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Ten-man Spireites Hold Firm for U's Point

16 February 2016

Playing with tem men for the majority of the game, a proud Spireites performance saw them ground-out a 1-1 draw at Colchester United.

Captain Gary Liddle received a straight red on 17 minutes for a foul on Kane Vincent-Young and though Macauley Bonne scored for the hosts after the break the Spireites soon levelled through Lee Novak's penalty.

Three changes were made to the Spireites line-up with Liam O'Neil, Chris Herd and Rai Simons replaced by Ollie Banks, Mani Dieseruvwe and Connor Dimaio, the latter of whom making his first appearance in a Chesterfield shirt.

After Jay O'Shea saw a cross from a good position go straight behind, the U's had their first shot with Bonne striking into the side netting from the wide right of the area.

On 17 minutes the game took a huge turn when skipper Liddle was given a straight red card for a challenge on halfway, the task facing the away side made all the greater with just ten men.

The hosts were soon doing all the pushing with their numerical advantage but Gboly Ariyibi showed his pace in beating two men and standing up a back-post cross just over the head of Dieseruvwe.

Soon Joe Edwards forced Tommy Lee into a low save before Garvan again tested the Spireites number one but the visiting defence were holding out and beginning to find room to attack more frequently.

Former Spireites loanee Chris Porter found the back of the net but was offside in doing so as the visitors held firm and went in goal-less at the break.

Novak replaced O'Shea at the break with the Spireites looking more assertive from the off. The excellent Ariyibi skimmed past a man and found Novak who centred towards Dieseruvwe though the 'keeper claimed.

Novak then went the closest of either side when Ariyibi flicked into his path, the striker controlled a viscious low volley but saw it whistle only barely past the far post.

While the U's were coming back into it substitute Sylvan Ebanks-Blake had the ball in the net on 62 minutes, though the striker had drifted a yard beyond the last man when Dimaio headed in his direction.

On 69 minutes the U's struck and took the lead, Bonne rounding off a good move with a low shot from a low centre.

However, the lead lasted only three minutes as Novak was upended in the box and gleefully struck home himself from the spot to bring the visitors deservedly level.

Ebanks-Blake soon gave Parish in the United goal a test as he shot low with his left foot, though the corresponding U's foot was able to make the save.

George Moncur tested Lee with a volley with time ebbing away, with Lee also equal to a Owen Garvan shot from range - the Spireites claiming their richly-earned share of the spoils.

Colchester United: Parish (gk) - Garvan, Edwards (Massey 89'), Elokobi, Porter, Lee (Moncur 60'), Eastman, Bonne, Vincent-Young, Brindley, Ambrose (Wright 60')

Subs not used: Barnes, Kent, Lapslie, Shorey

Chesterfield:Lee (gk) - Donohue, Hird, Anderson, Talbot - Ariyibi, Dimaio (Herd 83'), Liddle (c), Banks, O'Shea (Novak 46') - Dieseruvwe (Ebanks-Blake 57')

Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Gardner, Maguire, Simons

Goals:

Colchester United: Bonne 69'

Chesterfield: Novak 72' (pen)

Attendance: 6,167 (187 away fans)

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