Chesterfield 1, Walsall 1
A last-minute goal from Jack Lester earned Chesterfield a point in the relegation showdown at the B2net.
The Saddlers took a 28th minute lead from Alex Nicholls and looked set to take all three points back to the West Midlands despite Spireites pressure in the second half.
But Chesterfield levelled as the seconds ticked away when he rifled home with a close range shot on the turn after a Danny Whitaker effort had been blocked in the penalty area.
The goal crowned a great comeback for the Blues frontman who was making his first start since breaking his arm in September.
It was no more than Chesterfield deserved after a dominant second-half performance which saw most of the play in Walsall’s half.
Before kick-off, hundreds of balloons were released in the centre of the pitch for a children’s competition and it was Chesterfield’s hopes who soared first with a chance inside 60 seconds.
Drew Talbot crossed from the flank and Craig Westcarr aimed for goal but keeper Jimmy Walker made the save.
Jonathan Macken was just off target with a volley before Walsall took the lead following a breakaway.
Jamie Paterson passed to Nicholls who left Neil Trotman trailing before finding the net with a low shot past Tommy Lee.
Right at the end of the first half, Westcarr had a goalbound effort turned away by Walker for a corner but the second half started with the visitors a goal to the good.
However, John Sheridan’s men upped the tempo in the second half and Lester had a chance to score early on but appeared to get the ball caught between his feet when in a good shooting position.
All the play in the second half belonged to Chesterfield who had the majority of the possession without creating too many clear cut chances.
Whitaker his the bat with a 20 yard piledriver and Alex Mendy was in a good position at the back post when Tope Obadeyi crossed from the left but Walker was on hand to save the opportunity.
Such was the relentless Chesterfield pressure that Walker was booked for time-wasting but right at the death, Lester, pictured, demonstrated his class.
Chesterfield: Lee, Trotman, Ford, Talbot, Griffiths, Allott, Whitaker, Westcarr (Bowery 70), Lester, Mendy, Morgan (Obadeyi 79). Unused subs: Fleming, Downes, Smith.
Walsall: Walker, Westlake (Bowerman 86), Sadler, Butler, Beevers, Taundry, Chambers, Peterlin, Macken (Grigg 63), Paterson (Halliday 79), Nicholls. Subs not used: Grof, Gnakpa.
Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire).
Attendance: 6,236 (469 from Walsall).