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Match Reports

Spireites slip to defeat at Harrogate

23 November 2019

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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.

Brendan Kiernan caused the first danger of the second period as his strong run into the box produced a final ball that bobbled into Jalal’s clutches.
Gevaro showed his class with two teasing crosses into the box, from one McGlashan just failed to find a clean connection.
Moments later Javal did well to tip away a curling looping ball from the left that would have sneaked home.
Just before the hour Evans failed to get direction on a header from Sheridan’s corner.
Scott Boden replaced Liam Mandeville and the new front pairing immediately burst forward but within seconds the Spireites were behind. A quick break on the right saw Ryan Fallowfield burst into space and surge forward into the box and blasted firmly home into the top right.
Moments later it should have been three as Jalal saved well from Beck and Muldoon spooned over from just two yards out.
Muldoon’s agony didn’t last long as burst through the middle, rounded Jalal and slotted coolly home.
Jonathan Smith replaced Curtis Weston. Fresh legs were needed if the Spireites were to claw their way back into the game.
George Thomson went close to making it four for the home side but his strong shot on the run flew wide.
Harrogate continued to push and probe and Gevaro looked lively on the left for the Spireites but the hosts were looking comfortable as four added minutes were confirmed.
There was no more threat from the blue shirts but Falkingham could have added to the scoreline but hit over moments before the final whistle.

Team: Jalal, Weston (Smith 74), Sheridan, Buchanan, Evans, Maguire, Shaw, McGlashan, Fondop, Gevaro, Mandeville (Boden 63)

Unused substitutes: Coddington, Weir & Rowley

Referee: Savvas Yianni

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