A second half double from first year professional Jacob Hazel helped the Spireites salvage a 2-2 draw with Barnsley Youth after coming back from 2-0 down.
The home side did well to get themselves back into the match after a poor first 50 minutes saw them trail by two goals due to some slack defending.
Along with current absentees Josh Barrington and Regan Eldridge, manager Dave Bentley was left with further injuries, after defenders Jamie McNicholas and Tom Colton along with forward Joe Mathers were all missing after picking up knocks in last week’s 1-0 defeat to Staveley.
However, Bentley’s side was handed a boost with the return of left back Matthew Clarke and Midfielder Cormac Noel, along with being handed first year professionals Hazel, Jack Waddle and Jonathan Wafula, who were in need of first team action ahead of the first team campaign.
The first teamer’s class showed throughout the game, but it was Barnsley who nearly took the lead early on when midfielder Rhys Oates ran through the Spireites defence only to see his low effort cleared well off the line.
Oates again almost made the defence pay, when he capitalised of a poor pass from Chesterfield defender Jack Broadhead, and ran into the box only to be stopped in his tracks from the on running Mason in goal.
Barnsley were on top from then on, and made their pressure pay off, when Mason’s poor clearance found the feet of forward Josh Ademson 25 yards out, and his looping effort lobbed Mason and found its way into the back of the net.
Mason was at the thick of it again just moments later, this time to deny Brad Abbott in spectacular fashion, the forward was found deep in space by left back George Smith and his first time volley was tipped just wide by the diving Mason, to take the score 1-0 into the break.
Chesterfield were forced to make a substitution at half time, with first team midfielder Jack Waddle coming off as a precaution and replaced by striker Fabien Johnson.
It didn’t take long for Barnsley to double their lead, with just 30 seconds gone in the second half Abbott capitalized on a poor clearance from the Chesterfield defence and slotted into the bottom corner of the goal.
Chesterfield were forced then to make another sub, with midfielder Joshua Scully coming off with ankle injury and replaced by Alex Hewitt.
As the game went on, the fitness levels of the home side began to show, with Barnsley tiring, and the Spireites almost made them pay when Matthew Clarke’s free kick was saved well by the Barnsley ‘keeper.
Chesterfield began to take control of the match from then on, and there persistent pressure on the away sides defence finally paid off, when substitute Johnson’s header found Hazel unmarked 25 yards from goal, his smart flick fooling the on rushing centre half’s and his first time volley gliding into the bottom corner.
Hazel had a chance to grab an equaliser just seconds later only to see his 20 yard shot go inches wide.
The home side upped their pressure as the game passed and it didn’t look to be there day, with Fereday, Wafula and Hazel all having shots saved by the ‘keeper.
However with just 7 minutes on the clock, Hazel grabbed a well deserves equaliser, after a good passage of play lead to an accurate cross by right back Jordan Slack finding Hazel unmarked in the 6 yard box and his strike was to powerful for the keeper to save.
As full time came, neither side could find a winner, but both teams will be happy with the result after a physical encounter.
Manager David Bentley was pleased with his side’s efforts after game and believes his side will be ready for the start of the season come August 11th.
He said: “I’m pleased with them today, playing a good side in Barnsley who knock it around, we found it difficult in stages during the first half, but second half we came together I thought we looked quite strong.
“We seemed to get stronger as they got weaker and if we had played another 15 minutes I feel we could have won it.”