The big talking points from Chesterfield's sickening late draw against Torquay United
Chesterfield let slip a two-goal lead late on against Torquay United but remain unbeaten so far this season.
The Spireites were heading back to the top of the table after two second-half goals from the in-form Kabongo Tshimanga put them ahead.
But Armani Little halved the deficit on 88 minutes before Tom Lapslie was credited with a dramatic equaliser in the fifth minute off added-on time to spark wild celebrations from the visitors at the Technique Stadium on Saturday evening in front of the TV cameras.
For the second time this month Town conceded in the 95th minute on home soil and had to settle for a point.
Just like against Bromley, the late equaliser left everyone stunned and it felt like a defeat.
That is four points dropped from winning positions and who knows how important that could be come the end of the season.
Frustratingly, Chesterfield have only conceded six goals so far this campaign but half of those have come after the 88th minute.
What is quite remarkable is that they have only been trailing for a total of two minutes (against Bromley) in their first eight games. That, along with their five clean sheets already, shows they are generally a solid unit.
The late goals against Bromley and Torquay is hard to understand given they are yet to concede away from home and have seen out two-nil leads at Aldershot Town, King’s Lynn Town and Yeovil Town quite comfortably.
It is strange what lengthy added-on time can do to a side and whereas the Blues might have been thinking back to Bromley, Torquay seemingly took belief from the amount of late goals they scored last season in what they have coined ‘Gary Time’.
It happens to everyone over a long season so unless it becomes a regular theme I do not think we should be too worried but of course it is frustrating.
The first-half was close and, in my opinion, Chesterfield were the better side and looked more dangerous but Torquay did have the best chance just before half-time.
It came when the Spireites failed to clear a ball into the box and goalkeeper Scott Loach had to react twice to stop Klaidi Lolos from giving the visitors the lead.
Apart from that, that was the only time last season’s play-off finalists had threatend in the opening 45.
Up the other end, Stefan Payne had a half-chance with a header, a long throw from George Carline bounced close to goal and just needed a touch and a delicious cross by Calvin Miller was begging to be attacked at the far post.
At half-time it looked like we were heading for a stalemate or a narrow win either way so four goals after the break was a surprise.
The start to the second-half was a bit hectic and that set the tone for what was to come.
Payne flashed a cross across goal at one end before Danny Wright failed to capitalise on a poor back-pass by George Carline.
Both of Chesterfield’s goals came about from crosses from Calvin Miller, who was my man of the match, and both were gobbled up by Tshimanga.
Just before the hour-mark Torquay goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald spilled Miller’s fierce, low cross and there was Tshimanga to turn it in.
The Gulls’ Keelan O’Connell had a good chance to equalise before Tshimanga doubled the lead with 17 minutes remaining.
Chesterfield played through the Torquay press and a superb sweeping move from right to left got Miller free down the left again. MacDonald reacted to deny Carline from the delivery but Tshimanga was there to poach his second.
A sixth clean sheet of the season looked on the cards as Loach did well to claw away a dangerous cross and Jak McCourt made a block on the edge of the box.
But in the main James Rowe’s men were comfortable and heading for a third successive win.
Little’s goal with only two minutes remaining appeared to be a consolation but panic set-in and Torquay threw men forward.
Wright headed straight at Loach and you thought that was the chance gone but the hosts conceded a late corner and the visitors pinched a draw. Lapslie claimed it but Curtis Weston looked to be the one who turned it into his own net.
The 132 Torquay fans went absolutely bananas and there were some unsavoury scenes as one or two Gulls players goaded the home faithful.
Two-nil up on 88 minutes and it ended in a draw after two soft goals.
It was a sickening end in front of a crowd of 5,127.
Tshimanga keeps scoring so we have to keep talking about him!
The striker spoke recently about how he admires the goalscoring stats of the likes of Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez and his own are not too shabby either.
His two goals here takes his tally to an impressive nine goals in eight games and six in his last three.
The forward, who is averaging a goal every 80 minutes, is the league’s top scorer, two ahead of Solihull Moors’ Joe Sbarra.
Both his goals came from a total of about six-yards as he was in the right place at the right time to pounce.
It is worth mentioning that his strike partner Payne worked tirelessly again. He is still awaiting his first goal of the season but his work-rate has not gone unnoticed.
3-4-1-2: Loach; Kerr, Gunning (c), Maguire; Carline, Weston, McCourt, Miller (Whittle, 90); Mandeville (Khan, 69); Payne (Rowe, 75), Tshimanga. Unused subs: Grimes, King.