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Chesterfield Cruelly Denied at the Last by Coventry

28 December 2015

Spireites ended 2015 and welcomed home Danny Wilson with a bustling 1-1 Coventry City draw, James Maddison's free kick cancelling out Lee Novak's goal in the 89th minute.

Wilson received a rapturous applause as he was announced before kick-off and with half time approaching the Spireites fans got the goal they craved as substitute Novak flicked home a Jay O'Shea freekick with a deft header.

A frantic and high-energy second half saw Coventry go close on numerous occasions while Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hit the crossbar and had another shot cleared off the line for the Spireites, before Maddison's classy late free kick split the spoils just as the hosts were thinking the points were theirs.

After a cagey start from both teams to the game, the first effort of note came from the visitors in the 12th minute. Jim O’Brien charged forward before unleashing a rasping drive that was always rising over Tommy Lee’s goal. 

The Spireites grew into the game as the half went on and looked dangerous going forwards before Ian Evatt went off injured with an Achilles complaint in the 21st minute to be replaced by Novak.

Captain Sam Morsy, on his return from suspension, had the home side’s first real effort at goal in the 31st minute. After patient build up from the Spireites, the ball eventually made its way to Morsy who drove at the Coventry defence before firing wide.

Ebanks-Blake earned his side the free kick which led to the opening goal of Wilson’s reign. The striker controlled well and forced a handball from the defender, with O’Shea delivering a fine ball in which was met by Novak whose glancing header looped over Reice Charles-Cook and into the top corner five minutes before the half-time whistle; the Proact Stadium rocking.

The visitors responded well and had a good chance to level the game in the 41st minute through Marc Antoine-Fortune, who met a Ryan Kent cross but fired high, wide and not very handsome. 

With the first half drawing to a close, Kent unleashed a powerful drive from outside the box but Lee pulled off a fine save and tipped the ball over the bar.

Coventry started the second half on the front foot as they searched for an equaliser and Maddison had the first effort when his free kick from just outside the box hit the wall.

Maddison was at it again on the hour mark as he curled an effort from 25 yards out just over the bar before substitute Adam Armstrong almost made an immediate impact when he ended his powerful run with a low effort which just went wide.

Ryan Haynes was next to go close for the visitors in the 69th minutewhen his goal-bound effort was blocked. 

A couple of minutes later, the Spireites then came within inches of getting a second goal when Ebanks-Blake hit the bar following a defensive mix-up. Gboly Ariyibi and substitute Mani Dieseruvwe pressured the Coventry defence into giving the ball away and they worked it into the box before it fell to Ebanks-Blake, his looping effort clipped the bar on its way over.

With just over ten minutes to go, Ebanks-Blake had an effort which was cleared off the line following good work from goal-scorer Novak after he was set free down then left-hand side.

In the 80th minute, the visitors' manager Tony Mowbray was sent off by referee Paul Tierney for discent, but this seemed to spur the Sky Blues on as they pressed for a leveller.

They got their reward with just a minute left of the 90 when Maddison scored a fine free kick which curled past Lee and into the top corner to send the visiting supporters wild, and in some cases onto the pitch.

The Spireites held on for a point as Wilson started his reign at the Proact with a well-earned draw against a strong Sky Blues outfit.

Chesterfield: Lee (gk) - Wood, Evatt (Novak 21'), Hird, O'Neil - Donohue, Morsy (c), Herd (Banks 80'), O'Shea (Dieseruvwe 61'), Ariyibi - Ebanks-Blake

Subs not used: Chapman (c), Simons, Onovwigun, Harrison

Coventry City: Charles-Cook (gk) - Stokes, Vincelot, Fleck, Maddison, O'Brien, Phillips (Tudgay78'), Ricketts, Haynes, Antoine-Fortune (Armstrong 65'), Kent (Murphy 65')

Subs not used: Burge (gk), Lameiras, Bigirimana, Kelly-Evans

Goals:

Chesterfield: Novak 38'

Coventry City: Maddison 89'

Attendance: 9,057 (2,636 away fans)

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