npower League 2 action from the Pirelli StadiumIt was not to be for the Brewers as they went in search of a tenth successive home win as Chesterfield returned to North Derbyshire with all three points from a gritty 1-0 victory courtesy of Drew Talbot's stunning effort just after half time. The Spireites were always going to be a tough nut to crack boasting the second best defensive record in League 2 heading into the weekend and so it proved as Albion probed and pushed but could not find a way past Tommy Lee and his defence on a day when too many loose passes were made and the visitors made sure they were first to every second ball as Albion failed to hit the heights of the previous victories in their record breaking run.
Albion went with an unchanged side for the visit of Chesterfield. Calvin Zola missed out on a place on the bench as he nursed his hamstring injury ahead of a hectic programme of games.
The opening exchanges were nothing to write home about as both sides were quite circumspect in the early stages. Stuart Tomlinson easily fielded an early free kick but it took until the twentieth minute for a moment of serious danger for either keeper when Alex MacDonald swung over a teasing free kick from the Albion right and Tommy Lee was at full stretch as Ian Sharps came in to challenge but neither got a meaningful touch on the ball as Chesterfield scrambled the ball away from danger.
Robbie Weir did manage to connect with a centre from the Burnley loanee but unlike the last match against Cheltenham he could only guide his header over the crossbar from twelve yards out.
Marc Richards was granted far too much space in the 27th minute as he crept around the back of the defence to steer a header back across goal and into the waiting arms of Tomlinson.
Burton began to apply some pressure and when Billy Kee won himself a free kick in the 33rd minute it offered a promising opportunity for the Brewers to seriously test the Spireites defence. Kee's free kick was not the best he has taken in a Burton shirt but it deflected off a defender and almost fell kindly for Michael Symes who had to settle for a corner. MacDonald swung in the corner and Ian Sharps rose highest but could not quite guide his header onto the target.
Richards tried an audacious attempt to lob Tomlinson from distance as he latched onto a through ball but he was way off target trying to outsmart his former Port Vale team mate.
Burton had something of a let off just before the break when Richards threatened to burst clear and was impeded by Sharps. There appeared to be defenders in a covering position and as such referee Lee Collins only produced a yellow card.
Half time: Burton Albion 0-0 Chesterfield
The second half got off to the same tepid start as the first half and Albion were made to pay for their slightly below par performance when the visitors took the lead on 52 minutes. Nobody closed down Drew TALBOT when he picked the ball up on the left hand side and when he let fly from thirty yards his unerring shot had too much for Tomlinson and nestled in the far corner of the net.
Billy Kee also picked up a yellow card for a challenge involving Liam Cooper that left everyone frustrated as there did not look a lot wrong with the challenge. It was Albion that made the first change with Michael Symes making way for Matt Paterson on 68 minutes.
The Brewers were continuing to press but Chesterfield almost caught them on a counter attack with only a poor ball out to the left allowing Albion to regroup and see off the danger. Alex MacDonald won a free kick just on the edge of the penalty area after a handball incident but the home side were not able to prosper from the set piece.
Jimmy Phillips was given the last thirteen minutes to try and create something as he replaced Jacques Maghoma on the left hand side of midfield.
Albion's third change came with a little over five minutes to go and it was Adam Drury that Gary Rowett turned to as he replaced Alex MacDonald on the right wing. Chesterfield also made a change with lanky striker Armand Gnanduillet thrown on and the Frenchman picked up a yellow card for a late challenge on Robbie Weir.
Weir then picked up a card himself as the clock ticked into stoppage time and unfortunately for the Albion man it was his tenth of the campaign meaning a two match ban counting him out of the next two away games.
Matt Paterson had a late header go safely into the arms of Tommy Lee but it was just not to be Albion's day.
BURTON: Tomlinson; O'Connor, Sharps, Diamond, McCrory; MacDonald, Weir, Bell, Maghoma; Kee, Symes. Substitutes: Corbett, Lyness, Phillips, Paterson, Holness, Dyer, Drury.
CHESTERFIELD: Lee, Trotman, Togwell, Richards, Darikwa, Brindley, Randall, Talbot, Cooper, Townsend, O'Shea. Substitutes: Hird, Henshall, Whitaker, Lester, Clay, Gnanduillet, Barrington
Referee: Mr L.Collins (Surrey)
GOALS: Chesterfield - Talbot (52)