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Chesterfield Remain 2nd In League After Draw

By Lee Bradley
September 8 2004

Recent good performances from the Spirites brought a big home following to Saltergate. As like many times last season the Spireites disappointed the home crowd with a 'poor' performance, well under par from any performances of late. The Spireites only made one change to the starting eleven from the team that beat Port Vale in midweek. Tcham N'Toya replacing the injured Caleb Folan with Aaron Downes making his first appearance on the subs bench.

Chesterfield made the first attack of the game when Campbell Ryce ran all the way up to the Dons penalty area, where he found Niven waiting, who then made a short pass across the area to Mark Innes whose shot went well wide. In the fourth minute Blatherwick became the first player to receive a yellow card for his foul on Mcleod that lead to an MK Dons free kick on the edge of the area. The free kick was on target but Blatherwick managed to get his head to it and head away to safety.

In the seventh minute MK Dons nearly opened their account when they got another free kick from about 35 yards out. From the free kick Smart headed the ball down to Palmer on the edge of the box, who then had a shot which Muggleton saved and Blatherwick managed to clear.

On eight a long ball from Lewington found McLeod, who managed to outpace Blatherwick, but nothing came of this and ended up with Chesterfield getting their first corner of the game. O’Hare pulled off a great tackle to deny Smart on twelve but Blatherwick nearly turned a Puncheon cross into his own net. Blatherwick fell awkwardly on his back.

On twenty seven minutes Aaron Downes made his first league appearance, when he came on for the struggling Steve Blatherwick. On the half hour mark MK Dons found themselves 1-0 down when N’Toya got on the end of a pass from Allison to score his fifth goal of the season and his fifth in the English league. MK Dons should have equalised on 41 when Mcleod came onto the end of a Kamara pass but his first touch of the ball put it straight into Muggletons hands.

Halftime 1-0 to the Spireites

Not long after the break the Spireites won a corner, which Nicholson took and found Downes, who was able to head it high into the back of the net. On fifty seven, Hudson replaced the injured Campbell Ryce. Hudson went into his central midfield role meaning Innes was pushed onto the left. Mcleod was able to get on the end of a header and lobbed Muggleton but O’Hare was able to deny the visitors with a clearance off the line. Downes then made an error where he was unable to head a ball clear and it fell to Palmer, who squeezed the ball into the back of the net. There were shouts from the Kop for offside but the flag stayed down and the goal remained.

Nicholson was booked on sixty five for a foul on Kamara. On 70 Debolla replaced the tired N’Toya. As with many refs this season at Saltergate, this one wasn’t any different and continually frustrated both sets of fans, especially when Smart threw an elbow towards Downes and only saw yellow.

Muggleton pulled off a great save on eighty four from an offside Mcleod but the flag stayed down, just like many other times this season. With three minutes to go MK levelled when Small turned in a Herve cross. Mcleod was booked in injury time for time wasting.

Full-time 2-2

Verdict: Overall, this was a point gained by the Spireites, not two points lost from a lacklustre second half display from the Blues. However, the Spireites will have to pick their performance up when they travel to high-flying Luton Town on Saturday, where McFarland will have many injury problems.

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