The big news in the Chesterfield line-up for the game at Meadow Lane was the call-up for a full league debut for Tendayi Darikwa, at right-back. Important changes elsewhere saw Jimmy Juan come into central midfield and Jamie Lowry and Craig Westcarr recalled to the midfield flanks. Morgan and Lester were chosen to combine up front.
Darikwa, Trotman, Thompson, Ridehalgh
Westcarr, Davis, Juan, Lowry
Subs: Fleming, Smith, Bowery, Ajose, Whitaker.
Westcarr pounced onto an error on 2 and crossed towards Lowry, who couldn't quite get a firm enough connection to trouble Nelson.
Lee Hughes connected with a cross beyond the far post on 7 and his effort clipped the woodwork on its way out. County whipped a cross in from a free kick on 8 and the ball appeared to come off Montano, but a corner kick was given. The kick was wastefully hoisted high over the defence and out.
Westcarr suffered a couple of fouls and Harley was booked for the second of these, on 15. Lee saved at the second attempt from Jeff Hughes after parrying Lee Hughes' initial shot on 16.
Trotman became the first Chesterfield yellow card for three games when he followed Harley into the book on 22 for a foul on Judge. Lee's outstretched hand denied County at the near post and presented them with another corner on 25, which was headed over by Ridehalgh. Judge again took it, and Lowry intervened to head the ball away for a throw.
Juan showed some neat touches in midfield and was rewarded with a whack on the calf from Montano on the half-hour. After treatment the Frenchman made a spirited effort to continue.
Darikwa headed a cross away purposefully on 33. The game had narrowed into a hard midfield battle and that made the question of Juan's continued involvement a hard one to call; he was eventually subbed for Jordan Bowery, on 35. Bowery went up front; Lowry moved central and Morgan went into left midfield.
Bowery was tackled by Edwards at the expense of Chesterfield's first corner, on 38. Lowry's kick was put out by Lee Hughes, for another. This was placed central, but neither Thompson nor Trotman could get to it. From the break, Westcarr and Lee combined to clear a long ball into the Chesterfield half.
Lester was bundled over by Chilvers on halfway on 40. A Montano effort went narrowly wide on halftime but an offside flag would have nullified any goal. The interval came with the Spireites having kept their shape despite the substitution and having coped well at the back, but without yet being able to pose a great threat up front.
Halftime: Pies 0 Spireites 0. Attendance: 8,257.
A boggy pitch was given a further good soaking during the halftime break. Hughes came through and shot firmly almost from the re-start, and Lee forced the ball out for a corner, which Edwards took and Lester headed clear. Chesterfield broke and Morgan set up Bowery who had only the keeper to beat, but saw Nelson parry his shot and fall on the loose ball.
A Lester cross was cleared as far as Morgan, who laid it on to Davis; his sidefooted effort was scuffed, however, and this allowed the County defence to deal with the threat. Trotman struggled momentarily after being clattered twice with foul challenges on 50.
A long ball into the Chesterfield box fell for Hughes; he tried to help it on to Judge but Lee intervened. Chesterfield were showing greater attacking intent and Lester did well to pull a cross back into the danger area, although it was hacked clear before Westcarr could meet it. Perhaps it was no coincidence that Chesterfield's left wing, with Morgan at its hub, was now attacking down the less waterlogged side of the pitch.
A shadowing challenge from Darikwa was turned into a free kick by Judge, and Lee claimed the cross into his area. Moments later Lee raced out to clear as the ball came back. Trotman erred on 57 and Hughes contested it with Lee, but the inspirational Spireites keeper did well to keep the ball out at the risk of injury.
Forte replaced Montano for County after 58 minutes. County won a corner off Lee on the hour when a call might have allowed him to leave the ball to drift out; The Spireite defence held firm and Bencherif wasted the chance to cross from the clearance. Davis was brought down by Bencherif just outside the County "D;" and Lowry drove the free kick but Nelson was well-placed.
Harley tried to touch the ball back to Nelson on 67 but his pass was lame, and the ball fell fortunately for the goalkeeper as Westcarr closed in. To curb the visitors' brighter play, the veteran Gavin Mahon was brought on for Bencherif after 70 minutes.
Morgan started a move that quickly ended with Lester forcing Nelson into a fine save on 75, the ball being cleared just before the prowling Bowery could capitalise. The game was becoming more open and stretched and Chilvers conceded a corner before Bowery could knock Westcarr's inviting cross back across the area.
Notts brought Burgess on for Lee Hughes after 79. County scored a goal from nothing when Forte was left unattended to slip the ball in on 80 despite the efforts of Trotman and Davis to intercept the ball as it ricocheted into his path. Chesterfield brought Ajose on for Morgan before the kick-off. Burgess shot wide after turning on 83.
A fierce Burgess shot from distance cannoned off the bar with four minutes left. Under no pressure, Chilvers knocked an Ajose ball out for a corner on 89. Lowry's cross from the clearance was knocked down well by Trotman but Nelson kept the danger away.