James Rowe left frustrated after Chesterfield concede twice late on to draw against Altrincham

A frustrated James Rowe said he could not ask any more from his players despite behind held to a late draw against Altrincham.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 10:52 pm
Liam Mandeville gave Town the lead.

Leading two-nil thanks to first-half goals from Liam Mandeville and Kabongo Tshimanga, the Spireites conceded in the 83rd minute and then with virtually the last kick of the game in stoppage time.

Rowe was understandably unhappy with Altrincham’s equaliser coming beyond the initial four minutes of added time.

Rowe, who was booked at full-time, said: "We played over five minutes and there was one stoppage for only 30 seconds. I politely asked the referee about that at the end and he has booked me for no reason. I have approached him and shook his hand and politely asked why did you play five minutes 40 when you only added four minutes on and there was one stoppage for 30 seconds. It was all about him. For both teams I have never never heard the whistle blown so much.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"We had played over five minutes and the ball goes out of play and he didn’t blow his whistle. Yet in the first-half on the stoppage we had a free-kick and he blew his whistle so where’s the consistency?

"The energy did not feel right from the start because there were decisions all over the place going against us.

"You ask for consistency and it ends up in the back of our net by a fluke because they have tried to cross it and it has deflected in the goal.

"We can’t blame him because we have to do better ourselves and I think we just ran out of legs at the end."

Town were only able to name four substitutes because of their long injury list and Rowe revealed more bad news in that Jeff King is going to be out until the middle of January at the earliest with a knee problem.

"When I got the results back from Jeff King’s scan which showed he is out until mid-January at midday we were in the office working all day trying to come up with a game plan and it looked like it was working for 85 minutes,” he said.

"We got ahead and we played some really good football in the first-half and were deservedly two-nil up.

"In the second-half it was about trying to nullify the opposition and be as compact as possible because we knew we had a lack of options from the bench.

"We have switched off from the second phase of a set-play which is really disappointing.

"I can’t ask for any more in terms of heart, honesty and endeavour from the players.

"They (Altrincham) went until the end so you have to give them credit but for us we were not quite good enough on the counter-attack in the second-half.

"However, if someone had said at 12.01pm when I got the scan results that you get a point tonight I think I would have taken it because we are literally down to the bare bones.”

He added: "To get four points out of the last two games is still two points per game so we have got to regroup and go Saturday.

"We have got to make sure this last minute equaliser does not affect us on Saturday.”