Antoni Sarcevic was sent from the pitch and boss Graham Alexander was sent to the stands as Fleetwood Town’s play-off bid hit the buffers in Derbyshire.
Fleetwood’s bright start gave no hint of the chaos to come, David Ball and Liam McAlinden looking lively in the early exchanges.
A lengthy stoppage for an injury to Chesterfield’s Daniel Jones, stretchered off the field after colliding with Conor McLaughlin down the Spireites left, changed the game.
Paul Cook shuffled his pack throwing the lively Gboly Ariyibi into the action and changing the whole game.
Town suddently found themselves closed down, denied space by Chesterfield who had a fresh outlet down the right.
And just after the half hour Ariyibi broke down the right, flicking the ball to Tendayi Darikwa, his pass picking out lone striker Caolan Lavery who turned and fired across Chris Maxwell into the Fleetwood net.
Chesterfield were in complete control and sealed their win before the break, Stephen Jordan giving away a free kick, Ollie Banks free kick met by Ariyibi, Maxwell saving but the ball falling loose for Sam Hird to stab home.
Antoni Sarcevic’s reaction was unforgivable, losing the plot, booked twice for dissent in a matter of seconds as Town marched back for the restart - his red card marking the afternoon as a write-off for the visitors.
Town did their best to limit the damage but couldn’t hold out, Aribiyi doing the damage again, a darting run, leaving debutant Adam Chicksen for dead and picking out Sam Morsy who swept the ball home.
It was enough for Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander who wasn’t sparing in his words to referee Patrick Miller, sent to the stands as the wheels fell off Fleetwood Town.
Chris Maxwell was almost beaten for a fourth, Mark Roberts with a vital clearance to prevent Gary Roberts icing the cake.
Town’s spirit in their damage control efforts was admirable but the game was already gone, the afternoon one to forget.