MATCH REPORT: Cruel late equaliser denies Chesterfield
Chesterfield were denied a first National League win since early August after agonisingly conceding in the 96th minute in the 1-1 draw at Harrogate Town this afternoon.
Jonathan Smith’s third goal in as many games looked to have earned Martin Allen’s men a long-overdue three points.
However, they couldn’t quite hold out for victory in North Yorkshire as Aaron Williams fired home a cruel late leveller deep in stoppage time to deny the Spireites a much-needed first win in 16 National League games.
The opening period was almost completely devoid of any real action, the hosts tidy in possession and content to probe patiently away while Chesterfield remained compact, defending solidly for the most part.
Joe Rowley smashed a hopeful long-range effort high and wide in the very first minute, but that was as close as the Derbyshire outfit were to come during the first 45.
Their time in possession of the ball was largely unambitious, their attacks lacking any real incision, though Allen’s tactics successfully nullified the Harrogate threat.
Thus, visiting custodian Callum Burton was only seriously extended once before the break, blocking a fierce Joe Leelsey strike at his near post in the 40th minute.
The Spireites looked somewhat livelier at the beginning of the second period, moving the ball around the pitch with a bit more zip.
That said, when they took the lead with 57 minutes on the clock it was still rather out of the blue.
Substitute Jerome Binnom-Williams had only been on the pitch a couple of minutes when he showed real strength on the left-hand side of the Town box before sliding the ball across goal for Smith to pass into a gaping net.
From there, the visitors looked comfortable heading into the final 10 minutes before the home team eventually began to mount some late pressure.
Defenders threw their bodies bravely in front of a succession of strikes at goal and Burton saved routinely from Callum Howe, then superbly as Liam Kitching rose highest at the back stick.
With six of an additional seven minutes successfully negotiated at the death, Chesterfield appeared to be home and dry.
But a last-gasp corner sparked a scramble close to the Spireites’ line and substitute Williams was able to force home a cruel, late leveller.
CHESTERFIELD: Burton; Evans, Hollis, Maguire, Muggleton; Weston, Rowley, Smith; Kiwomya (Binnom-Williams 53), Shaw (Reid 79), Hines (Denton 59).
REFEREE: Sam Purkiss.