Chesterfield turned in a dazzling display with Jack Lester scoring a second hat-trick of the season as local rivals Rotherham were demolished 5-0 in front of a 10,000 plus crowd.
The visitors wilted as Dean Holden, Craig Davies and Lester gave the League Two leaders a 3-0 interval lead with Lester striking twice in the second half.
Chesterfield dominated from the first whistle and the only surprise was they had to wait until the 21st minute for the opening goal, Dean Morgan latching onto a scuffed clearance and delivering a superb cross from the left which Holden converted with a diving header.
A wild back pass from Ryan Cresswell led to the 32nd minute corner that Deane Smalley flicked on for Davies to head in at the back post. Andy Warrington kept the visitors in the game when he denied Lester minutes later but in first-half added time, the striker latched onto Danny Whitaker's pass and turned two defenders before curling a left-footed shot into the net.
Rotherham improved slightly but the night belonged to Chesterfield and Lester who punished poor defending in the 81st and 83rd minutes to complete the rout which sparked angry scenes from visiting fans.
Southend halted Hereford's five-match away win run with a 4-0 victory that put paid to their own two-match losing streak.
Harry Crawford came on for the injured Johnny Herd and put Blues ahead in the 36th minute when Joe Heath's attempted clearance fell to the striker, who looped the ball over Bulls' goalkeeper Adam Bartlett from six yards.
Forward Barry Corr doubled the advantage in the 65th minute when he side-footed home after Bartlett parried Lee Sawyer's shot from inside the box and into the Irishman's path. Corr was on hand again to make it 3-0 two minutes later when he headed Sean Clohessy's right-wing free-kick into the goal from close range at the back post.
Crawford wrapped up the scoring from the penalty spot in stoppage time after Joe Colbeck's professional foul on Sean Clohessy saw the midfielder sent off and referee Karl Evans award the spot-kick, which Crawford tucked into the bottom right corner under a diving Bartlett.
Hereford had looked shaky early on but recovered to see Stuart Fleetwood and former Shrimpers loanee Waide Fairhurst forced saves out of Southend goalkeeper Glenn Morris who also did well to deal with a point-blank header from Bulls skipper Michael Townsend.
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