Goals from Jamie Grimes and Kabongo Tshimanga rescued a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge. After falling behind by two goals in the first half, James Rowe rallied his troops at the break and secured a point after two early second half goals.
Rowe made three changes to his side following the victory over Eastleigh on Tuesday night. Grimes, Saidou Khan and Alex Whittle came into the team, replacing the injured Gavin Gunning, Calvin Miller and Liam Mandeville.
In the sixth minute, Laurence Maguire, the captain on the day, had to be stretchered off the field of play with what looked to be a painful injury after a nasty landing.
The hosts took the lead shortly after Maguire left the field. Angelo Balanta received the ball in space, his shot took a slight deflection off Manny Oyeleke and beat the diving Scott Loach in the Spireites goal.
Balanta nearly doubled the home side’s lead minutes later when his left-footed attempt was driven just wide of Loach’s left-hand post.
The Daggers did then make it two in the 23rd minute, Balanta again seeing a shot missed but the rebound found George Saunders in space on the left side of the area. His shot, like the first, was turned in off a Blues defender.
Loach was tested by Mauro Vilhete in the hosts’ next attack. He saved well with his feet at his near post, turning the ball out for a corner.
The Spireites had two half attempts in quick succession. Khan flashed a ball across the box that Tshimanga couldn’t quite squeeze home. Then, a deep free kick was played back across by Grimes and hit by Stefan Payne but deflected wide.
Just before half time the Blues nearly pulled a goal back. Neat play by Miller allowed Whittle to cross a ball in and Payne attacked it but headed inches wide of the far post.
Positive signs for the Spireites going into the break after sustained pressure towards the back end of the first 45.
Chesterfield carried on from where they left off. Kellermann won a foul on the right, Jeff King whipped in a teasing ball which Grimes nodded home for his first for the club.
The Spireites were on level terms in less than a minute. Tshimanga picked up the ball on the right side, played a give and go with King before slotting home into the bottom right corner.
Both sides settled into the second half, with the two teams battling it out in the midfield for large parts.
In the 78th, Whittle chested the ball down and from 30 yards, volleyed an effort towards goal. Elliot Justham matched it with an acrobatic save, tipping the ball over the bar for a corner.
The last talking point resulted in the referee giving Grimes his marching orders for a second yellow, forcing the Spireites to play out the final ten minutes with as many men.
Spireites: Loach, Whittle, Maguire (Miller 6’), Grimes, Kerr, King, Kellermann, Oyeleke, Khan (McCourt 77’), Payne (Mandeville 65’), Tshimanga
Unused subs:: Minter & Tyson
Attendance: 1,711(439 away)