TOWN tasted defeat for the first time in League One this season, going down 3-1 at Chesterfield.
The hosts did the damage inside the first 65 minutes before Darnell Furlong reduced the deficit with a late goal on his debut.
There was a starting berth for Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill after serving a suspension from the previous season. The injured Lloyd Jones was replaced by Michael Doughty with Conor Thomas moving into the back line. There was a place among the substitutes for loan signing, Darnell Furlong.
In action-packed first forty-five, the hosts enjoyed the better of the goalscoring opportunities. Minutes into proceedings, Lawrence Vigouroux was forced to tip a header onto the post and watched prostrate on the turf as the ball bounced off the upright and back into his grateful arms.
Ched Evans lashed wide while Town’s first meaningful foray into opposition territory yielded a half-chance for Luke Norris but the striker’s effort deflected into the arms of Ryan Fulton. The collision from the challenge would force the striker off injured minutes later with Jermaine Hylton stepping off the bench to replace him.
Midway through the half, the home side’s pressure told as Gary Liddle nodded them into the lead. A free-kick was tipped by Vigouroux onto the woodwork and he was up quickly to prevent Hird from knocking the loose ball home. At the third attempt, Liddle was perfectly placed to convert from close-range despite the best efforts of the Town defenders on the line.
The Swindon stopper was called into action again before the break, denying Gboly Ariyibi then Dan Gardner one-on-one.
Brad Barry and Hylton both headed off-target for the visitors before the Spireites doubled their advantage in injury time. They were awarded a spot-kick after Ched Evans was bundled over in the box off the ball and Jay O’Shea buried the penalty despite Vigouroux going the right way.
After the break, the visitors started on the front foot but couldn’t find the killer pass that would present them with a goal-scoring opportunity.
Following their bright opening, Town conceded a third just after the hour mark. Ariyibi’s trickery on the right flank created a crossing opportunity which was tucked home inside the six-yard box by the lurking Ched Evans.
Having scored from the spot earlier in the game, O’Shea tried his luck from a far greater distance, smashing a volley goalwards from 40 yards trying to catch Vigouroux off his line.
With just under 25 minutes to play, Town’s most clear-cut opportunity of the half fell to Yaser Kasim. After being picked out on the edge of the box by Jermaine Hylton, the Iraq international lifted his first-time, curling effort over the crossbar.
With two minutes to go, the visitors did get on the scoresheet. Michael Doughty fed Darnell Furlong on the right and the full-back slammed the ball into the roof of the net. Buoyed by the goal, Town went in search of another. Doughty was involved again moments later when he swung a corner in from the left which was headed wide by Hylton.
The final meaningful action from Town’s perspective came from Conor Thomas in injury time when he lined up a shot from distance that flew off target.