HAR­RO­GATE T 1 Wil­liams 90+7 CHESTER­FIELD 1 Smith 57

The Non-League Football Paper - - NATIONAL LEAGUE - By Hal Box­hall-Dock­ree

AARON Wil­liams’ 97thminute equaliser de­nied Chester­field a first league win since Au­gust af­ter a feisty en­counter at The CNG Sta­dium.

The Town sub­sti­tute ri­fled home from a cor­ner right at the death to can­cel out Jonathan Smith’s 57th-minute opener for the Spire­ites.

It meant a SIXTH con­sec­u­tive draw for Martin Allen’s men, but the Spire­ites boss was still proud of his side’s bat­tling per­for­mance.

“Our play­ers showed great char­ac­ter, we were very com­pet­i­tive, tena­cious and threw our bod­ies in front of ev­ery­thing that came at us,” Allen said.

“It was backs to the wall for the last ten min­utes, they threw the kitchen sink at us and they’ve done it very well.”

The Spir­i­ties looked as though they would in­flict Har­ro­gate’s third league de­feat of the sea­son af­ter Smith tapped in a cross from Jerome Bin­nom-Wil­liams.

Allen’s side did all the could to frus­trate the hosts when ahead – and that came as no sur­prise to Har­ro­gate boss Si­mon Weaver.

“We knew if they went a goal up they would waste time at every op­por­tu­nity which doesn’t help us build mo­men­tum, but we’ve got to be bet­ter than that if we want to be up there at the top of the league,” he said. “We knew it was go­ing to be a test of re­solve, Chester­field bring a very phys­i­cal game plan and are very di­rect in their play.”

Weaver named the same squad that over­came Bar­row on Tues­day night, while Allen brought Will Evans and Zavon Hines into his start­ing line-up.

The best chance of the first half came af­ter 23 min­utes when Jack Mul­doon met Ge­orge Thom­son’s cross with a first time fin­ish, but couldn't hit the tar­get.

Things then got bit heated seven min­utes be­fore the break when a bit of push and shove on the touch­line be­tween Weaver and Chester­field striker Hines re­sulted in both par­ties end­ing up in ref­eree Sam Purkiss’ note­book.

The sec­ond half started in much the same fash­ion as the first half ended with chances few and far be­tween un­til the 57th minute when Chester­field took the lead with their first shot on tar­get. Bin­nomWil­liams got into a dan­ger­ous po­si­tion and squared to Smith, who beat James Belshaw from close range.

Har­ro­gate’s frus­tra­tions grew when Josh Falk­ing­ham were de­nied a penalty with five min­utes when a goal­bound ef­fort ap­peared to strike a Chester­field hand, only for ref­eree Purkiss to award a cor­ner.

From the re­sult­ing set­piece, Kitch­ing’s header was well saved by Cal­lum Bur­ton, and Mark Beck couldn’t quite bun­dle the ball home.

That job, even­tu­ally, fell to Wil­liams with vir­tu­ally the last kick of the game to res­cue a point and frus­trate the Spire­ites again.

PIC­TURES: Matt Kirkham

TOO STRONG: Jack Mul­doon holds off Lau­rence Maguire and inset, Har­ro­gate’s late equaliser

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