Chesterfield hold on for draw against Dorking Wanderers despite having midfielder Ollie Banks in net for an hour

Chesterfield held on for a 2-2 draw against Dorking Wanderers on the opening day of the new season despite remarkably playing more than an hour with midfielder Ollie Banks in net.

By Liam Norcliffe
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 5:11 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th August 2022, 5:11 pm

An incredible first 45 minutes of the season saw Chesterfield lead 2-0 despite having midfielder Banks between the sticks after goalkeeper Lucas Covolan was sent off on his debut for an off-the-ball incident.

Akwasi Asante, recently taken off the transfer-list, scored the opener after 18 minutes and created the second for Dobra, who finished cooly on his debut, before the break.

Amazingly, Town’s second came despite being down to 10-men and having midfielder Banks in goal.

Ollie Banks had to go in goal for Chesterfield against Dorking Wanderers.

But Dorking’s extra man paid off in the end, with the hosts rescuing a point following goals from Luke Moore and James McShane.

A second yellow card for Branden Horton meant Chesterfield finished with nine-men.

As expected, manager Paul Cook named an unchanged line-up from the last three friendly matches.

There was no place on the bench for Kabongo Tshimanga or new signing Mike Jones, but Jack Clarke was included in a matchday squad for the first time since Boxing Day.

Banks finally made his 100th appearance for Chesterfield on his ‘second debut’, which turned out to be one to remember, while Darren Oldaker’s first start came against the club he signed from in the summer.

The other three debutants were Covolan, Horton and Dobra.

Dorking, a club only formed in 1999, are playing at this level for the first time in their history after 12 promotions in 23 years, and will trouble many teams on the Meadowbank 3G pitch.

Wanderers manager Marc White, who also owns the club, has brought them up through the divisions, including winning last season’s National League South play-offs.

After a fairly even first period, Chesterfield took the lead after Asante collected Dobra’s pass and slotted past Slavomir Huk following patient build-up.

It was Covolan who started the move from the back, but the stopper was soon in the action for all the wrong reasons.

In an off-the ball incident with Dorking’s Ryan Seager, the Port Vale loanee was shown a straight red card after 28 minutes.

With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, his sending off was the worst possible scenario for Town.

But up the other ene the Blues continued to cause problems despite the sending off, with Horton almost grabbing a third.

Oldaker controlled the play, while Jeff King and Liam Mandeville showed more signs of a blossoming partnership down the right.

From a Chesterfield point of vew, the second-half was all about preventing any shots on target, and they succeeded until the midway point.

Mandeville and King worked their socks off down the right, while Quigley never stopped running up top.

Up until 66 minutes the visitors had been untroubled, but Banks, who had performed as well as you could hope for, fumbled a cross and Moore finished.

Eleven minutes later, it was 2-2.

Again it came from a cross, this time from the opposite flank, and an unmarked McShane finished high into the net from around the penalty spot.

Thankfully, there were not too many more moment to worry about for Chesterfield, but there was more drama as Horton was shown a second yellow in injury-time for ‘time-wasting’ as the visitors finished with nine-men.

In true Spireites fashion, it was a bonkers opening game of the new campaign.