Huddersfield Town 1 Chesterfield 0
John Sheridan praised his team despite the narrow defeat at Huddersfield and said he could not have asked more from his players.
Jordan Rhodes provided a quality 34th-minute back-heel finish in a game that saw Chesterfield match their promotion-chasing rivals in every department bar the goal.
The Chesterfield manager said: “I couldn’t have asked for more from my players against a very tough team with a very good record.
“Other than the last 15 minutes of the first half I thought we were in the game all the way.
“We started the game really well and it’s a shame we didn’t get anything.
“I was pleased with the performance, a battling performance, we defended well when we had to.
“They’ve not had many opportunities and we’ve had a few and we were always in the game and that’s all I can ask for.’’
For the opening half hour and for all of the second half, the Spireites showed plenty of effort and a few glimpses of quality but they again failed to bag the points that their increasingly dire league position demands.
John Sheridan made four changes to the side that drew with Walsall.
The suspended Jack Lester, injured Simon Ford plus Scott Griffiths and Craig Westcarr stepped down for Nathan Smith, Tope Obadeyi, Jordan Bowery and, for his first appearance in eight months, Gregor Robertson.
The home side gave a rare start to ex-Spireites winger Donal McDermott and also featured another former loan man, Jack Hunt.
McDermott was ineffective throughout and was the first man to be subbed.
Former Huddersfield man Neal Trotman, who had half a season at the Galpharm, was Chesterfield captain for the first time.
Obadeyi had the game’s first shot and he slipped the ball just wide of the far post after Dean Morgan had worked well down the left to tee up the striker.
That was soon followed a Lee Novak 25 yard shot that keeper Tommy Lee had to work hard to block.
Gary Roberts shot and again Lee had to save as the game continued at a rapid pace.
The busy Lee had to gather at the feet of Rhodes and Morgan forced Ian Bennett to dive left to gather a shot after some exciting forward play from Chesterfield.
Continuing the ebb and flow of the contest, Rhodes glanced a header wide before another header that was just off target from a corner.
Rhodes prepared to celebrate as Huddersfield turned up the screw but Danny Whitaker blocked on the after a rapid break away.
The stalemate was short lived after that, as Rhodes flicked in a Novak left wing cross from close range on 34.
From then to the half-time whistle, it was all about keeping it at one for the bottom side, which they did with a few minor scares.
The game was much less expansive in the second half.
Rhodes hit wide from distance before Morgan did the same for the visitors while Bowery created his own chance, actively winning the ball and rushing forwards, but he shot just wide of the target.
Morgan won Chesterfield’s first corner on 78, but the Spireites were unable to create danger from it as the visitors looked for an unlikely point but they just lacked the nous to break through the Huddersfield back line.
Huddersfield: Bennett, Hunt, Bruce, Kay, Naysmith (T.Clarke 82), Gobern, Miller, Roberts, McDermott (Arfield 61), Novak (Lee 75), Rhodes. Subs not used: Colgan, Parkin.
Chesterfield: Lee, Talbot, Trotman, Robertson, Smith, Mendy, Allott, Whitaker, Morgan, Obadeyi (Westcarr 75), Bowery. Subs not used: Fleming, Downes, Mattis, Griffiths.
Referee: Carl Boyeson (Hull).
Attendance: 15,380 (1,085 from Chesterfield).