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Match Reports

Spireites Suffer Heartbreak at Swindon

11 November 2017

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A penalty scored six minutes into added time broke Chesterfield hearts as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Swindon after they'd come from behind to lead 2-1 and looked set to bag a vital win. 

Scott Wiseman's shove on Luke Norris enabled the Swindon man to convert from 12 yards to rob the Spireites of a famous victory.

Timi Elsnik had fired Swindon ahead early in the second half but Kristian Dennis brought down a fine Louis Reed pass to level and Jak McCourt hammered in a superb 35-yard effort to give the visitors a much needed lead, but then came the inevitable late pressure and ultimate disappointment.

Jack Lester made one change from the side that exited the FA Cup at Bradford City last weekend; Matt Briggs overcame his groin problem to replace Connor Dimaio, who was on the bench. He was alongside Jerome Binnon-Williams, who was included in the matchday squad for the first time after recovering from his pre-season ankle injury. He came on and looked excellent in his half-hour stint on the park.

Bradley Barry retained his right-back spot against the side he played for during the previous couple of seasons. There was no place in the squad for Reece Mitchell, who scored Chesterfield’s dramatic last-gasp winner at the County Ground last season. 

Swindon, who went into the game having won their last five fixtures in League and Cup, had eight-goal leading scorer Norris on the bench after he'd overcome a shoulder problem whilst former Spireite Donal McDermott missed out through injury. Manager Gary Flitcroft favoured a 4-3-3 formation for his in-form side who've scored nine goals in their last two games with seven players getting amongst the goals in those cup wins at Bristol Rovers and Dartford. 

The Robins were forced to make an early change when former Spireites target Amine Linganzi picked up an injury and he was replaced by John Goddard, whose first touch was a 30-yard cracker that Anyon flung himself left to make a fine one-handed stop. 

Then the keeper's first touch from a back pass almost let in Kaiyne Woolery, who claimed he was shoved off the ball as he blocked the clearance with the home contingent screaming for a penalty.

Dennis struck the wall after a 20-yard foul on Andy Kellett whilst Reed and Joe Rowley made brilliant passes but Dennis's glancing header flew wide. 

Swindon used several set plays to go close; Anderson almost got behind Anyon from a quick free-kick, a Matty Taylor free-kick clipped the wall for a corner and Anderson saw Wiseman block from the flag kick.

The hosts were forced into a second change when Harry Smith clashed heads with Sam Hird. Norris came on and immediately  saw Hird block a header off the line from a corner kick.

Norris glanced a header wide and Dennis hit the post from an offside position ahead of the break, during which Hird was replaced by Laurence Maguire.

Elsnik found time to turn on the box edge to open the scoring and Dennis had a great chance to level straight away but he hit high from six yards after Barry and Briggs had combined, but parity followed on soon after as Dennis's deft touch led to his 11th goal of the season.

Binnom-Williams came on and immediately hit a shot just over as did Norris at the other end. Rowley saw an angled shot saved by Reice Charles-Cook as Sweet neon stepped things up and sub Paul Mullin and Keshi Anderson went close.

Then, on 72, McCourt blasted in a Goal of the Season contender to give the Spireites the lead. Taylor hit the wall from a free-kick and Kellett shot wide after a super run as chances were created at both ends, with Anyon making another left-sided full stretch save, this time to deny Taylor.

Pressure was building on Chesterfield and right at the end of the allotted stoppage time, the penalty was awarded and two points lost.

Swindon: Charles-Cook, Purkiss, Preston, Lancashire, Taylor, Dunne, Linganzi (Goddard 4), Elsnik, Smith (Norris 28), Woolery (Mullin 66), Anderson. Subs (not used): Henry, Robertson, Gordon, Knoyle. 

Goals: Elsnik 47, Norris 90+6

Chesterfield: Anyon, Barry, Hird (Maguire HT), Evatt, Wiseman, Reed, McCourt, Rowley, Kellett, Briggs (Binnom-Williams 60), Dennis. Subs (not used): Parkin, Sinnott, Dimaio, De Girolamo, Weir.

Goals: Dennis 56, McCourt 72

Ref: Lee Collins (Surrey)

Bookings: Wiseman, Evatt, Dennis, Reed, Maguire (Chesterfield), Dunne, Woolery (Swindon)

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