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Match report: Chesterfield 2, York City 2
YORK City knocked Chesterfield off the top of the League Two table following a spirited 2-2 away draw.
The Minstermen had led 2-0 thanks to goals from Luke O’Neill and Ryan Jarvis but were under the cosh for large periods of the second half and Armand Gnanduillet pulled a goal back from a penalty, conceded by Lewis Montrose, before substitute Jay O’Shea levelled matters on 76 minutes.
City boss Nigel Worthington switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation for the Proact Stadium test with Montrose shielding the back four, O’Neill moving into midfield and Ryan Jarvis starting as the visitors’ lone central striker.
Lanre Oyebanjo and Ben Davies, meanwhile, returned to the full-back positions with Wes Fletcher dropping to the bench and Ashley Chambers and Jamal Fyfield left out of the squad altogether, having both started in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Newport.
There were few openings during the early exchanges with former Birmingham City winger Gary McSheffrey lifting over the first chance of the night from the edge of the box on 11 minutes.
At the other end, an intelligent pass by Jarvis teed up Josh Carson for a firm drive that was blocked at the near post by Spireites centre-back Liam Cooper.
Chesterfield looked most dangerous during the first period when raiding down the right and, on 25 minutes, former Ivory Coast Under-20 international Gnanduillet missed an excellent chance to open the scoring when his downward header cleared Michael Ingham's crossbar after a fine delivery from that flank by Jamie Devitt.
San Morsy also drove over from 15 yards for the hosts before Ryan Brobbel forced the first save of the night on the half-hour mark.
On-loan Sheffield United midfielder Elliott Whitehouse displayed determination and energy to retrieve a ball down the left wing and, when he pulled the ball back, Brobbel cut inside to unleash a powerful 25-yard effort that was pushed over by Tommy Lee’s fingertips.
Just four minutes later, the Minstermen did forge ahead courtesy of an even better long-range strike.
Picking the ball up from Carson in midfield, on-loan Burnley utility man O’Neill, watched by his parent club’s manager Sean Dyche, rocketed a perfectly-struck 30-yard drive into Lee’s bottom right-hand corner.
Chesterfield finished the half having failed to test Ingham once during the opening 45 minutes although Gnanduillet missed the target with two more presentable headed chances.
Paul Cook’s team did beat Ingham six minutes into the restart after a purposeful beginning to the second period.
But Gary Roberts’ improvised scissor-kick, after good work down the right by Devitt, was cleared off the line by a perfectly-positioned Dan Parslow.
Roberts also called Ingham into action on 56 minutes when the City ’keeper pushing his curling edge-of-the-box attempt around his right-hand upright.
Against the run of the second-half play, however, the visitors doubled their advantage on the hour.
An inviting, inswinging corner from Carson saw O’Neill and Jarvis both jump up inside the six-yard box with a clutch of home defenders and, despite suspicions of an own goal, the latter charged off to receive the plaudits of City’s travelling army of fans.
But the Spireites were back in the game within three minutes after Montrose nudged Roberts over in the penalty box.
Gnanduillet made no mistake from the spot, confidently finding Ingham’s bottom left-hand corner.
Chesterfield went on to draw level on 76 minutes after Roberts raided down the left and sliding substitute O’Shea converted at the far post.
The home side continued to drive forward and, on 79 minutes, Gnanduillet headed against a post and then over from the rebound. City held out, however, for a point following six minutes of stoppage time during which Sam Morsy headed over from ten yards.
Michael Ingham 7
Lanre Oyebanjo 7
David McGurk 8
Daniel Parslow 8
Ben Davies 7
Lewis Montrose 7
Josh Carson 8
Elliott Whitehouse 8
Luke O’Neill 8
Ryan Brobbel 8
Ryan Jarvis 7
Subs: Tom Platt (for Brobbel 62, 7), Wes Fletcher (for Jarvis 74).
Subs not used: Chris Kettings, Chris Smith, Richard Cresswell, Ryan Bowman, Sander Puri.
Chesterfield: Tommy Lee, Ryan Edwards (Jay O’Shea 67), Ian Evatt, Liam Cooper, Ritchie Humphreys, Gary McSheffrey (Eoin Doyle 65), Jimmy Ryan, Sam Morsy, Jamie Devitt, Gary Roberts, Armand Gnanduillet (Marc Richards 80). Subs: not used Aaron Chapman, Sam Hird, Tendayi Darikwa, Ollie Banks.
Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire).
Booked: Davies 13, Evatt 32, Devitt 74, Ryan 84.
Shots on target: Chesterfield 5, City 3.
Shots off target: Chesterfield 9, City 0.
Corners: Chesterfield 10, City 3.
Fouls conceded: Chesterfield 15, City 13.
Offsides: Chesterfield 1, City 2.
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