Big talking points from Chesterfield's sickening late draw against Bromley
Chesterfield had to settle for a point after conceding in the sixth minute of added time to draw 2-2 against Bromley.
Goals from George Carline and Manny Oyeleke cancelled out Michael Cheek’s penalty to put the Spireites deservedly ahead with less than 20 minutes remaining.
But Cheek grabbed his second with almost the last kick of the game to prevent Town from recording a fourth straight win.
The Blues remain unbeaten and are currently second in the National League table.
To concede so late on was a sickener for the hosts and it felt like a defeat at the end especially after dominating the game.
This was actually Chesterfield’s best performance of the season, particularly in terms of possession, but it is the only one they have not won! Football, eh?
The most notable attempts at goal in the first-half included Saidou Khan’s long-range strike which rippled the side-netting and a glancing header from Carline which brought a save from Bromley goalkeeper Mark Cousins before the away side took the lead.
Bromley opened the scoring totally against the run of the play from Cheek’s spot-kick on 36 minutes so it was a relief to see the Spireites hit-back instantly with a great strike from Carline, who was presented with a trophy before kick-off for being voted last season’s player of the year.
It would have been a travesty had James Rowe’s men been trailing at half-time so the equaliser was the least they deserved.
The second-half was one-way traffic apart from when Bromley’s Joe Partington headed a free-kick delivery from Louis Dennis against the crossbar on the hour-mark. That was the only time the visitors threatened until their sucker-punch equaliser.
Kabongo Tshimanga raced clear after half-time but his one-on-one attempt produced a good stop by Cousins.
The excellent Carline went close again with another header which just drifted past the post before Town’s dominance paid off.
Miller, who was superb all afternoon but would later feel deflated, picked out substitute Oyeleke on the edge of the box after a great run and cross and the midfielder calmly side-footed the ball into the bottom corner.
Cousins made another top save to prevent the scoreline becoming 3-1 before Chesterfield hearts were broken by Cheek who bundled in a cross deep into added time.
There was a sense of shock around the Technique Stadium at full-time because the visitors had shown nothing to suggest an equaliser was coming. But they managed to somehow stay in the game due to some smart saves by Cousins and a lack of ruthlessness from the hosts.
Once the dust settles on this one the players can be proud of a dominant display against a team who made the play-offs last season and are tipped to do so again.
They always say these things even themselves out across a season so hopefully we can look forward to a last-gasp equaliser or winner at some stage.
With about 30 seconds to go the Blues were top of the league but it was not to be in the end. Ten points from four matches is a promising start but it should have been 12.
Rowe, along with the 5,000 Chesterfield fans inside the stadium, was frustrated at full-time with some of the decisions made by referee Martin Woods on the day.
The first big call he had to make came on seven minutes when Jack Clarke went down in the box under a challenge from Cousins who tried to prevent the midfielder from going around him. But instead of pointing to the spot Woods booked Clarke for diving.
Up the other end, Bromley were awarded a penalty when Laurence Maguire, playing on the right of a back three, was adjudged to have fouled Corey Whiteley who hit the deck.
Rowe felt the referee got both decisions wrong.
On Bromley’s penalty he said: "I have seen it back and Loz has slid and he (Whiteley) has gone into Loz so for me it is not a penalty.”
And on Chesterfield’s spot-kick claim he said: "There has been contact for ours and he has booked Clarke for diving and there was contact from the goalie so there is no consistency there.”
Rowe was also baffled at six minutes being added on at the end of the second-half.
"I haven't got a clue why,” he said.
The left wing-back was outstanding in what was his best showing in a Chesterfield shirt so far.
He had the beating of Bromley’s Haji Mnoga all afternoon and he gave him a torrid time.
Miller consistently went past him and delivered a number of dangerous crosses, including a perfectly weighted cut-back to Oyeleke to put the Blues ahead.
Unfortunately Miller’s day ended with a mistake as he dived in to try and pinch the ball but he mistimed his challenge and from there Bromley equalised.
But, like Rowe said afterwards, it was a mistake but the goal could still have been prevented.
Apart from conceding the late equaliser, the other big disappointment was losing Clarke to a hamstring injury in the second-half.
He went down in a lot of pain and had to be helped off the pitch.
It did not look good and he will probably be out for a while now which is a big blow and a terrible shame for him personally.
Meanwhile, Fraser Kerr was not involved in the squad due to a cut to the head he suffered against King’s Lynn Town.
3-4-1-2: Loach; Maguire, Gunning, Grimes; Carline, Weston, Khan (Oyeleke 56), Miller; Clarke (Mandeville, 61); Rowe (Payne 78), Tshimanga. Unused subs: King, McCourt.
Chesterfield: Carline (38), Oyeleke (72)
Bromley: Cheek (36), 90+6)
5,229 (100 away)