Chesterfield 2-2 Fleet

The Fleet became only the second team all season to take a point at the home of the runaway league leaders, taking the lead inside the first minute and then coming back to level things up early in the second half.

Danny Searle named an unchanged side and it was a dream start for the Fleet with the first goal taking only 40 seconds. Rakish Bingham was on the scoresheet for the first time since his return from a long spell on the sidelines as he received a ball over the top from Omari Sterling-James and held off defenders to fire a neat shot out of the reach of Harry Tyrer to silence the SMH Group Stadium.

Chesterfield tried to react as a ball was looped towards Armando Dobra, but Mark Cousins comfortably collected that before the wide man got a foot in.

The Fleet had a chance to double their advantage with 15 minutes on the clock. Toby Edser sped through the middle and unleashed a shot from distance but his effort was over. Chesterfield continued to push for an equaliser but the Fleet held strong along the back line.

The dangerous Will Grigg pulled the trigger from a tight angle to force Cousins to palm the ball away as Chesterfield began to earn a number of corners. Liam Mandeville whipped one of those into the area but his cross was a bit too deep. 

Dominic Poleon got sight of goal as Fleet kept the lead past the halfway point and a move of quick passes to the top scorer allowed him to get a shot away from the corner of the area but it skimmed low past the post.

The patient Spireites continued to put the pressure on willed on by their 8,000 fans and the equaliser did come for the hosts, Mandeville with a quick run into the area and his ball towards goal looped off Declan Skura and was attacked by Grigg who was there at the far post to get enough on it. 

The hosts turned it round and found themselves in front minutes later. This time it was Dobra following a great run from Jeff King and neat skill from the Chesterfield man saw his effort cleared as Cousins dived across it but Dobra was there to bundle in his second of the season against the Fleet.

Chesterfield almost grabbed a third minutes before half-time when a scramble in the area forced Cousins to bravely dive low and beat Dobra to the ball as he shaped up for what would have been an open goal.

Bingham celebrates his first goal for almost a year (photo: Ed Miller)

After the fast start of the first-half, it was a superb beginning once again from the Fleet as Ben Chapman levelled the scores with a peach of a goal four minutes after the break. He was well-placed down the right for a shot from the edge of the area that left Tyrer no chance as the ball flew across him and in.

Ben Chapman prepares to let fly to shock the SMH Group Stadium again (photo: Ed Miller)

Chesterfield sought a penalty when Declan Skura tangled with a blue shirt but the referee waved that away and the Fleet came ever so close again to another goal on the hour mark. Bingham picked out Poleon who latched on to the ball and found himself one on one with Tyrer. Poleon struck the ball past the keeper but former Fleet man Jamie Grimes got back to hook a goalline clearance away.

It was end-to-end football for a while with Chesterfield knocking on the door for a third but the visitors came close once again when Darren McQueen’ fired a shot towards goal’s shot needed Tyrer once again to perform a strong save.

Mandeville struck the crossbar in additional time to almost send the away end home with broken hearts but the whistle gave the Fleet a well-earned point – and not many teams have been able to say that this season.

EUFC: Cousins, O’Neill, Kenlock, Skura, Cisse (Domi 45), Wright, Chapman, Sterling-James (McQueen 45), Edser, Bingham (Clifford 82), Poleon. Subs: Fogarty, Samuel
CFC: Tyrer, Horton, Naylor, Grimes, Mandeville, Oldaker (Hobson 88), Grigg, Jacobs (Banks 75), Williams, Dobra (Berry 75), King. Subs: Sheckleford, Quigley
Attendance: 8,033 (135 EUFC)

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