Manager John Sheridan made four changes to the Chesterfield line-up going into the difficult-looking trip to Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day. One enforced change saw Jordan Bowery come in for the suspended Jack Lester up front. There was a welcome return to a centre-half berth for Gregor Robertson, while Nathan Smith came back in at left-back. Tope Obadeyi started in place of Craig Westcarr. The Terriers included both Jack Hunt and Donal McDermott in their ranks.
Bowery found Morgan intelligently and his ball to Obadeyi saw the Bolton loanee wriggle past a defender before firing narrowly wide on 2. Novak broke free of Talbot and drove goalwards from around 20 yards; Lee took the powerful shot at the second attempt.
Smith weaved a fine ball through to Bowery but his close-range shot bobbled to Bennett on 8. At the other end Talbot recovered from being out of position to pressure Roberts into a hasty and unproductive effort. A route one charge down the middle by the pacy Rhodes threatened the Chesterfield goal on 12.
Although Huddersfield had seen more of the ball, Chesterfield had kept their hosts at bay and been able to mount attacks of their own in the first quarter. A good chance was cut through the Huddersfield defence on 24; Bowery fed the ball to Morgan, whose shot probably lacked the necessary pace to cause too much alarm to Bennett. In return, Hunt broke down the right and crossed; Novak stole through the Chesterfield rearguard to dive at the ball but didn't make contact, and a goal kick resulted.
Huddersfield won the game's first corner on 27. Roberts' kick was met by Rhodes but the striker planted the ball wide. Rhodes had a fine chance on 29 after a swift counter-attack by McDermott and Roberts, but Danny Whitaker cleared off the line. Talbot headed Hunt's cross out for a second corner as the home side screwed up the pressure. Roberts' kick came as far as Kay but Lee was able to gather safely.
Huddersfield took the lead on 33 after Rhodes flicked Novak's pass past Lee from close range. A free kick to the home side on 37 was played out to Hunt by Miller but Allott's head sent the cross out for a corner, which swirled over everyone. McDermott recovered and crossed, but the ball was cleared for a throw. Roberts skipped past a couple of challenges and drove the ball across the box but the ball carried on out for a throw.
It was a fairly even contest until the goal, and Huddersfield finished the half enjoying a full measure of control. McDermott crossed and Trotman struck the ball out for a corner on 42. The ball was cleared to the edge of the area and the danger passed only when Gobern sliced a shot wide.
Halftime: Terriers 1 Spireites 0
Mendy and Morgan switched flanks but Huddersfield reasserted pressure from the resumption through Roberts. Lee was forced into a brave save on 49 after Novak and McDermott worked the ball goalwards. By and large, though, the first third of the second half passed at a curiously gentler pace than the last third of the first.
McDermott was replaced by Arfield after an hour. Smith's challenge on Rhodes on 65 produced claims for a penalty for holding, but interest quickly switched to the other end where Morgan shot goalwards. Bowery beat Kay for pace on 69 and fired a shot past Bennett, but narrowly wide.
Craig Westcarr came on for Obadeyi after 74 minutes, while Lee Novak was replaced by the former Rotherham forward Alan Lee. Bowery's pace and willing running, allied to Morgan;s hard work, won a Chesterfield corner on 77. Trotman made a late run for a header from Whitaker's kick, but Bruce got in first, and received a whack for his troubles in the challenge.
Clarke replaced Naismith on 81. Rhodes was given a sniff on 85 but Trotman and others crowded him out and forced the ball out for a corner; Roberts took this and Talbot headed clear. Morgan took control and looked for runners; Mendy was one, but he lost the ball.
Bowery and Whitaker exchanged passes in the last minute and the Spireite forward made progress into the box but, despite scrapping tenaciously for the ball, it was cleared from under him. Chesterfield won a corner late into stoppage time and Whitaker's kick hoped to find Trotman, but the home side cleared.
Given that Huddersfield went into the match scoring at an average of two goals a game, and that the Spireites were conceding at the same rate, it looked like a better defensive performance from Chesterfield, although a lack of punch up front rather negated any benefit that this might have brought. The perpetual state of animation exhibited by The Terriers' manager throughout the second half rather indicated that he thought they should have worked harder to win by a wider margin. For a lot of the game, though, the quality rarely rose much above that of a Boxing Day sandwich made with yesterday's turkey.
Attendance 15380 (1,085 away)