Chesterfield manager John Sheridan felt the home victory over rivals Sheffield Wednesday showed just how far his team have progressed recently.
The Spireites have struggled since making the step up to npower League One as champions last season, spending much of the campaign rooted to the foot of the table but results have started improve and the 1-0 triumph over the promotion-chasing Owls leaves Sheridan's side in 22nd place and just four points adrift of safety.
"We would have lost that game two or three-nil before and I think over the last 10 or 11 games we have really improved as a team, especially defensively," said former Wednesday player Sheridan.
"We battled really well against a really good team. After the first 10 or 15 minutes I thought 'here we go' because Wednesday put us under a lot of pressure, but I thought once we weathered the storm we really got into the game.
"I said to the lads at half-time to stay in the game and keep it tight and luckily for us we got the break."
Owls boss Gary Megson was left to rue his side's failure to make the most of their early pressure.
"We set off arguably as well as we have done all season but we didn't take the chances we created and didn't make the most of the opportunities to make more chances," he said. "We put five things right around the dressing room and one of them is scoring the first goal because it's vitally important.
"We weren't working the goalkeeper consistently but we were getting some really good possession in areas of the field where we should make more of it.
"But when you don't, you are not going to boss a game for 90 minutes and first half we didn't want the whistle to come because we were so far on top. But you must score when you are in that position and we didn't do it and we didn't do it on Tuesday."
On the penalty appeal, Megson added: "You can't turn round and blame officials. If you create that amount of chances and you are that much on top, you have to go on and score from there."