Chesterfield suffered their first loss of the season after a disappointing defeat against current league champions Hull City.
Spireites striker Fabien Johnson grabbed a consolation goal but it was too late as they were second best for most of the game against an impressive City side.
Manager Dave Bentley was forced into a few changes after last weekend's victory against Notts County as Ross Goodwin and Joe Mathers replaced the injured Alex Hewitt and Cormac Noel.
With only four minutes on the clock the visitors went ahead after a corner wasn't cleared by the Blues defence and the ball fell kindly for midfielder Joel Sutton who was left with an easy tap in.
The goal gave the Tigers confidence as they passed the ball well and were winning all the aerial challenges and dominating the game.
Bentley could only look on as his side struggled to compete physically and couldn't stamp their authority as City cut through the midfield with ease.
Five minutes before half time the Tigers doubled their lead after defender Sam Topliss played a neat pass to midfielder Danny Chambers who found space and unleashed a long range dipping shot which went in off the underside of the bar.
It was a poor half for the blues who failed to create any clear chances in the final third and were wasteful in possession as City never looked troubled.
Two minutes after the break midfielder Joshua Scully forced Tigers 'keeper Joe Cracknell into action after a free-kick from 20 yards was tipped over as the Blues tried to get back into the game.
They nearly found a way back into the contest after a cross from Scully was met by towering defender Tim Whittaker who got up well but saw his header just glance past the post.
Despite the bright start by Bentley's men they were on the back foot almost immediately as City distributed the wall well and probed for a third as the Spireites couldn't find a way past a stubborn, organised unit.
Things got even worse for the Blues as they conceded a third in the 64th minute as some poor defending allowed defender Ben Clappison to nod home with a free header after a superb cross from defender Max Clark.
Bentley made a change in the game as midfielder Mark Fereday had taken a knock and striker Johnson was brought on to replace him.
Defensive frailties were once again evident in the Blues back line as Chambers connected with a powerful header but saw it cannon off the crossbar as they continued to press for a fourth.
With only two minutes left the Spireites did find the net after good work from Johnson and defender Jordan Slack. A neat one two between the pair resulted in Slack getting some space on the right wing and he cut the ball back for Johnson in the six- yard box and found the top corner with a superb finish.
It was a frustrating day for the Blues as they struggled to have any impact in the game as Bentley was disappointed with what he saw.
"We were never at the races. Our passing and general play was poor and we got punished by a good team today.
"There was no spark and we had far too many players who didn't perform and I hope the lads can get it out of their system when we come back," he said.
Bentley's boys have a short break and will be in action away at Burton Albion on September 22nd.
Chesterfield Xl: Mason, Slack, Broadhead, Whittaker, Clarke, Fereday, Goodwin, Scully, Partridge, Bowland, Mathers.
Subs: Colton, Johnson, Mullins, Edridge.