The Spireites knew that if they beat Plymouth led by former manager John Sheridan and Rotherham won at Bradford, they would be one point off the last play-off place.
Richards back from injury replaced Gnanduillet up front, to become the lone striker. Plymouth looked the much brighter team, Hourihane had a chance but failed with his effort from a tight angle, Reuben Reid hit his effort over the bar, not troubling Tommy Lee.
Plymouth were keeping the ball better, the Spireites were struggling to put any passes together. Joe Bryan picked the ball up on the right flank and beat Lee from distance with a lovely effort.
The Spireites looked shell shocked and five minutes later in the 26th minute, a defensive error was punished, a Trotman header went straight to Nelson, he hit it straight into the roof of the net.
One team was clearly up for this game, the other clearly wasn't, the home side struggled along till half-time still failing to produce a meaningful attack.
Sheridan clearly had a game plan and it was definitely working, their team kit resembled the one worn in the Premiership by Norwich, so looked like the Canaries, where as the Spireites played like budgies.
The other week at half-time Cook stripped the paint off the walls, this week he would probably knock the walls down after that first-half performance.
The Spireites started the better, maybe they could turn this around, Conor Townsend beat two defenders before seeing his cross deflected for a corner.
Still the Spireites lacked any real urgency or desire, so after 10 minutes of the second-half Richards and Brindley were replaced by Gnanduillet and Henshall.
Henshall made an instant impact, he beat the Plymouth full-back Berry, before putting in a dangerous cross which was met by Branston, who put through to his own net putting his team in a right pickle.
Could the fight back be on, there was plenty of time on the clock, sadly the goal didn't spring the Spireites into life. Although Henshall was a constant threat beating the full-back every time and whipping in some lovely crosses, no one was capitalising from them.
Stand-Up said: 'The wrong time of the year to be playing the ex manager who had something to prove, plus the fact we didn't want it enough, a sad end to the play-off dream.'
It was the worst performance of the season, when the team needed to produce their best performance of the season. Clearly the the team are not ready for promotion and Cook will need to do a lot of work in the Summer, although he is already bringing in and talking to players that he knows can do a job for him.
My Man of the Match was Henshall, he made an impact straightaway, had the beating of their full-back and put some dangerous crosses in.
Paul Cook talking to the official website said: 'Henshall come on and put two or three balls in (the box), and then we stopped getting the ball out to him. We tinkered and we changed with formations, but you've got to have fire in your belly. You've got to have desire.'
After that performance some players could find themselves on Cooks released list. Next up Fleetwood, hopefully the sun will shine for the last away game of the season with over a 1,000 Spireite fans expected to make the game. It's the first time that Chesterfield have met Fleetwood at their place in the League, so a lot of fans are looking forward to this, with a lot turning up in fancy dress. Lets hope the team turns up this time.
Member since: 19th September 2012
I'm a big fan of the Spireites and follow them up and down the Country. I got into writing blogs when I was picked to do a blog for the Derbyshire Times for a year, which I really enjoyed. All the views...