A late Luke Waterfall header pinched a point for Scunthorpe as Chesterfield's winless run extends to seven games.
Marc Richards struck within the first ten minutes of the game but Waterfall equalised with five minutes to go to leave the Spireites frustrated.
The Spireites made four changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Bristol Rovers last weekend. Drew Talbot, who recovered from injury, replaced Tendayi Darikwa, whilst Paul Cook kept faith with Ollie Banks as he replaced the injured Samy Morsy.
Chesterfield almost made a perfect start to the game with less than five minutes on the clock. Jamie Devitt delivered a corner onto the head of Richards, but his header flew just over the crossbar.
The pair linked up again to create the Spireites opening goal of the game on eight minutes. Devitt’s low cross looked to be intercepted by Sean McAllister but his poor touch allowed Richards to nick in and slot it past Sam Slocombe in the Scunthorpe goal.
Chesterfield were in the ascendency and decent work on the left wing saw Slocombe do well at his front post to intercept Devitt’s cross.
Scunthorpe started to come back into the game but weren’t really creating clear cut chances. Etienne Esajas and Jimmy Spencer had shots from distance but neither troubled Tommy Lee.
The Iron had their first real opportunity of the half on the half hour mark. Sam Winnall found space in Spireites area but his volley sailed over Lee’s goal.
Just minutes later and it was the Spireites that were unfortunate not to extend their advantage. Gary Roberts’ audacious overhead kick fell into the path of Jimmy Ryan, and his cross was slightly over-hit for Devitt to latch on to.
The momentum was with Chesterfield and Roberts was starting to find gaps in the Iron backline. He picked up the ball 25 yards out but his shot just sailed wide of the post.
Just before half time, Jay O’Shea had two good chances to double the lead. His first effort forced a good save from Slocombe but his second chance found the back of the stand and was the last action of the first half.
The second half started much the same as the first, with Chesterfield dominating the possession and looking promising in attack.
Devitt was a threat all afternoon and ten minutes after half time caused Iron’s goalkeeper Slocombe into action. The Irishman picked up the ball from 25 yards out and smashed a shot, but the keeper was equal to the effort.
Liam Cooper afternoon came to an early end as he was replaced by fellow defender, Sam Hird.
A foul in the midfield on O’Shea presented Devitt with an opportunity from 20 yards. He struck his free kick which thundered against the crossbar and the ball eventually fell to safety.
The impressive Devitt was replaced with a little over 20 minutes remaining by winger, Darikwa.
The Spireites thought that they’d doubled their advantage on 75 minutes. Roberts perfectly crossed for Richards, who headed home, but he was stood in an offside position.
Roberts, minutes later, again produced another deflected cross which caught the top of the crossbar and went out for a corner, but unfortunately the danger was cleared.
Chesterfield made their final substitution as they bought on Armand Gnanduillet in place of Irishman, O’Shea.
With ten minutes of the game remaining, the visitors started to grow in momentum and Lee was forced into a succession of saves to maintain the Spireites lead.
With only two minutes of normal remaining, the Spireites were hit with a sucker punch as the Iron equalised. Terry Hawkridge delivered a teasing free kick into the box and Waterfall found space to head home for Scunthorpe.
Ian Evatt had a golden opportunity in added on time to put the Spireites back in the lead but his header went wide of the post.
Chesterfield: Lee; Talbot, Evatt (c), Cooper (Hird 57'), Humphreys; Ryan, Banks, O'Shea (Gnanduillet 78'), Roberts, Devitt (Darikwa 68'); Richards.
Subs not used: Chapman, Togwell, McSheffrey, Porter.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Dawson (c), McAllister, Mirfin, Esajas (Adelakun 68'), Hawkridge, Waterfall, Syers, Byrne, Spencer (Iwelumo 81'), Winnall.
Subs not used: Ribeiro, Wooton, Howe, Collins, Severn.
Goals: Chesterfield (Richards 8') 1 - 1 Scunthorpe United (Waterfall 88')
Attendance: 6346 (688 Scunthorpe United)