Bury 1, Chesterfield 1
The Spireites were prevented from a morale boosting win when Bury skipper Steven Schumacher headed in from an 88th minute corner to prevent the visitors completing a win-double.
Bury-born Nick Ajose, pictured, had put Chesterfield in front four minutes before the break in his full debut for the club.
His celebration was somewhat muted after scoring against the side where his career kick-started last season while on loan at Gigg Lane from Manchester United.
The 20-year-old striker, on loan from Peterborough, got on the end of an Alex Mendy cross that was helped on its way by Jack Lester.
Moments after the opening goal, Chesterfield had a great chance to extend their lead but Lester’s box-edge effort, earned when Ajose took advantage of a Cameron Belford howler, was superbly blocked on the line by the head of defender Mark Hughes.
Belford then made a terrific save with his legs to keep a Mendy angled shot out as the visitors ended the half well on top after a quiet start from both sides.
Ajose came in for Scott Boden while the injured duo of James Hurst (ankle) and Mark Allott (hamstring) were replaced by Jamie Lowry and Mendy.
However, there was also a positional switch with Liam Ridehalgh switching from left midfield to left back, meaning Gregor Robertson, who had a terrific game, moved to centre half.
Josh Thompson played right back with Mendy performing a role behind the front two, a formation that worked well when the Spireites pushed forwards.
Ryan Doble forced a straight forward early save from Tommy Lee and Peter Sweeney shot wide from 18 yards before Efe Sodje blocked an Ajose volley.
Later in the game the experienced defender looked to elbow his former team-mate but escaped without punishment.
With Chesterfield looking solid, they stepped up their attacking as half-time approached and at the break, the away dressing room must have been a comfortable place to have been.
After the break, Doble was replaced by David Worrall on the left of their front three and he lifted the host’s performance by several notches.
Drew Talbot made a saving tackle to halt the sub’s raid ahead of David Amoo glancing a header wide from a decent opening as Bury stepped up the ante.
Chesterfield raids into home territory became increasingly rare though Lester almost experienced déjà vu when Hughes and Belford got in an Oldham style tizzy but the veteran striker couldn’t repeat his Johnstone’s golden moment.
The introduction of another sub, Lennell John-Lewis, added to Bury’s ever growing possession and chance count.
He shot just wide on the turn but, as an away win began to look likely, clipped the top of the bar with a shot that saw a corner awarded, though no deflection was obvious.
From the corner, Schumacher nodded in from a couple of yards with Spireites players calling for a foul.
Chesterfield ended the game clinging on to a single point from a game that should have been won as Bury sniffed a turnaround but the visitors kept them out.
The point was better than four of their rivals picked up on the night but the manager and his charges all knew it should have been three.
Bury: Belford, Picken, Sodje, Hughes, Skarz, Coke, Schumacher, Sweeney, Amoo (John-Lewis 65), Doble (Worrall 46), Bishop (Carrington 90). Subs not used: Jones, Williams.
Chesterfield: Lee, Thompson, Trotman, Robertson, Ridehalgh, Talbot, Lowry, Davis, Mendy, Lester, (Westcarr 88), Ajose (Boden 74). Subs not used: Fleming, Bowery, Whitaker.
Referee: Eddie Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).
Attendance: 2,266 (331 from Chesterfield).