Match Report: AFC Wimbledon 1 Chesterfield 1

Oliver Banks and Jay O'Shea compete for the ball
Oliver Banks and Jay O'Shea compete for the ball
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Ollie Banks hammered home from ten yards to score Spireites’ equaliser after George Francomb had left footed a surprise opener five minutes after the break.

Results elsewhere last night - second-placed Scunthorpe drew at home and third-positioned Rochdale lost at Torquay - ensured Chesterfield remained top of the pile with fellow promotion hopefuls Oxford United set to visit the Proact on Saturday.

Burton’s draw at Portsmouth didn’t do the Spireites any harm either.

Paul Cook made two changes from the top of the table side that lost so disappointingly at Accrington on Saturday.

Eoin Doyle and Jay O’Shea replaced Armand Gnanduillet and the injured Dan Gardner.

New loan signing, Peterborough United’s ex-Miller Daniel Kearns, 22, found himself on the bench.

Home boss Neal Ardley made five changes to the side that lost to a single goal at home to York City, most notably experienced defender Andy Frampton returned after almost two months out with a dislocated shoulder.

AFC had failed to score in five of their last six games.

But they went into the game with Millers loanee Danny Hylton as the only recognised striker and with a starting eleven that had registered only ten league goals between them, for the Dons this season.

Spireites comfortably dominated possession and had the best chances throughout the first half.

Doyle burst into the box inside the first minute but his shot was well saved by keeper Ross Worner, who soon afterwards nicked the ball off the feet of the busy Irishman.

O’Shea drilled an angled shot just wide to bring to a conclusion a move of crisp passing and quality as, midway through the half, Cook switched Banks to a defensive midfield role with Jimmy Ryan pushing up.

Wimbledon had their moments before the break.

The effervescent Hylton forced the majestic Ian Evatt to block a shot and Tommy Lee to save a header whilst Frampton’s header from a corner clipped the top of the bar, though Lee looked to have got the effort covered.

O’Shea signalled Chesterfield’s second half intentions forcing a save 30 seconds after the restart and it came as something of a surprise when Hackney-born midfielder Francomb danced into the centre after a Barry Fuller throw to fire the Dons in front.

The lead lasted just five minutes though.

Banks converted at the end of a creative move that had involved the majority of Spireites’ midfield, during the build-up.

From then on the League Two pace-setters dominated but, as has often been their Achilles heel, they lacked the cutting edge to convert pressure into goals. Doyle wriggled through but stumbled at the key moment and a Tendayi Darikwa cross hit the bar.

New man Kearns looked solid when he replaced Ryan, who seemed to have picked up a knock, but the visitors were unable to find a second effort to beat an impressive Worner in the home goal.