Chesterfield hit a new low at the Proact this afternoon, with their worst defeat of the season to a Gateshead who looked at least a full division better than them.
The Heed ran out 3-0 winners against the Spireites, who had second half substitute Zavon Hines red carded after just seven minutes on the pitch.
Former Chesterfield man Scott Boden had a reunion to remember, scoring twice for the visitors and leaving Town without a win in nine games.
Home supporters in the 4,210 strong left their manager and his players in no doubt as to their feelings throughout the afternoon, singing ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ in the wake of the second goal and booing at various points.
The Spireites had an unsuccessful penalty shout inside the opening 24 seconds, the ball flicking up onto the hand of Tom White in the penalty area.
A couple of crosses at both ends of the pitch aside, there wasn’t a great deal in the way of action early on, until Gateshead took the lead.
It was all too simple for the visitors, Robbie Tinkler playing it to Tom White on the right hand side, his ball to the back post missed by Drew Talbot allowing former Spireite Scott Boden all the time in the world to find the net.
Chesterfield simply failed to get going in the opening half an hour but most worrying of all was their inability to make life difficult for the Heed, who should have gone 2-0 up when a cross found Steven Rigg in the middle but he headed straight at Shwan Jalal.
Frustration grew in the three stands housing Spireites as their team looked bereft of ideas in possession and weak out of it.
The midfield went missing when Gateshead attacked and were unable to create anything for the front two, Denton winning all his headers only for the second ball to be mopped up by a man in green almost every time.
And things got worse in the final minute of the first half, Steven Rigg running right past Michael Nelson and evading Jonathan Smith before lofting a wonderful shot into the top corner.
The Kop reacted furiously to the goal and home supporters booed their side as they trudged off at the break.
It was a different Chesterfield side who emerged for the second half, in terms of personnel if not performance, Joshua Kayode and Robbie Weir replacing the struggling Kyel Reid and Drew Talbot.
There were a few bright moments in the opening 10 minutes of the half but still no clear chances for Town, who sent on Zavon Hines for Lee Shaw to try and liven things up.
Seven minutes later Hines was making his way off the pitch after leaping into a tackle on Greg Olley that earned a straight red card and made Town’s task nigh on impossible.
Within four minutes the game was over, Gateshead taking advantage of the extra space to get Robbie Tinkler to the byline where he cut it back for Boden to fire home his second.
The visitors had further chances to heap more embarrassment on Town, Scott Barrow curling a shot wide before Rigg ran clean through after sloppy home play, Jalal keeping it 3-0 with a fine save.
Chesterfield: Jalal, Talbot (Weir 46), Binnom-Williams, Nelson, Hollis, Carter, Reid (Kayode 46), Smith, Weston, Denton, Shaw (Hines 57). Subs: Muggleton, Maguire.
Gateshead: Pears, Tinkler, Barrow (O’Donnell 80), Kerr, Williamson, Olley, Rigg (Salkeld 88), Mellish, White, Boden, Molyneux (Hunter 56). Subs: Foden, Hunter, Forbes.
Referee: Simon Mather. Assistants: Robert Evans, Darren Strain.
Goalscorers: Boden 19, 68, Rigg 44
Yellows: Weir 54; Boden 83
Red: Hines 64
Attendance: 4,210 (99 away)