SPIREITES MATCH REPORT: Chesterfield 1 Morecambe 1

Connor Townsend celebrates his first goal for the Spireites by Tina Jenner Chesterfield v Morecambe
Connor Townsend celebrates his first goal for the Spireites by Tina Jenner Chesterfield v Morecambe
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It was all about two decisions from the officials as the Spireites again failed to find enough to beat Morecambe at home.

The Shrimps, unbeaten in North Derbyshire, took the lead with a controversial Chris McCready headed goal that many in the stadium felt hadn’t crossed the line.

Chesterfield coach Mark Crossley commented: “It’s a brave decision that the linesman has made but you have to trust his judgement and if he thought the ball was over the line then there is nothing we can do about it now.”

Keeper Tommy Lee, who scooped the ball away right-handed was unsure. “You normally can tell when it’s gone over the line but I really couldn’t tell if all of the ball went over the line,” he said.

Midfielder Danny Whitaker said: “It was dubious. I don’t think the whole of the ball was over the line.”

Nineteen-year-old Conor Townsend then took centre stage. He levelled with his first ever senior goal, a perfectly-positioned 20-yard free-kick that left ex-Spireites keeper Barry Roche rooted to the spot, before he was shown a straight red for an aerial challenge on Will Haining.

The youngster rose to try to head the ball but clipped the visiting skipper with his leading elbow.

Crossley said: “He has jumped in front of the lad and he has actually caught him, but unintentionally.”

Defender Haining confirmed that there was contact but also conceded that it was unintentional from the Hull City loanee.

With Marc Richards’ hamstring not risked, though he was on the bench, and Jack Lester sitting out the third game of his three-match ban, Paul Cook again went into the game with midfielders deputising up front.

Whitaker and Brennan Dickenson replaced Luis Boa Morte and Mark Randall from the win against York .

It was the out-of-sorts visitors that had the first chance. Richard Brodie headed inches wide, though the 179 travelling Morecambe fans were on their feet thinking it had gone in.

Andrew Wright forced a decent save from Lee before Liam Cooper’s header drew Roche into top-drawer action, something he matched moments later from a Whitaker shot. Between those stops, Drew Talbot hit the bar with a header.

McCready then put the visitors ahead following a left-sided corner that Stewart Drummond initially got his head to before Haining’s foul on the lively Jay O’Shea gave Townsend his moment of glory.

Roche had to intervene twice more before half-time, a period that saw Chesterfield force eight corners.

Three minutes from time Whitaker had the best chance to win it for the hosts.

Lee then had to work his magic to maintain the status quo, diving late but perfectly to deflect a goalbound angled shot from the lively Lewis Alessandro.

Crossley concluded: “We weren’t particularly overjoyed with the way we played. ”

Chesterfield (4-3-3): Lee 7, Talbot 7 (Boa Morte 83), Hird 7, Cooper 7, Smith 7, Darikwa 7, Togwell 7, Townsend 6, Whitaker 8, Dickenson 6 (Boden HT, 6), O’Shea 6 (Clay 70, 6). Subs (not used): O’Donnell, Trotman, Randall, Richards.

Morecambe (4-4-2): Roche 7, Parrish 6, Haining 6, McCready 7, Wright 7, McGee 6 (Reid 73), Drummond 7, McDonald 6, Ellison 6 (Burrow 80), Alessandra 8, Brodie 7 (Parkinson 87). Subs (not used): Arestidou, Fenton, Threlfall, Doyle.

Booking: O’Shea

(Chesterfield).

Off: Townsend (Chesterfield)