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Match Reports

Pools Held To A Draw At Chesterfield

29 December 2018

Luke James Shutter Press
Luke James makes it 1-0 to Pools at Chesterfield.

Luke James’ second goal of the season wasn’t enough to hand Pools three points against Chesterfield as they were pegged back for a draw at The Proact Stadium.

The Pools front man pounced clinically in first half stoppage time to drive Richard Money’s men in front after great work in the build-up from Liam Noble.

However, the hosts grew ever more dangerous as the second half wore on and defender Bradley Barry was the man who finally found a way through to secure a share of the spoils for the managerless Spireites.

Money had opted to make three changes to the line-up which started at Gateshead on Boxing Day, with Myles Anderson returning for the injured Andrew Davies and recalls handed to James and Josh Hawkes.

After a scrappy opening quarter of an hour, it was Pools who began to take a hold on the game and they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession against a nervy looking Chesterfield outfit.

Hawkes was first to try and attempt on goal but his saw his long-range effort held by Callum Burton, while he shanked another shot straight at the home keeper after a wonderful driving run from James.

Niko Muir picked the pocket of a home defender on the right side of the area before looking up to lay the ball back across goal for Hawkes but this time the midfield man drilled inches over the bar.

There was a half-chance for Carl Magnay when Liam Noble’s right-wing corner was initially blocked at the front post before Ryan Donaldson fired it back across where Magnay couldn’t react quickly enough and it hit his shins and dropped wide.

However, Pools got the goal their dominance deserved in first half injury time when Noble slalomed between a few challenges to progress to the edge of the area before slipping James in on the right and he slammed a low finish between the legs of Burton to make it 1-0.

Money’s men began the second half in solid fashion too and had a couple of decent chances to extend their lead but James and Hawkes both saw dangerous shots deflected over the bar.

There was a heart in mouth moment at the other end when Shaw went to ground in the area under pressure from Rodgers but the referee was well-placed and waved away strong penalty appeals. Pools broke immediately on the counter and could have made it 2-0 but James’ ball in to the box was fired over the bar by Muir.

There was a huge let-off for Pools when Chesterfield substitute Luke Rawson almost made an instant impact when he fired over from close range with his first touch when it looked easier to score.

The sub was at it again minutes later when he was fed through on goal by Smith but, after an immaculate first touch, he dragged his shot across goal and wide.

An equaliser finally arrived on 75 minutes when Smith’s ball in from the right was kept alive in the middle by Alfie Beestin and full-back Barry was in the right place to ram home from eight yards.

After that the game was in the balance but Pools continued to look capable of getting back in front, Rodgers coming closest when he was picked out at the far post by substitute Nicky Featherstone but his header was held by Burton.

Full Time: Chesterfield 1 Pools 1

Attendance: 4752 (575 Pools)

Booked: Donaldson (90)

Chesterfield: Burton, Barry, Binnom-Williams, Evans, Hollis, Shaw, Smith, Weston, Reid (Sharman 56), Rowley (Beestin 56), Amantchi (Rawson 68).
Subs Not Used: Anyon, Weir.

Pools: Loach, Richardson, Rodgers, Magnay, Anderson, Kitching, Hawkes (Featherstone 87), Noble, Donaldson, Muir, James.
Subs Not Used: Kioso, Newton, McLaughlin, O’Neill.

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