Chesterfield and AFC Wimbledon shared the spoils at the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Tuesday night in a well contested 1-1 draw.
George Francomb put the home side into the lead on the 50-minute mark after he cut inside from the left wing before firing a well place effort beyond Lee.
Chesterfield began the game racing straight out of the blocks at the Kingsmeadow when Eoin Doyle went in through on goal, but his effort was well saved by AFC Wimbledon keeper Ross Worner who tipped the ball over. From the resulting corner Sam Cooper rose highest but his header went wildly over the bar.
Chesterfield in their away strip had settled very well into the game but it was Wimbledon who had the next opportunity from a corner. Kevin Sainte-Luce was left unmarked in the area but with the ball just a little too high he headed over the bar and didn’t trouble goalkeeper Tommy Lee.
Wimbledon came close again when Danny Hylton was sent racing through, his pace had the better of Ian Evatt and his neat turn found himself with time to shoot but Evatt brilliantly did well to recover and produce a superb sliding block.
Wimbledon were starting to grow into the game and Saint-Luce found himself in space to run into down the left, but his low cross was cleared by Jimmy Ryan out for a corner. From the set-piece Alan Bennett placed an accurate header towards goal but his effort crashed off the crossbar and Chesterfield were able to clear.
Chesterfield had another excellent chance to take the lead just before the half-hour mark and it was Jay O’Shea who it fell too. Ian Evatt played a long ball forward in search of Doyle, the Irishman played in O’Shea who broke into the area but his shot went just wide of the post.
The first half ended with another headed chance. Down the right hand side Wimbledon came forward through George Francomb, his centre was met by Hylton but the striker could only head tamely towards goal, and Lee was able to save comfortably.
The Spireites began the second half the way they did the first coming forward immediately from kick off. O’Shea found the ball at his feet from 25 yards out and his drive forced Worner into a low save.
Wimbledon took the lead in the 50th minute. George Francomb cut inside from the right hand side before unleashing an excellent strike from 18 yards into the back of the net.
The lead did not last long however, with Chesterfield hitting back just five minutes later. Jimmy Ryan crossed into the area where Worner spilled into the path of OIllie Banks, he moved the ball past one defender before smashing home from 10 yards to level the scores.
Chesterfield nearly took the lead minutes later when Jimmy Ryan, from 25 yards, fired an effort towards goal but the ball flashed wide of the left hand post.
The Spireites had a very good penalty appeal turned down in the 62nd minute. Doyle in the penalty area was just about to pull the trigger before he looked to have had his shirt pulled and the striker went down. The referee however was unmoved and waved play on to the dismay of the 238 away fans in attendance.
On the 65th minute Danny Kearns came on for his Chesterfield debut, replacing Ryan.
Chesterfield, buoyed by their goal, were starting to control the game and Tendayi Darikwa was next to test the Wimbledon back-line. His cross had Worner struggling before the ball rebounded off the bar and the home side were able to clear.
At the other end Wimbledon nearly came close to re-taking the lead when Chris Arthur headed inches wide from a corner. With fifteen minutes remaining Chesterfield made their second substitution with Marc Richards coming on for O’Shea.
The Spireites kept up their pressure and Gary Roberts came close next when he cut in from the right hand side after an excellent ball from Darikwa. Roberts, just inside the penalty area, shot low but the ball could only find the side netting. Paul Cook then made his final change with Armand Gnanduillet coming on for Doyle.
Chesterfield ended the game strongly but couldn’t find another goal and the game finished 1-1. The Spireites remain top of the table with ten games remaining in the league.
AFC Wimbledon: Worner; Fuller, Morris, Moore, Bennett, Frampton, Sainte-Luce (Arthur 71'), Sweeney (Pell 85'), Hylton (Wyke 71'), Francomb, Collins.
Subs not used: Brown, Midson, Jones, Richards.
Chesterfield: Lee; Darikwa, Evatt (c), Cooper, Humphreys; Ryan (Kearns 65'), Morsy, O'Shea (Richards 75'), Banks, Roberts; Doyle (Gnanduillet 90+1').
Subs not used: Dunbavin, Smith, Hird, Togwell.
Goals: AFC Wimbledon (Francomb 50') 1 - 1 Chesterfield (Banks 55')
Attendance: 3,424 (238 Chesterfield)