Ched Evans came off the bench but was unable to prevent Chesterfield from slipping to a 1-0 home defeat to Fleetwood.
The 27-year-old was originally convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in a Premier Inn near Rhyl, North Wales.
The conviction was overturned following a retrial this week at Cardiff Crown Court.
Cod Army full-back Conor McLaughlin stole the show with the game's only goal just before the break.
The Northern Ireland international drilled a low shot into the far corner after a good interchange with Ashley Hunter just as the Spireites had begun to build up a head of steam.
Prior to that strike, Gboly Ariyibi had curled a left-footed effort onto the post moments after Fleetwood had brought on sub keeper Alex Cairns for the injured Chris Neal.
Cairns, a former Chesterfield reserve, came on for only his second senior appearance five years after his previous one - also as a sub in a 5-0 home defeat for Leeds against Blackpool - and he made several great saves, most notably tipping an Evans effort onto the bar.
Chesterfield piled on the pressure late on but Uwe Rosler's side defended solidly to hold out for a second straight win.