MATCH REPORT: Chesterfield fall to Harrogate Town fightback

Chesterfield failed to build on Mike Fondop’s early strike as they fell to a 3-1 defeat on the road at Harrogate Town.

Saturday, 23rd November 2019, 4:11 pm
Picture by Arthur Haigh/AHPIX.com;Football;National League; Harrogate Town v Chesterfield ; 23/11/2019 KO 3.00pm;Wetherby Road; copyright picture;Howard Roe;07973 739229 Chesterfield's Shwan Jalal Goalkeeper can do nothing to stop the equaliser from Josh Falkingham (4) of Harrogate Town

The powerhouse striker’s eighth goal of the season put the Spireites in the driving seat after just 10 minutes of today’s National League contest.

However, John Sheridan’s men were eventually undone by a quick-fire double-salvo midway through the second period to leave Chesterfield 20th in the table, just one place and point above the relegation zone.

Fondop smashed home the opener from just a couple of yards out after Liam Mandeville’s initial strike came back off the base of a post.

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Moments later, only a superb last-ditch block by the sliding Will Smith prevented Mandeville from doubling the away advantage.

The Spireites then rode their luck inside their own box as Town pressed hard for an equaliser, surviving vociferous shouts for what looked like a clear penalty for handball.

On 34 minutes, Mandeville’s curling 20-yard free-kick was tipped over the cross-bar by James Belshaw before Fondop’s sweetly-struck volley drew an even better save out of the flying Harrogate custodian.

The importance of those stops was underlined in the 37th minute as the hosts drew level, Jack Muldoon teeing up Josh Falkingham to stroke home an equaliser.

Mandeville almost restored the Chesterfield lead shortly before half-time when he volleyed a good chance narrowly over the top, play quickly switching to the opposite end of the field where Smith rattled the bar with a header from Mitch Hancox’s right-wing free-kick.

There was no let up in the action after the interval as both teams continued to get into dangerous areas almost immediately from the resumption.

It was Town who looked the more likely, however, and they went 2-1 up after 65 minutes when the overlapping Ryan Fallowfield was played in down the right and rifled an unstoppable finish into the top corner.

Five minutes later, Muldoon was sent clean through on goal and calmly rounded Jalal before slotting into an empty net to wrap up the points.