Spireites FT: Scunthorpe 1, Chesterfield 1

Eoin Doyle celebrates having put the Spiretes level from the penalty spot
Eoin Doyle celebrates having put the Spiretes level from the penalty spot

Chesterfield retained their place at the top of League Two, after a 1-1 at with second-placed Scunthorpe United.

With little room to move, both sets of players looked long. Evatt and Cooper had to be on their toes to clear several balls into their territory as the hosts hunted for scraps.

It was Chesterfield who had the first sight of goal, however, when Roberts dispossessed Mirfin and laid the ball on to Banks to shoot from 25 yards but it was easy for Slocombe, in the hosts’ goal, diving low to his right.

Williams began to cause Darikwa and Gardner some problems but it was the visitors’ left winger who showed a creative spark to weave his way into the penalty area.

Roberts went to pull the trigger but down under close attention from a couple of Scunthorpe defenders. Referee Lee Mason remained unmoved.

The hosts, angered by Chesterfield’s protestations, broke with speed and went ahead after a well-worked move down the right. Hawkridge crossed from inside the area to Madden who swiveled and got a shot away which Lee got a hand to, but WINNALL was first to react to poke the ball in from inside the six yard box.

Eoin Doyle steps up to penalty spot to draw the Spireites level at Scunthorpe by Tina Jenner Scunthorpe Utd v Chesterfield

Eoin Doyle steps up to penalty spot to draw the Spireites level at Scunthorpe by Tina Jenner Scunthorpe Utd v Chesterfield

Chesterfield looked for an immediate response and the former Scunthorpe man, Ryan, almost provided it when he fed Gardner through the inside right position. Gardner’s mis-hit cross had Slocombe back-peddling but the ball dropped on the roof of the net.

The Spireites piled on the pressure and Roberts was central to matters again when he whipped in a left wing cross for Doyle, only for Mirfin to step in and get a toe on it to concede a corner.

Banks met Gardner’s resulting flag kick and was unlucky not to score when his header was deflected over from point blank range.

Chesterfield were getting some joy from corners and they came close once more when Roberts’ in-swinging delivery caused a goalmouth scramble, Humphreys close to turning in this time.

Chesterfield were seeing plenty of the ball and were eager to shoot at every given opportunity.

Gardner snatched at a shot on the edge of the area, Roberts attempted a lob from almost halfway and Cooper forced Slocombe into a good save diving low to his right from distance.

And, on the stroke of half time, the Spireites deservedly levelled when Humphreys was bundled over in the box by Hawkridge. The man in the middle, Mr Mason, this time had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Doyle stepped up and confidently slotted the resulting penalty beyond Slocombe in front of the travelling Chesterfield supporters to send the teams in level at the break.

Chesterfield pressed from the re-start and were inches away from taking the lead when Banks’ header went narrowly past Slocombe’s left hand post from Gardner’s corner.

Syers blazed a shot high and wide of Lee’s goal for Scunthorpe when he was given time and space on the edge of the area, as both teams went in search of the advantage.

In an end to end game, a long ball forward released Doyle. The striker raced through and skewed a shot across goal from a difficult angle.

Winnall wasted a glorious chance to put his side ahead when he rose unmarked inside the six yard box, but he sent a header clear of the crossbar. The striker had strayed marginally offside.

Chesterfield had a goal chalked off just moments later when Roberts forced an outstanding save from Slocombe and, when the ball fell for Doyle, the Irishman thought he had his second of the game only for a linesman’s flag to cut short the celebrations.

Cooper timed his challenge perfectly to prevent Chesterfield old boy McSheffrey from running through on goal, after the substitute had been played through by Madden.

Cooper came close to snatching all three points for Chesterfield when he met Ryan’s cross and angled a header towards goal which fractionally missed the target.