The Spireites didn't ever recover from a poor opening as they fell to a lacklustre 3-0 Sheffield United defeat at a packed Proact..
The match started nightmarishly for the hosts as Alex Baptiste scrambled home the United after just four minutes, with matters getting doubly bad when Che Adam fired into an empty net from range after a Tommy Lee miscue before the break.
It didn't get much better after the break as on the hour Billy sharp made it three, sweeping home a low ball and the hosts rarely threatened an unlikely comeback.
Manager Danny Wilson made just one change to his starting line-up. It was an enforced change with Conor Dimaio replacing Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who was serving a one-match ban after being sent-off in last week’s 2-1 victory at Barnsley.
The Spireites got off to a bad start when Baptiste put the visitors in front in only the fourth minute. A corner from the left caused problems for the defence and Baptiste forced the ball over the line from close range.
Chesterfield threatened an almost immediate response when Drew Talbot got on the end of a deep cross, but he shot straight at keeper George Long.
Jay O’Shea then fired in a free-kick which took a deflection off the defensive wall and Gboly Ariyibi failed to connect with Talbot’s cross.
The Spireites were having plenty of possession at this stage without seriously putting the United goal under pressure.
The visitors then enjoyed a good spell with Baptiste heading wide and Chris Basham seeing his shot deflect off a team-mate to send the ball wide of the target.
The Blades extended their lead in the 35th minute following an unfortunate error from Tommy Lee. Out of his area and attempting a clearance, Lee succeeded only in finding Adams who chipped the ball into the unguarded net from around 30 yards out.
As the visitors continued to press, Tom Anderson was forced to bravely block Ryan Flynn’s volley.
Billy Sharp’s shot from inside the area also struck a Chesterfield player and then Flynn volleyed off-target.
Early after the re-start, Lee Novak put a shot on target but his effort lacked the power to test Long.
But it was the visitors who posed the major threat, with Flynn putting a low first-time shot narrowly wide and Adams shooting straight at Lee after failing to connect properly.
It was no surprise when United scored a third on the hour-mark, Sharp confidently sweeping home a low cross.
Chesterfield immediately made a change, sending on Jordan Slew to face his old club in place of another ex-Blade, Dimaio.
As the Spireites looked to force a goal to give themselves a glimmer of hope, O’Shea fired in a low shot which was well saved by Long, down to his left. Novak also had a shot blocked.
Lee was forced to make a good save to keep out Flynn’s deflected shot, getting down to his right to turn the ball round the post.
Matt Done put a 20-yard effort just over before Slew wasted a great chance for the Spireites, shooting well wide after finding space in the area following Novak’s flick-on.
Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Talbot, Hird, Anderson, Raglan - O'Shea, Banks, Liddle (c), Dimaio (Slew 61'), Ariyibi - Novak
Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Ebanks-Blake, Humphreys, Donohue, Simons, Orrell
Sheffield United: Long (gk), Baptiste, Basham, Edgar, Meveley(c), Hammond, Coutts, Flynn (Cuvelier 76'), Adams (Calvert-Lewin 83'), Sharp, Done (Woolford 88')
Subs not used: Howards (gk), McGahey, Whiteman, Sammon
Sheffield United: Baptiste 4', Adams 36', Sharp 60'
Attendance: 9,402 (2,829 away fans)