TOWN should be happy with a point because Chesterfield missed easily the best chances to win it.
Let off the hook by Caleb Folan and Mark Innes in the first half, Town twice survived late raids from Mark Allott when it seemed easier for the midfield man to score.
Allott also had the ball in the net, only to see his 83rd minute effort wiped out for handball - another debatable decision from lamentable referee Phil Joslin.
Full credit to Chesterfield, because they looked extremely well organised under Roy McFarland and their two banks of four made life very frustrating for Town.
Peter Jackson's side didn't help themselves with some wayward passing and by failing to utilise the flanks enough, but they were never lacking in endeavour and received tremendous backing from a crowd of 11, 942 - excellent considering bad weather throughout the day.
Town's first goalless draw on home soil since last November against Cheltenham, however, always looked on the cards following a sluggish start and then a shapeless period in the second half.
Not until Jackson introduced Chris Brandon against his old club and then Pawel Abbott eight minutes later did Town look anything like the promotion winning force which upset Stockport in the opener last Saturday.
Brandon, who took incredible verbal stick from the travelling fans in reaction to his summer move, brought fresh attacking ideas, more urgency to Town's play around the visitors' box and the energy to keep having a go for goal.
That was sadly lacking until the final 20 minutes and Brandon went within inches of making it a perfect outing against his former mates with a cracking low drive in the final minute which scraped the righthand post.
He had earlier powered a rising drive into the chest of keeper Chris Muggleton which represented Town's first serious shot on target with only nine minutes left on the clock.
While he should have passed inside to Abbott when trying his luck from the edge of the box in stoppage time, at least Brandon's enthusiasm proved infectious.
So, too, did Abbott's eagerness to impress and the lively substitute striker was unlucky not to notch a second successive winner with only four minutes left.
A neat turn on the soddened surface bought him half a yard of space at the edge of the box and his rasping left-foot shot looked destined for the top corner until Muggleton launched himself across.
The big keeper couldn't hold the shot and did well to block the follow-up from Rob Edwards, reacting more quickly than anyone else and certainly faster than the linesman, who for some reason flagged for offside.
That same assistant was somewhat less than alert in the first half when he and Mr Joslin managed to miss Alex Bailey trying to remove Junior Mendes's shirt in the box when everyone else in the Galpharm seemed to see the offence.
Not Town's best display, but this was an illustration of how hard they will have to work this season to break teams down. And four points is twice as many as Town had at the same stage last term, so it's not a bad start to be seventh.
NOT so much a turning point but a significant let-off when Chesterfield midfielder Mark Allott skipped past Chris Brandon, Rob Edwards and Steve Yates two minutes from time but blasted his shot across the face of goal and wide, just like Caleb Folan, Mark Innes and Allott himself had done earlier in the game. Town were lucky to escape but almost snatched the points themselves late on through Brandon and fellow sub Abbott
VERDICT ON THE REF:
ONLY the second match of the season and already a referee in Phil Joslin of Nottingham to try and avoid for the rest of the season. Made some shocking decisions and his two assistants were just as bad. How they could all miss Alex Bailey pulling back Junior Mendes by the shirt in the 22nd minute is a mystery. It should have been a penalty. Also, Tony Carss' booking was ridiculous amongst a lot of whistle blowing which ruined any flow
MAN OF THE MATCH: Chris Brandon
MADE Town tick when he went on against his old club and went close with a few late shots. Hard working and inventive on the ball, he is pushing strongly for a starting place
HOW THEY RATED:
Phil Senior A clean sheet on his return to the starting line-up and made a fine block to deny Allott on the break late on Rating: 7/10
Andy Holdsworth Found it difficult to get forward with his usual flair although he was involved fully in the late attacks with Brandon and Abbott Rating: 6/10
Rob Edwards Battling display and almost scored in the dying seconds when he was ridiculously flagged for offside Rating: 7/10
Steve Yates Had a bruising battle with substitute Tcham N'Toya and didn't always come out on top. Worked hard Rating: 6/10
Efe Sodje Did some good things and some not so good but caused the visitors real problems with his long throw. Rating: 6/10
David Mirfin Strongest of the back three on the night and unlucky not to score with a header which hit defender Blatherwick Rating: 7/10
Tony Carss Unlucky to be booked when clearly playing the ball first. For all his probing, just couldn't find a way through Rating: 6/10
Jon Worthington Worked tremendously hard to try and get Town going, but often found a wall of Chesterfield shirts barring his way Rating: 7/10
Danny Schofield Often crowded out as Chesterfield defended with solid banks of four, but his skills offered hope in the first half Rating: 6/10
Andy Booth As usual, won his share of headers at both ends and took some knocks from rugged Blathewick and Evatt in the battle Rating: 6/10
Junior Mendes Looked the man most likely to in the first half when his pace was telling on Chesterfield. Drifted out of it. Rating: 7/10
PETER JACKSON named five outfield substitutes: Lee Fowler; Chris Brandon (for Schofield 67 mins); Brown; Clarke; Abbott (for Mendes 75).
Chesterfield: Muggleton, Bauiley, Blatherwick, Niven, De Bolla (N'Toya 53), Allott, Hudson, Innes, Nicholson, Folan, Evatt.
Subs not used: O'Hare, Davies, Richmond, Smith.