Chesterfield went down 3-0 to a Swindon Town side who broke with purpose to punish the luckless blues.
The Robins scored two goals in four first-half minutes, as a Yaser Kasim free-kick and a Nathan Byrne solo goal put Swindon ahead at the break.
Andy Williams rounded off the scoring by coming off the bench and slotting the ball into an empty net to condemn Chesterfield to a heavy home defeat.
The Spireites were looking to get back to winning ways following a string of results which has seen Paul Cook’s side slip out of the League One playoffs, but the visitors from Wiltshire would prove to be no pushovers on a mild but wet night at the Proact.
Despite the desire for a decent result, it was Mark Cooper’s Swindon who made the brighter start of the two teams, as in the opening minute Louis Thompson latched on to a Nathan Byrne cutback but the midfielder ballooned the opportunity out of the stadium.
Dan Gardner retained his place on the right-hand side of the midfield following defeat at Walsall on Saturday, and the wide man nearly broke the deadlock with a powerful drive from a tight angle, however the ball rattled the frame behind the goal rather than the net.
After a subdued start from the Spireites, Wes Foderingham’s goal was beginning to take a peppering as the first half drew on, with Jimmy Ryan this time the man to try his luck, but his stabbed attempt after Daniel Jones’ delivery missed the target.
Chesterfield were getting closer to the breakthrough with Gardner becoming a thorn in the Robins’ defence, and the former Halifax Town winger was inches away from notching his first of the season as he saw his effort from outside of the area curl towards goal, but the strike didn’t quite have enough whip on it.
After dominating the game, Chesterfield were somehow lucky not find themselves behind after a howler of a miss. Thompson drove forward with the ball before slipping a perfectly timed ball through to Jon Obika, but after rounding Tommy Lee the striker somehow slotted the ball wide of an unguarded goal.
Every Chesterfield attack appeared to be coming through the impressive Gardner, and after Ryan’s Di Canio-esque volley from the edge of the area narrowly went over, the midfielder could have been forgiven for thinking he had got himself an assist.
Foderingham was having a stormer of an afternoon in the Swindon goal, as a sensational low stop denied Sam Morsy the first goal of the game, somehow clawing out a scorching effort to keep the scorelines level.
Football is often an unfair game, and after such a promising performance from the Spireites, Swindon took the lead after a superb set-piece strike. Kasim set his sights from all of 30 yards to goal, and his rasping strike left Chesterfield chasing the game.
Soon Swindon found themselves two goals to the good, as the Robins were able to utilise the pace of Byrne, as his direct run allowed him to smash the ball past a stranded Lee and double the visitors’ lead heading into the break.
Cooper’s men resumed the game in the same manner as they ended the first-half, threatening Lee’s goal, as Massimo Luongo tried his luck from range, but his half-volley skipped wide of the mark.
The Robins continued to press as they searched for the goal which would potentially seal the game, and if it wasn’t for a stunning save from the reliable Lee, the clincher may well have arrived, as Michael Smith broke free before Lee saved excellently from a one-on-one position.
Despite causing problems for the Spireites backline for the majority of the game, Obika added a second miss to his earlier sitter, as he met a teasing delivery from Byrne, only to head onto the post from six yards out.
The constant second-half threat that Swindon possessed soon took its toll on Cook and Chesterfield, as substitute Williams pounced on a Thompson through ball before rounding Lee and George Margreitter before tapping into the empty goal.
After finding themselves three goals down, the Spireites did battle to reduce the deficit, though Margreitter could only direct substitute Gboly Ariyibi’s fizzing cross over the crossbar, as Swindon headed back to Wiltshire with all three points.
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Darikwa, Evatt, Margreitter, Jones - Gobern (Banks 74’), Morsy, Ryan (Ariyibi 53’), Gardner (Johnson 53’), Clucas - Doyle
Unused subs: Hunt, Raglan, O’Shea, Humphreys
Swindon Town line-up: Foderingham (gk) - Stephens, N.Thompson, Turnbull, Byrne - Luongo, Kasim, L.Thompson (Reeves 81’), Bell (Toffolo 86’) - Obika (Williams 68’), Smith
Unused subs: Belford, Barthram, Gladwin, Rodgers
Swindon Town: Kasim 30’, Byrne 34’, Williams 70’