The Spireites took the lead through Jay O'Shea but were made to settle for a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw at Oakwell with Barnsley.
After hitting Tommy Lee's crossbar in the latter stages of the first half, the Tykes were level after an hour when Ramage's right-wing cross took a deflection onto Sam Winnall's boot and he steered home from six yards.
Sam Clucas threatened in the opening couple of minutes, first putting a tame low shot straight at Adam Davies and then forcing the keeper to beat his effort away.
Drew Talbot also sent over a teasing cross which Davies had to push away. Talbot made a crucial interception at the other end, clearing as Winnall looked to get on the end of a ball into the area from Hourihane.
Lee was then called into action for the first time, palming the ball away for a corner after George Waring met Hourihane's free-kick with a header. Waring also headed wide under pressure from Sam Hird.
The Spireites enjoyed a good spell of possession with Gboly Ariyibi's pace causing problems for the opposition defence. For a Gary Roberts corner won by Ariyibi, Hird directed a header on target, but it was dealt with easily by Davies.
The Spireites took the lead in the 26th minute. After Hourihane stumbled and lost possession, Jimmy Ryan seized on the loose ball before finding O'Shea on the right-hand side of the area and the Irishman fired low across Davies and into the far corner of the net.
Barnsley had chances to equalise soon after with Winnall having a shot deflected wide and Martin Cranie heading against the bar.
The Spireites were forced to make a change in the 37th minute when Ian Evatt was helped off the pitch and Charlie Raglan took his place alongside Hird in central defence.
The hosts threatened again with Peter Ramage looking to get on the end of Winnall's ball into the area and Declan John's follow-up blocked.
Chesterfield survived another major scare when Lee produced a superb reflex save to keep out Waring's shot following a corner.
When the match re-started, Gary Roberts tried an audacious effort from the half-way line which was on target, but Davies was equal to it.
O'Shea put a rising shot over the bar after receiving a pass from Ryan. Raglan made an important challenge on Winnall inside the area. A cross from Ariyibi to the far post was just too high for O'Shea who failed to make proper contact with his header.
Hourihane had a shot beaten away by Lee before Barnsley equalised in the 62nd minute , when Ramage played the ball into the area and Winnall was on hand to finish from close range.
Manager Paul Cook made a second change to his line-up in the 70th minute with Byron Harrison replacing Ariyibi. Four minutes later, there was a final substitution when Ritchie Humphreys came on in place of Roberts.
Winnall brought the ball down and fired in a shot which was saved by Lee. The busy Ryan tried a shot from around 20 yards out which was blocked.
Barnsley substitute Luke Berry fired in a low drive which was kept out by Lee before Ryan put a low shot just wide of Davies' right-hand post from a good position.
Tendayi Darikwa received the ball from Sam Morsy and tried a shot from distance which went well over, though neither side looked like snatching a late winner in the closing stages.
Barnsley: Davies (gk), Cranie, Ramage, Nyatanga, Smith, Pearson, Hourihane (Ibehre 57'), Scowen, John (Lalkovic 86'), Winnall, Waring (Berry 57').
Subs not used: Dibble, Holgate, Hemmings, Bailey
Chesterfield: Lee (gk), Darikwa, Talbot, Evatt (Raglan 36'), Hird, Morsy, Ryan, O'Shea, Ariyibi (Harrison 69'), Roberts (Humphreys 72'), Clucas
Subs not used: Flatt, Banks, Gardner, Gnanduillet
Barnsley: Winnall 62'
Chesterfield: O'Shea 26'
Attendance: 11,268 (2,459 Chesterfield fans)