis was forced to clear for a corner as Crewe came straight back at Chesterfield, and it wasn't long before they scored a fourth, Miller breaking through a flailing defence on 25 to re-establish a three-goal lead for Crewe.
Ian Breckin was replaced by Craig Clay on 29, allowing Dwayne Mattis to move back into central defence. From the moment that Clay came on, the game began to change, albeit in a subtle manner at first.
Chesterfield won another corner on 36 but gave the ball away in playing another short one. Hunt gave away a free kick on the edge of the area and Bell surprised Lee by blasting it, but Tommy threw his arms up to save well. Clay did well to win a corner on 41 but Morgan's delivery arced across the box and out, within a foot of the opposite corner flag.
Halftime: Chesterfield 1 Crewe Alex 4. Attendance: 6047 (419 from Crewe)
The Spireites were out early; one suspects that John Sheridan's team talk was swift, clear and precise. Something, certainly, instilled an urgency and commitment in the home side that had been missing for large parts of the first half. Craig Davies fashioned a chance to curl a shot at the Crewe goal on 47 but his effort went tantalisingly wide. Lester sent up Clay for a shot that was charged down; the youngster appealed for handball but to no avail. At the other end, Clay tacked Moore fairly but the ball came to Westwood and his shot was splendidly saved by Lee, at the expense of a corner.
A Niven shot on 53 was deflected for a corner which Murphy knocked upfield after Clay was beaten in the air. Lester looked to play Davies in but the ball came off a Crewe man and looked like lobbing the keeper until it looped up, and agonisingly, over the bar. The resultant corner came to nothing. Davies did very well to beat a man and cross from the left on 58 but the ball went out without attention from a Chesterfield man.
Clay's neat ball to the back post was cleared for a corner which Morgan worked to cross, but Ford's header didn't quite have the direction. Davies' cross from the right came to Clay, who went down in trying to head it, amid strong shouts for a penalty. Clay, who was having a fine game, worked the ball from midfield to Morgan, who went along the byline to flash a narrow-angle shot against the woodwork.
Chesterfield scored a second on 73. Clay started the move with a fine pass that Morgan forwarded to Davies; his low, fast cross from the right was headed in at the back post by JACK LESTER.
Miller was booked for a poor foul on Hunt after 74. Davies saw a shot deflected for a ninth home corner on 75. Morgan slipped a defender but was brought down in the box; DANNY WHITAKER stood tall to hammer the ball down the middle and make the score 3-4. Game on!
The Alex brought Donaldson on to pose a different sort of threat, withdrawing the tiring Leitch-Smith. Still Crewe pressed. Hunt was booked for a soft shirt-pull on 78 as he attempted in vain to shepherd the ball out. From the free kick, Clayton Donaldson was in the right place at the right time as the ball bobbled about to score a fifth Crewe goal. Despite the fine spirit that the home side had shown in the second half, you kind of fancied that, at 3-5 and with only ten minutes plus stoppages left, that would be that.
From somewhere, Chesterfield found resistance to defeatism and took the game back to the Alex. Whitaker brought the ball forward and shot against the bar on 81. Lester worked the ball to Clay whose close range shot was somehow saved by Taylor in the Crewe goal. Morgan was brought down right on the edge of the box. Hunt's perseverance allowed Whitaker to set up Niven, who placed a shot narrowly wide from around 20 yards out.
Grant replaced Moore on 86. Lester fed Clay on 87 and the youngster was pulled down as he ran through, for a second penalty. After some effort was needed to persuade Dean Morgan that he wasn't taking it, DANNY WHITAKER stood up again to make it 4-5. Two minutes into the four added on, CRAIG CLAY picked the ball up some thirty-five yards out; he took it forward another ten yards or so before seeing an opening to the keeper's left. He shot from 25 and scored, to spark scenes of mad celebration. 5-5!!
Crewe, amazingly, piled back to the Spireites box and won a corner, but the ball was beaten away with determination. Up the other end we went, and a Davies foul made everyone draw breath, finally, and moments later the referee brought this barmy game to a close. In more than three and a half thousand league games, this was Chesterfield's first five-all draw. If the B2net stands for as long as the Rec did, you'll probably never see another game like it. Then again, with this Chesterfield side, you might see another next Saturday!