Spireites let great chance slip away

Chesterfield FC Jordan Bowery
Chesterfield FC Jordan Bowery

Stevenage 2, Chesterfield 2

Chesterfield threw away a glorious opportunity to bag three vital points.

Having led 2-0 with quarter of an hour remaining and with the defence looking solid, Stevenage hit two goals in 90 seconds to take the sting out of the Spireites attempts to escape the drop.

Skipper Neal Trotman rose highest to head home a Drew Talbot cross after a Craig Westcarr corner had been headed on by Josh Thompson.

That effort on 12 was followed ten minutes later with a fine Jordan Bowery goal, his ninth of the season.

The striker received from a Westcarr head-on wide on the left. He cut inside, the ball bounced kindly for him when faced with a duo of defenders, and he hit low from just outside the penalty area to give his side a deserved and comfortable lead.

However, Borough, beaten 3-1 at Spurs in a gallant FA Cup defeat three days earlier, saw Scott Laird flick in what was a dreadful corner from Joel Byrom and with the disappointment from that still in the mind-set, Laird crossed from the left for sub Craig Reid to slot the ball home from six yards with 13 minutes remaining.

A win would have left Chesterfield fourth bottom, three points from safety but the hammer-blow double concession kept the side in 23rd spot, five points off Walsall. With promotion chasing MK Dons and Huddersfield Town next up, the task looks a daunting one.

With no new faces in the squad despite the departure of David Davis and Dean Morgan, the manager selected Derek Niven to start in midfield. It was the long serving Scot’s first Spireites start since the 6-2 drubbing at MK Dons back in August.

James Hurst returned after injury while Nicky Ajose and Danny Whitaker made way and sat on the bench.

Tommy Lee had to intervene to keep out Robin Shroot ahead of Westcarr firing over after Mark Allott and Bowery set up the chance.

Most of the early play was dictated by the green-shirted visitors and it was no real surprise when Trotman scored.

Lee had to block from Jordan Slew before Bowery doubled the lead and Chesterfield continued to play with some confidence.

Westcarr and Talbot both went close ahead of the break with a Jon Ashton glancing header from a corner the hosts’ best effort.

Borough brought on Darius Charles after the break and that switch, which saw Laird move into midfield, was a key decision.

Luke Freeman caused a couple of problems and Lee had to save well from Byrom but, as the final 15 minutes began, no-one could have envisaged what then happened.

From nowhere, Stevenage found themselves level and pushing for the winner, Thompson had to block a Slew effort late on as a Chesterfield defeat looked the most likely outcome, but they held on to clinch a point from a game that should have been comfortably won.

Stevenage: Day, Wilson, Ashton, Roberts, Laird, Shroot (Charles 46), Bostwick, Byrom, Freeman (Reid 65), Agyemang (Beardsley 61), Slew. Subs not used: Julian, Lascelles.

Chesterfield: Lee, Hurst, Trotman, Thompson, Ridehalgh, Talbot, Allott, Niven, Mendy, Bowery, Westcarr (Lester 80). Subs not used: Fleming, Whitaker, Ford, Ajose.

Referee: Lee Collins (Surrey).

Booking: Trotman (Chesterfield).

Attendance: 3,534 (308 from Chesterfield).