Notts County 1, Chesterfield 0
A disappointing concession ten minutes from time meant Chesterfield slipped to defeat and to the foot of the table.
Two Notts County subs combined to condemn John Sheridan’s side to a blank afternoon on a terrible pitch.
Gavin Mahon slipped the ball through the middle.
It pinged off both David Davis and Neal Trotman to fall for Jonathan Forte who slid the ball past Tommy Lee for the game’s only goal.
Chesterfield had looked good value for a point after being the brighter side in the second half though they showed little attacking prowess before the break, though Notts too were also somewhat shot-shy.
John Sheridan had to make changes following the win against Sheffield Wednesday.
Mark Allott and Drew Talbot both picked up knocks, Simon Ford’s knee kept him out as did Gregor Robertson’s hamstring. Loanee Nicky Ajose was switched to the bench.
Jimmy Juan was recalled after a calf injury, a week earlier than would have been wanted, and after a super start, he had to be replaced after twisting an ankle in a fall.
Ex County man Craig Westcarr, Jamie Lowry and Dean Morgan came in while at right back, a surprise name on the teamsheet, 20-year-old Tendayi Darikwa.
A Nottingham lad, he’d only previously made two sub appearances, both in cup games.
He’d recalled from a loan spell at Conference North side Hinckley United to make his League debut and he showed up fairly well.
Lee’s double save to block Lee Hughes and then Jeff Hughes, was the opening half’s only real moment of danger but after the break the game came to life.
Alan Judge saw Lee turn a shot round for a corner right from the off.
From that set-play, Chesterfield broke into attack.
Morgan fed sub Jordan Bowery who homed in on his target but saw keeper Stuart Nelson save in duel that should have led to a goal.
Man of the match David Davis and Westcarr saw shots blocked as the visitors got to grips with the task.
Lowry’s free-kick was straight at Nelson and Westcarr almost nipped in after an error between Nelson and Liam Chilvers.
The Notts keeper made an instinctive save to halt a Jack Lester first time shot from range and Davis almost got in from a corner.
Notts then brought on Derbyshire lad Ben Burgess and immediately after the switch, they scored.
Trotman’s header from a corner almost found a way through but Jeff Hughes, from 30 yards, struck the bar in the closest to another goal.
Wycombe’s huge win over Hartlepool was the only result that gave any of the strugglers three points, so things could have been a lot worse.
Notts: Nelson, Freeman, Edwards, Chilvers, Harley, Judge, Montano (Forte 59), Bishop, Bencherif (Mahon 71), J.Hughes, L. Hughes (Burgess 79). Subs not used: Mitchell, Stewart.
Chesterfield: Lee, Darikwa, Trotman, Thompson, Ridehalgh, Westcarr, Juan (Bowery 32), Davis, Lowry, Lester, Morgan (Ajose 81). Subs not used: Fleming, Whitaker, Smith.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancs).
Booked: Trotman (Chesterfield), Harley (Notts).
Attendance: 8,256 (1,616 from Chesterfield).