Chesterfield slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Harrogate Town after Mike Fondop had given them the lead.
The Spireites arrived at the CNG Stadium knowing it would be a tough challenge against a Harrogate side with four consecutive home league wins behind them.
John Sheridan opted to make six changes from the Chorley line-up as Robbie Weir, Haydn Hollis, Jonathan Snith, Joe Rowley, Tom Denton and Scott Boden stood aside. In their places came debutant Liam Shaw, Gevaro, Liam Mandeville, Laurence Maguire, Jermaine McGlashan and Fondop.
The rain had been endless before kick off but really had no effect on the artificial pitch that inevitably would take some adapting to.
Harrogate started brightly and took the game to Chesterfield from the off. Jack Diamond produced the game’s first chance when he’d tried his luck from distance and forced Jalal to save on the ground.
The Spireites started to claim some possession and made it pay in the tenth minute after Jermaine McGlashan did the hard work on the right, beat one man then cut inside and provided a gem of a ball into the box; after a couple of blocks, Fondop slammed the ball home to break the deadlock.
Two minutes later the pairing almost made it two. This time Fondop provided from the byline but McGlashan’s effort rolled along the goal line.
There was a real “end to end” feel about the game as both sides broke quickly on the fast surface.
Just after 20 minutes, McGlashan again found the unmarked Fondop but his free header was wayward.
A period of home pressure brought a great block by Evans as Diamond advanced into the area, moments later the lively Diamond had chance to shoot but Jalal wasn’t troubled. Will Smith should have levelled but he just failed to connect two yards from goal.
It was all change as Mandeville’s well-taken free kick from 25 yards forced James Belshaw to tip to safety and Fondop was so unlucky as his stunning volley from 20 yards again forced a save.
Moments later it was all square as captain Josh Falkingham received a great ball from the left and powered home from the edge of the area into the right hand corner.
A couple of minutes from the break, McGlashan worked more magic on the right but Mandeville couldn’t connect cleanly and fired over.
There was still more action to come as Harrogate twice went close. Will Smith’s strong header from Mitchell Hancox’s free-kick rattled the crossbar and moments from a subsequent free-kick Hancox’s effort flew straight into Jalal’s arms
The second half began with the rain having eased but a dank mist starting to descend.
Team: Jalal, Weston (Smith 74), Sheridan, Buchanan, Evans, Maguire, Shaw, McGlashan, Fondop, Gevaro, Mandeville (Boden 63)
Unused substitutes: Coddington, Weir & Rowley
Referee: Savvas Yianni