Manager Paul Cook was pleased with all aspects of Chesterfield's performance at Dagenham and Redbridge, where a 1-0 win kept them in the title hunt.
Eoin Doyle struck after 28 minutes and it was enough for a vital three points which sees Cook's second-placed team maintain the pressure on leaders Scunthorpe, who top the table by two points with two matches remaining.
The Blues boss was delighted by his side's display, he said: `` I'm very pleased for the lads. A week is a long time in football and we spoke about the importance of the game, the importance of what it means to the club, and the most important thing is we did the ugly side on the football pitch well.
"We wanted the lads to work very hard and we've seen Marc Richards come off and Dan Gardner come off and you could see how tired they were, and they gave everything for the cause. I feel sometimes the harder you work, the luckier you get.
"Sometimes in our willingness to be the best team in the league, we've just lost that edge at times, that little bit of competitiveness if you like, and today we've come away to a very strong team and in my opinion we were deserved winners."
After a bright opening period from both sides, it was Chesterfield who took the lead. The industrious Tendayi Darikwa fired the ball across the six-yard box and, after a deflection, Doyle made no mistake from close range.
Richards should have doubled the lead early in the second half but his turn and shot from 12 yards just flashed past the far post, with Dagenham goalkeeper Jordan Seabright rooted to the spot.
Luke Norris should have equalised but inexplicably headed a superb cross from second-half substitute Sean Shields wide when unmarked, before Daniel Kearns saw a powerful shot palmed away by Seasbright at the other end.
Richards saw a dipping volley fly just over the crossbar late on but Chesterfield had done enough to earn the victory.
Despondent Dagenham manager Wayne Burnett felt defeat was harsh on his team.
He said "I think we tried to pass it, move it, and probe. Not as well as I'd like it, and I think it's disappointing that we didn't come away with a point if I'm being honest.
"We played in front of them a lot in the first half, and didn't really get going. I felt until we changed it, we didn't really have much penetration. I'm disappointed. I gave people an opportunity and they didn't really come to the plate really."