Spireites held at home

The Spireites overcame an early setback in testing conditions at the SMH Group Stadium against Ebbsfleet United, with two goals in quick succession from Will Grigg and Armando Dobra helping them to a 2-2 draw.

The visitors took an early lead in the opening minute of the contest when Rakish Bingham ran freely at the Chesterfield backline before driving the ball past Harry Tyrer on his right-hand side.

However, Spireites top scorer Grigg restored parity on the half-hour, converting with his chest from close-range after Liam Mandeville’s clever dink found him unmarked at the back post.

Chesterfield continued to threaten and then took the lead just four minutes after Grigg’s effort. Jeff King mazed his way into the Ebbsfleet area, his effort was blocked on the line but Dobra was hand to turn in the rebound.

The Spireites almost doubled their lead before the break, Dobra and Grigg were both presented with chances to double their tallies, but the score remained 2-1 at the interval.

Chesterfield were again pegged back when, soon after the resumption, Ben Chapman rifled home an impressive equaliser for Ebbsfleet from the corner of the penalty area against the run of play in the 49th minute.

The Spireites probed once more in search of the lead, having a penalty claim waved away by the referee after Mandeville was felled just inside the area.

On the hour, Ebbsfleet almost took the lead again on the break, but Jamie Grimes was on hand to make an excellent clearance off the line from Dominic Poleon whose lifted effort had beaten Tyrer.

Chesterfield continued to dominate the rest of the game in search of a winner, coming closest when Tyrone Williams skied from close range in 75th minute.

In the 81st minute the visitors threatened again on the break forcing Tyrer into a routine save at his near post.

James Berry and Ollie Banks were both denied by Ebbsfleet keeper Mark Cousins as the Spireites further ramped up their efforts for a late winner.

Chesterfield came within inches of the elusive goal when a dipping Mandeville effort struck the bar just seconds before the final whistle in the 94th minute.

Despite dropping points, Chesterfield extend their lead at the top of the National League to 13 points, attention will now turn to a trip to second-placed Bromley in a week’s time.

Spireites: Tyrer, King, Williams, Grimes ©, Horton, Oldaker (Hobson, 78’), Naylor, Mandeville, Jacobs (Banks, 75’), Dobra (Berry 75’), Grigg.

Unused substitutes: Sheckleford, Quigley.

Attendance: 8,033 (135 away).