Chesterfield 0, Huddersfield Town 2
John Sheridan’s side slithered further down the slippery slope after suffering their eighth home League One defeat.
Two goals in side four first-half minutes saw Huddersfield wrap up victory and results elsewhere left Chesterfield six points away from the safety zone with just eight games remaining.
It must be hoped that the Spireites triumph on Sunday and use their JP Trophy success as a springboard to stave off the dreaded drop. It will take a monumental effort.
For the opening period against promotion-seeking Huddersfield, Chesterfield held the upper hand.
Craig Westarr’s cross eluded the Terriers rearguard and was inches away from Jordan Bowery’s boot at the far post before a very close call in the 21 minute.
Alex Mendy cut inside and his unexpected shot from 25 yards was stopped but not held by visiting keeper Alex Smithies.
Westcarr sprinted to fire home the loose ball but Tom Clarke was alert and bundled it out for a corner.
Two minutes later, against the run of play, Huddersfield went ahead.
Antony Kay’s pass was rifled home by Lee Novak from 20 yards in spectacular fashion for his 13th goal of the season.
In the 27th minute, the West Yorkshire side doubled their lead.
Jack Hunt, who enjoyed a successful spell on loan with the Spireites last season, crossed from deep on the right and Jordan Rhodes fired first time with a low shot from inside the area to make it 2-0. It was his 34th goal of the campaign
The second goal came as a real body blow and a minute before half-time, the visitors almost scored a third.
Gary Roberts hit Tommy Lee’s bar with a cheeky chip and the ball bounced down before the danger was cleared for a corner.
In the second half, Bowery and on-loan midfielder Franck Moussa were narrowly off-target with shots, but Chesterfield came closest to reducing the deficit in the 62nd minute.
Captain Neal Trotman aimed inches too high from inside the six-yard box after Westcarr had fired in a dangerous cross.
Towards the end, substitute Nicky Ajose had a shot blocked while Drew Talbot aimed a header just too high.
Chesterfield: Lee, Trotman, Thompson, Hurst, Smith, Allott (Ajose 72), Moussa, Westcarr, Mendy, Bowery, Talbot. Subs not used: Fleming, Ford, Whitaker, Lester.
Huddersfield Town: Smithies, P Clarke, Kay, T Clarke, Morrison, Hunt, Gudjonsson (Arismendi 78), Roberts, Ward, Rhodes (Cadamarteri 88), Novak (Lee 70). Subs not used: Bennett, Arfield.
Referee: C Sarginson (Staffordshire).
Attendance: 6,916 (1,724 from Huddersfield).