REPORT: Chesterfield 0-1 Harrogate Town

John Sheridan suffered the first National League defeat of his tenure as Chesterfield boss, a single goal giving Harrogate three points at the Proact.
Action from Chesterfield v HarrogateAction from Chesterfield v Harrogate
Action from Chesterfield v Harrogate

The winner, an own goal, came just six minutes in and the fact that the visiting keeper was untroubled for 75 minutes tells the story of how badly the Spireites struggled to create for the majority of the afternoon.

There was a glorious chance for a late leveller but Tom Denton was denied by the woodwork with a stoppage time header.

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Both teams looked to get the ball down and play football early on, Chesterfield trying to get it wide to Lee Shaw, who put in a couple of decent crosses.

But Harrogate's first couple of attacks were even more dangerous.

Former Spireite Lloyd Kerry brought a smart save from Shwan Jalal, before a well worked corner routine caused havoc and a low cross in forced Scott Boden into a sliced clearance that found his own net.

Although Chesterfield sharpened up and got the ball into good areas of the pitch, they were unable to create much of note.

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Harrogate's front three made it difficult for the hosts to play out from the back and when they had to go long, they struggled to retain possession.

The visitors had little problem forging opportunities, George Thomson seeing a 15-yard effort deflected over the top by Haydn Hollis, before Warren Burrell got away from Laurence Maguire to head the corner over.

At the other end the Spireites finally built up a little momentum, with three corners in quick succession, but it all came to nothing and Harrogate took their lead into the break.

If Chesterfield were planning to show a big improvement after the interval, it wasn't immediately evident.

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They twice gifted Harrogate chances in the first few minutes of the half, Lloyd Kerry mercifully putting it wide having been presented with the ball in a dangerous area, before Jack Muldoon did the same under pressure from Jalal.

John Sheridan didn't wait long to change things, replacing Fortune with Tom Denton after just seven minutes of the second half and sending Charlie Carter into the fray three minutes later, Curtis Weston departing.

Harrogate continued to pose problems, Jack Emmett strolling through acres of space before spooning a shot over.

Just after the hour mark Town finally gave home fans something to get a little excited about, Chapman clipping in a cross that Carter flicked wide of the near post.

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A bone jarring sliding tackle from Maguire gave Chapman another chance to deliver, Denton's headed effort deflected over the top.

The home side were beginning to get on top and a fortuitous break of the ball set Carter on a run through the middle before seeing a shot deflected wide.

Chesterfield's best move of the match very nearly produced a goal.

Maguire turned two men in his own area, found Jonathan Smith and he threated it left to Jerome Binnom-Williams, whose ball through to Boden saw the striker beat keeper James Belshaw only to be denied by a last ditch tackle.

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The resulting corner was missed by Belshaw but the ball hit Binnom-Williams on the head and floated over.

Boden curled a shot well wide and Carter had one deflected wide, before the best chance of the afternoon fell to Denton, Binnom-Williams finding him unmarked at the back post with a wonderful cross, the striker's header beating Belshaw but not the upright.

With that moment went Town's chances of taking anything from the game.

Chesterfield: Jalal, Yarney, Hollis, Maguire, Shaw (Binnom-Williams 71), Chapman, Weir, Smith, Weston (Carter 55), Fortune (Denton 52), Boden. Subs: Anyon, McKay.

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Harrogate: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Burrell, Howe, Langmead, Kerry, Falkingham, Emmett (Mottley-Henry 78), Thomson, Muldoon (Williams 85), Beck. Subs: Woods, Cracknell, Kitching.

Goalscorers: Own goal 6

Referee: Andrew Miller. Assistants: Scott Chalkey, Steve Durnall.

Attendance: 4,661 (231 away)