Chesterfield made three changes to the side that salvaged a draw with Aldershot last Saturday, with Javan Vidal, Jack Lester and Ian Breckin being replaced by the debutant Dean Holden, Derek Niven and Simon Ford. Jack was rested completely after coming back earlier than expected from injury on Saturday, while Javan and Ian found places on the bench.
An early free-kick gave Whitaker the chance to put the ball into the box on 2 and Smalley came close to meeting the cross. Within seconds Chesterfield won their first corner after Boertien tackled Talbot, but the short corner routine was unproductive.
At the other end Maghoma fired into the side netting after Mattis slipped, as both teams made a keen start. Chesterfield won their second corner on 4 when Davies slipped his marker, but was robbed by Stanton. Whitaker's first effort was cleared and Smalley headed over from the return cross.
Webster gave Burton the lead on 5, curling a fine shot past Lee.
Whitaker had a chance to cross from another free kick on 7, and Boertien headed it out for a corner, which was poorly executed, and wasted.
Lee produced a decent save to deny Zola on 16 after Burton pressed back a static defence. Davies nearly steered a Griffiths cross into the net on 20, but Legzdins was aware enough to stop it. McGrath almost diverted a Davies cross into his own net but his keeper came to the rescue again.
Lee denied Zola again on 27, spreading himself well to stop a shot, as both sides continued to go for it. Holden won a corner and played it quickly to Whitaker, but the move broke down with Niven's cross. Another Spireite corner came in a useful spell of pressure on the half hour; Mattis shot and Legzdins saved, at the expense of another corner. Webster cleared.
Burton's work rate was exemplary, as usual, but there were signs of them tiring as the half went on. Still, they continued to pose a threat; Talbot's challenge on Maghoma after 36 minutes in the box produced calls for a penalty but the corner was given, instead, and Webster returned the cleared corner for Zola to head onto the bar, and out.
Burton won a couple of corners with a minute to go in the first half but were unable to trouble Lee Legzdins spilled a Tabot cross under pressure from Davies but recovered to claim the ball as the half entered stoppage time.
Halftime: Burton Albion 1 Chesterfield 0. Attendance: 4,260
Chesterfield brought Ian Breckin on for Dwayne Mattis at the resumption. Maghoma got to the goal line from the kick-off and caught Chesterfield flat-footed, but Burton were unable to capitalise on their visitors' disarray. Boertien had the ball in the net on 47 but the offside flag denied him.
Breckin was yellow-carded in the 48th minute for a foul on Zola. Allott hada sight of goal but saw his goal-bound shot hit a team-mate in the back. Chesterfield survived early pressure to mount attacks of their own, moving the home defence around with tidy switching play. The greater share of productive possession remained with Burton, though.
Jordan Bowery came on for Craig Davies on the hour. Burton won a corner with a typically quick attack on 61, which Allott cleared. Bowery was fouled in attempting his first touch of the game.
Burton brought Sam Winall into the game for Penn after 73. Scott Boden came on for Derek Niven with 25 minutes to rescue the game. Whitaker came inside and Smalley to wide left, allowing Scott to partner Jordan Bowery up front. Lee saved well under difficult conditions to deny Zola on 68. Lee was beaten by Webster's attempted curler from Zola's set-up, but it just cleared the woodwork and went out.
Chesterfield won a corner from Holden's blocked cross on 71, but Whitaker's delivery was poor, and easily held by Legzdins, who was able to launch a quick counter. Winall's shot was blocked after Smalley lost the ball in defence; Chesterfield broke and Stanton needed to pull out a fine tackle to deny Jordan Bowery after he was brilliantly set free by Scott Boden, at the expense of a corner.
Stanton had to receive treatment from an array of physios and doctors before being stretchered off to be replaced by Darren Moore with around seven minutes of normal time left. Webster was yellow-carded for a foul on Talbot, as Ian Breckin was sent forward for the free kick.
Greg Pearson came on for Albion with four minutes to go, replacing Calvin Zola. Chesterfield pressed for an equaliser in stoppage time and Bowery had sight of a chance but put the ball the wrong side of the post.