FT report: Chesterfield FC 1 Oldham Athletic 1

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Chesterfield came from behind to record a point at home to Oldham Athletic in another fascinating encounter at the Proact Stadium.

A fine volley from Sam Clucas brought the Spireites level after Jonathan Forte’s penalty had given Lee Johnson’s Latics the lead.

In an end to end game both sides had chances to grab all three points late on with Tommy Lee saving from Forte effort after a goalmouth scramble.

In what was set up to be an open game, with both sides in good form going in to the clash, there were chances at either end inside the first minute.

Mike Jones’ drive from the edge of the area stung the palms of Tommy Lee before Chesterfield responded with an Eoin Doyle header which was comfortable for Paul Rachubka.

Lee had to be at his best just moments later to deny Carl Winchester powerful effort from finding the top corner of the net, with the Spireites stopper at full stretch to his left.

A misplaced pass from Brian Wilson, who was cautioned moments before, presented Georg Margreitter with a chance inside the area, but he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet.

Chesterfield came within inches of taking the lead when a pinpoint cross from Gary Roberts attracted Ian Evatt at the far post, whose diving header went narrowly wide of the target.

In an end-to-end opening quarter of an hour a defensive mix-up allowed Dominic Poleon in ahead of Lee. Lee stood his ground and Poleon failed to find Jonathan Forte in the centre.

Forte would have an opportunity when Daniel Philliskirk played him in as the home defense looked at each other only for Lee to come to the rescue once more diving low to his right.

Sam Clucas almost delivered a bolt from the blue when he unleashed a thunderbolt from distance which had the beating of Rachubka and the goal frame, but not by much.

Poleon beat two and left Evatt in his wake before firing a shot from the edge of the area that Lee was quick down to and got his body behind it to keep it goalless.

Wilson was lucky to escape harsher punishment when he pushed Sam Morsy in the back as the Chesterfield midfielder bundled his way through a handful of challenges.

The referee gave a free-kick just outside the penalty area which took the fancy of Jimmy Ryan. His effort was blocked by the wall but will have undoubtedly left a mark.

Chances continued to flow at either end of the pitch with Rachubka equal to Ryan’s drive, James Wilson first to react ahead of Clucas and Doyle who were adjudged to be offside.

Philliskirk demonstrated a neat turn to get away from two and found Poleon, who controlled and tried to get a shot off on the turn Evatt bravely blocked on the stretch.

Chesterfield were getting some joy from the wings with Roberts, in particular, finding blue shirts consistently and causing confusion inside the visitors’ penalty area.

Forte had the beating of Tendayi Darikwa on the left wing, cut inside but his floated right-footed curler was never troubling Lee’s goal, missing the angle of post and bar.

Spireites’ hearts were in mouths moments after the re-start when Poleon jumped high to meet Joseph Mills’ cross and directed a header that skimmed the outside of the post, with Lee beaten.

The visitors were ahead moments later when Philliskirk was adjudged to have been tripped inside the penalty area and Forte smashed the spot kick down the centre as Lee went to his right.

Roberts was denied by a strong save from Rachubka after Darikwa’s menacing cross wasn’t cleared before Chesterfield’s persistence was rewarded with an eqauliser on 56 minutes.

Patient build-up from the Spireites eventually saw the ball find Roberts on the edge of the area who clipped a ball first time over the defenders to Clucas to volley first time.

The 24-year-old’s first goal in front of his home support was a difficult skill to execute, with the ball dropping from height over his shoulder and on the stretch, but one he did expertly.

Substitutions for both sides put the buffers on this runaway train of a match which had hardly given supporters a chance to catch their breath up to the midway point of the second half.

Armand Gnanduillet came on for Chesterfield as Paul Cook changed to a 4-4-2 system that saw Jones make way and Clucas shift to left-back for the last quarter of the game.

Jabo Ibehre hesitated when put through by Liam Kelly and squandered a good chance for the visitors with the substitute’s effort straight at Lee, who was able to palm the ball to safety.

Spireites instinctively responded. Johnson this time out wide left whipped in an inviting ball that Doyle launched himself at and was only inches away from making a connection with yards from goal.

Morsy forced Rachubka in to a vital save diving low to his right as the clock approached the 90.

Team news: Chesterfield FC v Oldham Athletic