chesterfield made it five matches unbeaten on visits to Northampton’s Sixfields with a goalless draw.
Chesterfield had won three and drawn one of their last five visits.
Northampton won the first corner after a Trotman clearance went astray and Akinfenwa used his strength to hold the ball up. It immediately spawned a fruitless second flag.
Guttridge shot high from 20 yards. The home side were enjoying the bulk of the ball without getting into overly dangerous positions. A Westcarr ball in for Lester provided a rare moment of in-box time for Spireites, but the master forward was unable to bring the ball to heel.
Westcarr hooked a shot at the keeper from a Togwell long throw but he was then booked for blocking Nicholls’ kick from his hands.
Atkinson headed over his own net from a Tozer long throw, O’Donnell punched the corner clear to start a break which ended with Lester flagged for offside.
Hird blocked a Demontagnac shot and O’Donnell had to gather on the deck ahead of Akinfenwa as Cobblers continued to notch up possession percentages as they kicked towards a healthy Chesterfield following.
Togwell received on the halfway line and ran forwards but he shot wide. Hird forced Nicholls to reach high and catch as he volleyed a Westcarr free-kick and Darikwa headed wide from a Ridehalgh delivery as Spireites, at last, began to show some positive signs in the final third.
Akinfenwa received a lecture from referee Simpson for a foul on Hird, Trotman’s header from the free-kick was easy for Nicholls to gather.
Lester’s close control and trickery saw him able to shoot from just inside the box and his rising shot hammered the bar in the closest call of the first half.
Lester’s left-foot volley, 60 seconds after the re-start, from Talbot’s cross went just wide, drawing an audible sigh from the 614 travelling fans behind that goal.
Talbot and East clashed heads and the Northampton defender, back in the side after suspension, came off the worst and received lengthy treatment after clearly being distressed, but he was soon able to resume.
Northampton’s supporters were beginning to show a little frustration at their own side’s inability to penetrate as well as the officials’ decisions, which were seemingly marginally favouring the gold-shirted visitors.
Lester’s shot was simple for Nicholls to catch on the hour mark but soon afterwards the keeper had a tougher job blocking an effort from the same man after good play by Darikwa and Westcarr.
Two Ridehalgh crosses just eluded their intended targets and Darikwa had the ball nicked off him as he darted into the box as the game continued to be tight and somewhat scrappy. Hackett’s cross caused a few defensive palpitations but Spireites broke clear only for Nicholls to catch Westcarr’s cross with Talbot ready to pounce.
Trotman was booked for a foul on Akinfenwa 25 yards out, right in the centre, but Demontagnac hit well over.
Whitaker replaced Lester and Moult came on for Demontagnac for the hosts.
Hackett’s angled shot was always flying wide and high whilst Whitaker’s cross always looked destined to end up in the keeper’s hands.
Darikwa delivered and the home defence was pressured into a panicky clearance and Talbot earned a corner as Spireites pushed on, Hird’s ball in just being gathered by Nicholls with Talbot just adjacent to him.
Cobblers’ won their first second half corner and Nicholls’ header was the prelude to a pinball bobble and Chesterfield were happy to see the ball booted away.
Guttridge’s shot was destined to go wide but Moult wasn’t far off getting a touch on it as both sides tried their best to bag what would be a winner, but right to the end, the defences were in charge.