Spireites match report: Chesterfield 2 Bradford City 2

Spireites
Spireites

Sam Togwell kept Chesterfield’s faint play-off hopes alive with an injury-time equaliser against Bradford City.

The Spireites twice came from behind after Nahki Wells and Ricky Ravenhill scored either side of Tendayi Darikwa’s strike to rescue a point for Paul Cook’s men.

Chesterfield had picked up seven points from the last available nine in the league, which included last week’s win at Barnet.

Absent duo at Underhill, Richard Brindley and Armand Gnanduillet came straight back into the side in place of Danny Whitaker and Scott Boden.

While there was a place on the bench for Marc Richards returning from a twisted ankle he suffered on Easter Monday in the home draw with Port Vale.

There was a late change for the Bantams as Andrew Davies picked up an injury during the warm up and was replaced by Michael Nelson with Andy Gray taking a place on the bench.

Jay O’Shea showed his shooting menace early on with a curler from 25 yards that narrowly missed Jon McLaughlin’s left hand post.

The visiting keeper was at the centre of things moments later when he got the ball tangled between his feet and conceded a corner.

From Conor Townsend’s resulting flag kick, Drew Talbot powered a header towards goal which was cleared off the line by Bradford skipper Gary Jones.

The danger wasn’t cleared and Sam Togwell’s drive was deflected for another corner, which came to nothing.

It was end-to-end in the early exchanges and Tommy Lee had to be alert after a mix up in the host’s defence to dive bravely at the feet of James Hanson.

Neal Trotman continued to show why he deserved a starting place when he flung himself to deny an inviting centre from the right before beating Hanson in the air six yards.

Bradford continued to press and Wells had his head in his hands when he scooped one well clear of Lee’s crossbar after a lucky break of the ball in the box.

Chesterfield responded and Darikwa shot straight at the keeper after he was sent racing clear down the right.

After being beaten once, James Meredith wasn’t going to be done twice in as many minutes and blocked the flying winger. Townsend stepped up with ambition from 30 yards and curled one which was comfortably saved by McLaughlin.

Bradford’s left back, Meredith, then turned provider for the game’s opening goal.

A long throw into the box found its way to Wells who controlled neatly on his chest and volleyed the ball low past Lee into the bottom corner from ten yards.

There was a period of sustained pressure from Chesterfield coming up to half time but the hosts couldn’t find a way through and went in a goal down.

Bradford replaced Kyle Reid with Will Atkinson at the break as they looked to extend their lead. Wells almost obliged when he turned Trotman and raced towards goal but I fine covering block from Liam Cooper kept the Spireites’ hopes alive.

Gnanduillet was booked for a high challenge on Atkinson, though the Ivorian appeared to make very little contact with the Bradford man.

Marc Richards was introduced in place of Townsend just before the hour as Chesterfield switched to a 4-4-2 formation. Richards partnered Gnanduillet up front with Talbot moving to left back and O’Shea slotting into midfield.

It didn’t change the Spireites’ fortunes though and they continued to look second best against their play-off rivals.

O’Shea shot tamely over the bar and Randall tried to thread a ball through to Richards before belief was restored.

A flowing move released Darikwa inside right and the winger showed great composure to tuck the ball into the far corner of the net.

The Bantams thought they should have had a penalty when Zavon Hines’ shot seemed to hit Cooper’s arm, but referee Brendan Moore gave a penalty to the annoyance of the visitors.

And Bradford were soon back in front when the resulting corner wasn’t cleared and Ravenhill’s shot sneaked past Lee and into the net before Brindley could clear.

Jack Lester and Alex Henshall were introduced and the latter’s in-swinging corner was flicked on by Richards to the back post for Togwell to sweep the ball home.

Spireites: Lee; Brindley, Cooper, Trotman, Townsend (Richards 56); Darikwa, Togwell, Randall, Talbot; O’Shea (Henshall 82); Gnanduillet (Lester 79)

Subs not used: Barrington, Whitaker, Hird, Boden

Bantams: McLaughlin; Darby, Meredith, Ravenhill, Nelson, Hanson, Thompson (Hines 73), Jones, Wells, McCardle, Reid (Atkinson 45)

Subs not used: Duke, McHugh, Connell, Gray, Doyle

Bookings: Meredith 30, Thompson 72, Hines 90; Gnanduillet 51, Trotman 64, Talbot 72

Referee: Brendan Malone

Attendance: 7,920

Goals: Nahki Wells 36, Ricky Ravenhill 79; Tendayi Darikwa 70, Sam Togwell 90+2