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All Square At Telford

28 July 2012

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Chesterfield continued their pre-season preparations as they were held by an impressive AFC Telford United side at the New Bucks Head Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Conference National side twice fought back from behind after goals from Drew Talbot and Jordan Bowery had given the Spireites the lead, but John Sheridan's side couldn't hold on to complete their third victory in as many outings. Nonetheless, it remained another important exercise for the Spireites ahead of their forthcoming League Two campaign, with Whitaker and second-half substitute Mark Randall both putting in impressive displays.

Telford started brightly and were denied an early opportunity following a fantastic intervention from Tendayi Darikwa, who was alert to scramble away the danger on the edge of the visitors' box before Whitaker fired in a shot from 25-yards, which was comfortably saved.

The Spireites began to look dangerous down the left-hand side and Whitaker's cross towards Manny Panther was diverted, before John Sheridan's side took the lead in the ninth minute via the opposite flank.

Marc Richards had already shown glimpses of his talent with a couple of intelligent flick-ons, but the former Port Vale man was allowed space to turn and deliver an inch-perfect pass into the overlapping Drew Talbot, who comfortably slotted home.

But the home side were back on level terms in the 26th minute, after the Spireites failed to deal with a routine ball forward and were duly punished, as Richard O'Donnell was powerless to stop a thunderous drive fly past him into the far corner.

Sheridan introduced Mark Randall, Jordan Bowery and Mark Allott at the break and the Spireites were unfortunate not to take the lead when the lively Whitaker's vicious drive clattered the underside of the crossbar before being scrambled to safety almost immediately after the restart.

But the home side couldn't repel the League Two new boys for much longer and second-half substitute Bowery gave the visitors a deserved lead when he met Whitaker's sublime cross with a thumping header.

However, the home side drew themselves level once again completely against the run of play in the 72nd minute, when a defensive mix-up gifted the Bucks with an undeserved leveller and the game petered out as both sides were content to settle for a share of the spoils.

Chesterfield: O'Donnell, Darikwa (Allott), Forbes, Hird, Quinn (Waddle), Talbot (Wafula), Togwell (Clay), Panther (Randall), Whitaker (Hazel), Richards (Boden), Westcarr (Bowery)

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