MARC Richards rescued a point for Chesterfield in a largely frustrating game to extend their unbeaten run in the league.
The Spireites went into the game full of confidence having beaten high-flying Port Vale 2-0 the previous Saturday and started brightly in front of a bumper home crowd against Burton.
But failure to make the most of their dominance proved costly as the visitors, who sit just one place above the Spireites in the table, took the lead just after the half-hour mark through Jacques Maghoma.
Chesterfield had more fight about them in the second half and could have been out of sight before Richards’ equaliser 15 minutes from time.
The draw leaves Paul Cook’s men two points outside the play-offs ahead of Friday’s trip to Southend.
The manager was forced into a late change when Luis Boa Morte pulled up during the warm up, otherwise it was the same team that impressed so well at Port Vale last week.
Brennan Dickenson, who has extended his stay with the Spireites until January 5, replaced the Portuguese winger with Scott Boden being named on the bench.
Brewers’ top scorer Calvin Zola lined up on his own up front with Billy Kee dropping to the bench as Gary Rowet continued to prefer a 4-5-1 formation away from home.
The home side echoed their Cook’s shouts to press early on but it was evident the Brewers were keen to break up play with needless time wasting from the off.
Liam Cooper came close with a header before Richards cut in from the left and unleashed a powerful effort which was seen late by Brewers’ keeper Dean Lyness, who reacted well to palm the ball out.
Cooper’s aerial threat was again on show when the young centre-half rose highest at the far post, but his downward header bounced over the crossbar from Mark Randall’s corner.
Randall then saw his deep in-swinging free-kick flash wide of Lyness’ left hand post after the keeper had misjudged his dangerous cross from the left.
The visitors then came closest to opening the scoring when Lee Bell’s 25-yard free kick smacked the woodwork and bounced out.
Burton had shown very little coming forward up to that point and soon found themselves in the lead through Maghoma on 34 minutes.
The winger latched on to Zola’s flick and slotted the ball under Tommy Lee, who had largely been a spectator for the first half an hour.
Chesterfield came back and hit the post themselves when O’Shea’s tame volley from Randall’s corner was redirected by Richards and hit the post before it was scrambled clear.
Richards then blazed a header over the bar from 12 yards as the hosts went into the break one down.
Maghoma then had a goal chalked off for offside after he reacted first to Lee’s outstanding save from Zola’s point blank header early in the second half.
Darikwa’s curling effort then looked destined for the far corner before it took a deflection and looped wide of the angle with Lyness scrambling.
Randall then curled a delightful free-kick which hit the inside of the post a yard from the angle of the 18-yard box as Chesterfield looked to pull level.
The home side would be forgiven for feeling it just was going to be one of those days when Richards saw his header come back off the post from six yards out.
But, in almost a carbon copy, the front man found his luck had changed when he saw his well-placed header bounce just inside the far post to level the scores.
Chesterfield could smell blood and went in search of the goal that would all but certainly decide the game.
O’Shea and Richards combined well before the Irishman slithered free from two defenders, but his shot was deflected over as the game drew to a close.
Lester was then shown a straight red card for wrestling Burton skipper Zander Diamond to the floor in injury time to bring the contest to an unsavoury end.
Spireites (4-2-3-1): Lee; Talbot, Smith, Hird (c), Cooper; Darikwa, Togwell, Randall (Clay 90), Dickenson (Lester 70), O’Shea (Townsend 85); Richards
Subs not used: O’Donnell, Boden, Whitaker, Forbes
Burton (4-5-1): Lyness; O’Connor, Diamond, Holness, McCrory; Taylor (Richards 84), Weir, Maghoma, Dyer, Bell; Zola (Kee 84)
Subs not used: Atkins, Webster, Stanton, McGrath, Palmer
Att: 5,741 (468)