Bristol City 3 Chesterfield 1
"We've had to pick ourselves up by the bootlaces but now everything is tying in nicely," said a delighted manager Gary Johnson.
Certainly there was a flowing confidence behind their goals which Chesterfield could not match.
After going behind to Louis Carey's header from a fourth minute corner, they got back into the game with a Colin Larkin slide-in but were then fatally hit by goals either side of half-time.
The second of those was executed with the coolness of a veteran by 18-year-old Jennison Myrie-Williams.
Alex Russell pushed a ball past a central defender and latching on to it the youngster waited for the keeper to come and then lobbed him with a laser-like precision.
Myrie-Williams thought he should have had a penalty in the opening raid when he went down under Barry Roche's challenge after sprinting past the back four as he cut in from the left.
But he settled happily for the corner as Carey turned in Lee Johnson's flag-kick for the centre-back's first goal this season.
The dominant Carey put just one foot wrong and that with 20 minutes to go brought him a fifth caution and he will now miss next Saturday's visit to Port Vale.
Chesterfield had been forced into a late change with Alex Bailey taking over in defence from Shane Nicholson who damaged his groin in the warm-up.
But a more significant change saw the appearance for City of Steve Brooker a total of 55 hours after completing his fortnight in an open prison.
City needed him because Enoch Showunmi had been sent to hospital for virus tests.
Brooker did well, providing the channel pass for Myrie-Williams's early run, hitting the woodwork twice and seeing a shot bounce off the keeper's knee.
Kevan Hurst had made the run which set up Larkin's equaliser but City were back in front seven minutes later.
An error by Roche following another free-kick by Johnson opened the way for Scott Brown to give City the lead back.
But it was a slender advantage at the break before City assumed control after their strike early in the second half.