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Pemberton hails "unbelievable comeback"

5 January 2019

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Caretaker-manager John Pemberton praised his side's response after coming back from 3-0 down at half time to earn a heroic 3-3 draw at home to Ebbsfleet United.

Goals from Tom Denton, Marc-Antoine Fortune and Will Evans put the Spireites level in stoppage time.

The game then ended in dramatic fashion when goalkeeper Callum Burton was sent-off for an off the ball incident, with the referee pointing to the spot. Evans, scorer at the other end  moments before, put the gloves on and saved Michael Cheek's penalty to deny Ebbsfleet a stoppage-time winner.

“The first half wasn’t great,” Pemberton said. “I just thought the goals were poor, poor mistakes. Half time was interesting - I said a few things to them I felt they needed to hear and the response in the second half was absolutely unbelievable.

“If you wrote that at half time, we’d be 3-0 down, get it back to 3-3, the goalkeeper will get sent-off, centre-half will go in and save it you’d go 'nah it's never going to happen'."

Pemberton said his side had played with anxiety during the first 45 minutes and that letting go of it was key to their second-half comeback.

He said: “We needed a little bit of luck and I felt we earned our luck in the second half with how we went about the half. They just played with no fear and I think that’s been the problem.”

On the dramatic last-gasp penalty save, Pemberton commented: “One of the lads said, 'Evo’s alright, he’ll go in goal'. Initially he went in and didn’t have a top on, then he put the gloves on and off he went.

"Afterwards I said to him, 'Did you know where he was going?' That's because we do the homework and sometimes he goes the other side.

“Evans just said, 'He just kept looking at the opposite side, so I thought I’d go that side' and the rest is history.

“It’s an unbelievable comeback at any level from where we were at half time.”

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