Chesterfield made two changes from the team that was denied a win by a crossbar's width at Preston in midweek. Derek Niven came in for Danny Whitaker to make his first start since the 6-2 defeat at Milton Keynes in August, while Alex Mendy replaced Nicky Ajose. The side lined up thus:
Hurst, Trotman, Thompson, Ridehalgh;
Talbot, Allott, Niven, Mendy
Subs: Fleming, Ajose, Whitaker, Lester, Ford.
An early corner to Chesterfield passed the defence without causing any problems before crossing the line for a goal kick. Stevenage came forward; Byrom miskicked and the ball was returned towards Shroot, but Lee came out assertively to force the Stevenage man to shoot early, and wide.
Chesterfield made a confident start and won a second corner on 6, which Westcarr took; this one caused more consternation than the first and it was rushed out by the home defence for a third corner, which was headed clear from under the Boro crossbar.
Westcarr had a good opportunity on 10 after good work by Bowery but he shot over on the run. A fourth Chesterfield corner was taken by Westcarr on 12 and it was cleared to Talbot; his return cross was headed firmly into the Stevenage net by NEAL TROTMAN, to give Chesterfield the lead.
Byrom floated a free kick into the area on 15 and it was cleared; the return was played up to Slew and Lee was forced to save. The loose ball was cleared for Boro's first corner by the alert Thompson. Mendy headed the corner away from the near post.
Chesterfield extended their lead on 22. JORDAN BOWERY appeared to have lost the ball to Wilson on the edge of the area but it ran loose, and the Spireites frontman battled on to bend the ball around Day and into the net.
Stevenage won a free kick on 25, some ten yards outside the Chesterfield box. Ashton headed Freeman's free kick back across the area, but Lee was able to pluck the looping ball out of the air. Stevenage won another corner on 26 and Ashton got another header in, but the ball hung nicely for Lee to claim again. From Lee's clearance Westcarr held Roberts off and lashed the ball across the face of goal.
Agyemang won a free kick on 32 in a dangerous position for a Freeman cross; he looked again for Ashton at the far post and found him, but the Stevenage man headed wide. Another corner came Chesterfield's way on 33 and Trotman came forward again, but Ashton beat him in the air and Shroot cleared.
Byrom had two opportunities to cross from the corner flag on 35; the second was driven across to Ashton, whose header was placed wide. It was a bit of a let-off for the visitors as Stevenage began to assert themselves a little more.
Chesterfield came forward on 40 through Talbot, who found Bowery; his neat return ball allowed Talbot a shooting opportunity, and his shot tracked across the goal and narrowly wide.
Halftime: Boro 0 Spireites 2. Attendance: 3,534 (308 from Chesterfield.)
Feeling perhaps that Chesterfield had been a physical match for Boro in the first half, Stevenage brought Darius Charles on for Shroot before the resumption. Freeman was crowded out as the home side closed ranks in the area and the ball tricked through for Tommy Lee to claim. Westcarr went down some distance from play in the centre circle and required treatment from Jamie Hewitt before resuming.
Charles pushed to ball through towards Freeman but he was forced wide, and Talbot was able to force the ball clear. Boro had started with considerable purpose but Trotman and Lee both showed a willingness to do whatever it took to maintain Chesterfield's lead. Byrom put the ball wide from the edge of the area after finding a sliver of space on 55.
Trotman was booked for kicking the ball out of the ground after a free kick was given against Chesterfield. Chris Beardsley came on for Agyemang on the hour, and went straight into the area for a Stevenage free kick, which was cleared; the ball was returned to Byrom, who fired the ball a yard wide from 25 yards.
With Beardsley on, and chasing the game, Boro adopted a front three. Craig Reid came on for Luke Freeman on 64. Stevenage won a corner on 65 which Byrom took; Trotman got there just ahead of Roberts, who had the last touch to concede a throw on the opposite side of the field.
Derek Niven was clattered on 70 as Boro looked to force their way back into the game. Lee made his best save yet to push away a Byrom shot for a corner on 71. The set piece was played high over the knot of players in the Chesterfield box, and ran safely away for The Spireites. Slew's shot on 75 spun off Thompson and went out for a corner. Byrom took it, made a hash of it and it crept to the near post, where Derek Niven unfortunately appeared to carve to ball into his own net to bring Boro back into it, although Laird was credited with the goal. Within a minute Reid found himself with space the fire home the equaliser.
Chesterfield went forward and won a corner. Ashton headed the loose ball away. The Spireites brought Lester on for Westcarr with eleven minutes left. Beardsley got in front of the defence to angle a header over from Byrom's free kick on 80.
Hurst brought Laird down on 86 some ten yards out, on an angle. Byrom's kick was headed out for a corner by Bowery. Byrom took the corner towards the far post and it was cleared. Bostwick fired the return comfortably wide. Trotman was first to react when a Slew cross bobbled about in the Chesterfield box on 89.