James Rowe 'full of pride' as Chesterfield come from two goals down to draw at Dagenham and Redbridge

James Rowe said he was ‘full of pride’ as injury-hit Chesterfield came from two goals down to secure a valuable point at Dagenham and Redbridge.
James Rowe.James Rowe.
James Rowe.

With several players already in the physio room, things got worse when Laurence Maguire was stretchered off in the opening minutes with a calf problem.

It looked like being a long afternoon when the hosts scored twice in ten minutes through Angelo Balanta and George Saunders and threatened to go further ahead.

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But two quick-fire goals on 50 and 52 minutes from Jamie Grimes and Kabongo Tshimanga levelled the score.

With the momentum with the Blues, Grimes was shown a second yellow and the ten men had to settle for a draw which leaves them third and just one point behind leaders Boreham Wood.

"I am just full of pride today,” Rowe said.

"We have come so far as a club in the last 11 months.

“We are reacting well to the adversity and seven points from the week means I am a very happy man.

"We were dead on the floor, their team tealk at half-time was probably ‘keep going, you are going to get a third and a fourth.’

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"Our team talk at half-time was about how we had nothing to lose, that it has been a fantastic season so far and not to let ourselves down.

"Probably midway through the first-half it could have been three or four really, they were right on us.

"We lost our way after Laurence Maguire got injured because Alex Whittle had to move left-sided centre-back and he has never played there before.

"If you have got your club captain out, your captain out and your vice-captain out, (it is going to take its toll).

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"We found our way around 35 minutes and we came back into it and created four good chances, that gave us some hope for the second-half.”

Grimes headed in Jeff King’s free-kick delivery and then Tshimanga finished inside the box to make it 2-2.

Rowe said that the second yellow card for Grimes with six minutes remaining was ‘farcical’ and highlighted the ‘complete inconsistency’ in the decision.

On the comeback, Rowe added: "We started the second-half on the front-foot. It was a great delivery and a fantastic arrival with the header. It is something we work on a lot. We have scored more goals from set-plays this year and we are conceding less

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"We looked the more likely team and I think if we stay 11v11 we win the game.

"Credit to the players to get into that position to win the game and credit even more so when we go down to ten men to dip deep. It was our third game in a week and there was not a lot left in the legs. Manny Oyeleke and Jim Kellermann should not be playing three games in a week but they have to. I have got Kellermann right-sided centre-back and Whittle left-sided centre-back! It is unbelievable spirit and togetherness.

"Before this game we had nine out injured, ten now with Laurence, and Kellermann and Oyeleke playing their third game in a week after those injuries, what team in the world would survive that? To get seven points from the week might be the best in the league in that seven-day period.”