The match began in a tense, scrappy fashion as both sides struggled to find their way into the game.
Richard O'Donnell, however, had to be called into action when he emphatically kept out a deflected Spireites free kick 16 minutes in.
Midway through the half there were claims for a Chesterfield penalty as Donervon Daniels was penalised for a push, but the initial foul was judged to have been made outside of the area.
The Latics continued to press with increasingly dangerous chances as a Craig Davies free kick seven minutes before the break fell to Daniels, but his left-footed drive sailed wide.
Both sides upped their tempo in the closing stages of the half, but none of their chances came to fruition as the two teams went in level at the break.