Chesterfield Draw With Daggers
Chesterfield battled for a hard earned point after playing 60 minutes with ten men as they shared the spoils with Dagenham and Redbridge.
Sam Hird was dismissed just after half an hour for bringing down Rhys Murphy, who had a clear run on the Chesterfield goal.
Despite this, Marc Richards gave Chesterfield the lead from the penalty spot just after half time but a wonder strike from Abu Ogogo ensured the visitors left with a share of the points.
The Spireites named an unchanged line up to the Boxing Day draw with Hartlepool United as Richards and Armand Gnanduillet led the Chesterfield attack.
The home side started much the brighter as they forced goalkeeper Chris Lewington into early action. Sam Togwell’s low drive was well saved and seconds later, Gnanduillet forced a strong parry from the
‘keeper as the Spireites looked to gain the upper hand.
Tendayi Darikwa was the next man to sting the palms of the goalkeeper. The winger broke from midfield but could only find the hands of Lewington as he comfortably saved.
Just minutes later, Darikwa again had another opportunity to put the Spireites ahead. After great work in the midfield, the ball was worked wide to the winger but his effort was deflected over and the chance was lost.
Momentum was building for Chesterfield but it was the visitors that almost snatched the opening goal mid way through the first half. Scott Doe found space in the box from a corner but his nodded header fell just wide of Tommy Lee’s goal.
Chances were falling for the Spireites but it was the away side that earned a penalty just after the hour mark. Ian Evatt received a yellow card for bringing down Hines and the winger stepped up but hit his spot kick way wide of Lee’s goal.
Two minutes later and the Spireites were reduced to ten men as Hird saw red for what the referee deemed as a last man tackle on Rhys Murphy. The referee made himself unpopular with the home support but the resulting free kick was blasted wide of Lee’s goal.
Liam Cooper was soon brought on to fill the void left by Hird and replaced Darikwa.
Dagenham had their tails up and just before half time should have taken the lead through Luke Howell. Hines did brilliantly down the right hand side and put it on a plate for Howell but the midfielder’s header glanced past the post to the amazement of the crowd.
Chesterfield made their second substitution of the afternoon at the half time break as Ollie Banks was replaced by Nathan Smith, who was making his first appearance since the game against Portsmouth in August.
During the half time interval, manager Paul Cook was sent to the stands so the Spireites had to battle through the second half without their gaffer.
Although a man down, Chesterfield started the half in perfect fashion as Brian Saah was adjudged to have handled in the area and Richards stepped up to tuck the penalty past the goalkeeper to give the Spireites the lead.
The Daggers almost levelled five minutes later from a well worked corner. Hines delivered straight onto the head of the league’s top scorer Murphy, but he somehow managed to put his header wide of the goal.
Minutes later and the away side did draw level. Ogogo picked up the ball on the edge of the box and unleashed an unstoppable drive past Lee and the Daggers were back in the game.
The Spireites made their final substitution of the game on 60 minutes as Jay O’Shea replaced Frenchman, Gnanduillet.
Eoin Doyle had a great opportunity to restore the Spireites lead five minutes after the hour mark but the goalkeeper saved well. Richards poked the ball through to the Irishman but Lewington saved well at the striker’s feet.
Although a man down, the Spireites were taking the game to the visitors and Richards again was thwarted by Lewington. O’Shea did brilliantly down the right hand side and produced a wonderful cross onto the head of Richards, but the ‘keeper saved magnificently to prevent the striker doubling his tally.
The visitors were started to gain a bit of momentum and former Arsenal defender Gavin Hoyte nodded the ball towards goal but Lee saved comfortably at his near post.
With five minutes of the game remaining, the post came to the Spireites' rescue as Murphy thought he had won the game for the Daggers. He nicked the ball past Lee and Cooper but it trickled towards the post to the frustration of the striker.
Chesterfield were still creating chances though as Irishmen Doyle and O’Shea had shots saved by Lewington but the referee finally signalled the end of the game and the points were shared.
Chesterfield: Lee; Talbot, Evatt (c), Hird (red card 37'), Humphreys; Darikwa (Cooper 38'), Banks (Smith 45'), Togwell, Doyle; Richards, Gnanduillet (O'Shea 61').
Subs: Mason, Devitt, McSheffrey, Smith, McFadzean.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Lewington, Hoyte, Doe, Saah, Ogogo, Murphy, D'Ath, Shields (Elito 64'), Howell, Connors (Ilesanmi 70'), Hines.
Subs: Wilkinson, Scott, Edgar, Dickson, Seabright.
Goals: Chesterfield (Richards PEN 49') 1 - 1 Dagenham & Redbridge (Ogogo 58')