Chesterfield came out 2-1 victors in the derby over Yorkshire rivals Barnsley at a packed-out Proact Stadium.
A brace from top goal scorer Eoin Doyle earned his side their first league win in seven games, despite a late Keith Treacy goal making for a nervy ending.
Doyle grabbed the opener in the latter stages of the first half when he lobbed the ball over Ross Turnbull and the Irishman was then able to grab his nineteenth goal in all competitions this season when he got on the end of a brilliant Charlie Raglan pass before finishing with finesse.
Barnsley's Keith Treacy slotted the ball home from close range with five minutes to play to halve the deficit, but the goal proved to be only a consolation.
The Spireites were in the midst of an extended winless streak in League One and Paul Cook’s side were looking to use the local derby as a catalyst to end the poor run of form.
Despite the positive opening to the game from Chesterfield, Tommy Lee was forced into the first real save, as in-form Barnsley forward Sam Winnall created space for a long-range drive before a diving Lee palmed the former Scunthorpe man’s effort away from goal.
Both sides were struggling to take control of the game, but Gary Roberts appeared to be causing the Reds problems with his jinking runs from the left-hand side, however the end product seemed to evade him on more than one occasion.
The Spireites were looking to build some momentum as the midway point of the first period approached, and it was a series of neat passes down the left between Roberts and Dan Jones that created an opening, but after Jones’ teasing delivery met the head of Doyle, he could only guide the ball straight at Ross Turnbull.
As the scores remained goalless in a game which had produced a limited number of opportunities, the Tykes had arguably the best chance of the half when Lewin Nyatanga latched on to a Conor Hourihane corner, enabling Lee to make a marvellous instinct save.
Set-pieces seemed to be bringing out the best attacking threats at both ends, and it was Roberts again who caused trouble to the Barnsley defence, as a quick corner allowed Roberts to loft in a cross towards the skipper Ian Evatt, who from six yards diverted his header over the bar.
After making such a blistering beginning to the season, goals have dried up of late for Doyle, but the goal-hungry forward clinically showed his credentials with a brilliant lobbed effort from 20 yards to goal, as the ball looped over a stranded Turnbull to give the Spireites the lead and send them into the break one goal to the good.
On the players’ return to the field, Chesterfield faced the problem of whether to defend what they had or attempt to seal the fixture, but if it wasn’t for a tremendous Lee save just two minutes into the second period, that choice wouldn’t have been the Spireites’ to make. Manchester City loanee Devante Cole looked set to level after breaking clear of the Chesterfield defence, but Lee was able to make a fine one-legged save to frustrate the Reds.
That Lee save proved to be crucial moments later as Doyle, the nation’s top goalscorer, doubled both his tally for the afternoon and the Spireites’ lead. A marvellously composed bit of play by the impeccable Raglan released Doyle, who then beat his man and placed the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Despite Chesterfield increasing their lead, the visiting Barnsley side still looked a threat on the break, and it was Cole who had the opportunity to drag the Tykes back into the game, but another stunning Lee save denied the striker.
The following corner brought about another chance for Danny Wilson’s side, and once they finally found a way past Lee in goal for the Spireites, Tendayi Darikwa was there to flick a Nyatanga header off of the line and preserve the hosts’ two-goal lead.
The Tykes onslaught continued as they bombarded Lee’s goal until the end. Substitute Treacy gave the Tykes a lifeline with just five minutes to play, as Joe Dudgeon raced clear down the left before picking out Winnall perfectly, who squared the ball for Treacy to tap the ball into the empty net.
Despite pressing the Spireites until the last kick of the game, the travelling Barnsley fans were left disappointed as they faced heading back up the M1 empty-handed.
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Darikwa, Evatt (c), Raglan, Jones - Ryan, Banks (Humphreys 60’), Roberts, O’Shea (Gnanduillet 80’), Clucas (Margreitter 90’) - Doyle
Subs not used: Wright (gk), Boco, Gardner, Ariyibi.
Barnsley: Turnbull (gk) - Dudgeon (Lita 90’), Ramage, Nyatanga, Cranie - Bailey (Trotta 63’), Hourihane, Berry - Winnall, Hemmings (Treacy 67’), Cole
Subs not used: Davies (gk), Digby, M’Voto, Abbott.
Chesterfield: Doyle 43’, 58’
Barnsley: Treacy 85’