Leam Richardson hailed a spirited second half display from the Spireites in their 1-1 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge that keeps them top of Sky Bet League 2 heading into the new year.
Zavon Hines missed a penalty after being hauled down by Ian Evatt and just minutes later, Sam Hird was dismissed for clipping Rhys Murphy as he raced through on goal.
Chesterfield did however take the lead from the penalty spot at the start of the second half through Marc Richards but Dagenham hit back ten minutes later from a wonderful strike from Abu Ogogo.
Speaking to Spireites Player, the number two said: “The second half is commendable. I think we gave ourselves a little mountain to climb in the first half, which is unlike us. It was important we regrouped at half time, especially with the sending off.
“A few words got said at half time and the two halves were different. Even with ten men, I thought we created a few chances but it’s unlike us and the manager has let them know that so we’ll regroup tomorrow morning.
“We were disappointed that we didn’t stick away some chances, even with ten men. On reflection, I think Dagenham would have felt hard done by if they had gone away with nothing. We’ll take our point, shake hands and move on.”
Hird’s sending off just after the half hour mark signalled a reshuffle to the Spireites side and the former Accrington Stanley manager explained the reasoning behind the decisions.
“Ollie Banks’ substitution was tactical,” said Richardson. He’s played a lot of games for a young lad recently and we felt we needed to be a bit fresher and consolidate more. The sending off affected Ollie and Tendayi and we tried to shuffle a few things to stay in the game and thankfully, it worked.”
The game marked a return for left full-back Nathan Smith. He made his first appearance since the victory against Portsmouth in August and the 33-year-old had positives words to say about the defender.
He commented: “Nathan has been out a while with an ongoing problem but everyday he’s worked hard with the medical and fitness team so he deserves to get back in and finish the season strong.”
To watch the full post match interview, log on to Spireites Player.