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REPORT: Williams leveller breaks Blues hearts


Martin Allen praised his "competitive" and "tenacious" side even after conceding a 97th minute equaliser against Harrogate Town at the CNG Stadium.


Jonathan Smith gave Chesterfield the lead just before the hour mark after latching onto Jerome Binnom-Williams back-pass before calmly slotting home.


However, the hosts got their goal with pretty much the last kick of the game when Aaron Williams poked the ball into the back of the net from two-yards out.


The Spireites looked to start the game as the brighter team and had their first chance in the opening minute when Joe Rowley picked the ball up from 30 yards out, but his shot ballooned over the bar.


Harrogate immediately looked to establish some dominance of their own, but Callum Burton barely had to move to save George Thomson's tame effort from outside the box.


Chances were then non-existent for the next 20 minutes until the hosts failed to take a golden chance. Jack Emmett provided an inch perfect ball for Jack Muldoon, who was unmarked in the box, but the talisman's volley was sent over the crossbar from 10 yards out.


Once more, nothing of importance happened until the final five minutes of the half until Zavon Hines and Harrogate manager Simon Weaver were both booked following a scuffle on the touchline.


Less than two minutes later, the home side had another good chance to take the lead when Joe Leesley saw his shot palmed away by Burton.


The early stages of the second half were nervy with a barrage of long throws going into the Harrogate box, but nothing came of the set pieces.


In an effort to break the 15-game winless streak, Martin Allen brought on Binnom-Williams for Alex Kiwomya to add some much-needed strength to the team.


Just before the hour mark, the substitute provided the assist for the opening goal. Binnom-Williams won the ball on the edge of the box before squaring it to Smith, who passed the ball into the back of the net to claim his third goal in as many games.


In the final stages of the match, the Spireites defended resiliently, but were almost undone when Callum Howe rose highest from the corner, but Burton produced a great save to keep his side in front.


The hosts piled the pressure on with the clock ticking down and were unlucky not to get the equaliser. Mark Beck's header somehow didn't creep over the line and was then cleared by the Chesterfield defence.


However, in the seventh minute of added time, Harrogate drew level with virtually the last kick of the game when substitute Williams bundled home from a corner.


The Blues manager was still full of praise despite the late sucker punch. Allen said: "I thought we were very competitive. I thought we were tenacious.


We were throwing our bodies in the way of everything they threw at us, but from a corner, right at the end we just couldn’t manage to keep them out."


This means that Allen’s side are now 16 games without a win and are still 19th in the National League table. The Spireites are only above the relegation zone by goal difference.

 

Post-Match Verdict: Heartbreaking


Well what can you say? It's now four consecutive 1-1 draws in the league and the last two almost felt like wins with how late Smith scored in both those games.


However, this feels like a huge loss. So close to breaking that winless streak but yet so far away.


I've got to agree with Martin Allen's comments. We were competitive and it is a draw against a club that is doing well this season.


You have to look forward, though, and the next game against Billericay Town in the FA Cup could help provide confidence heading into a very important National League clash against Havant & Waterlooville in two weeks' time.

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