CHESTERFIELD earned a point at play-off chasing Stevenage but, in truth, it felt like a defeat.
Neal Trotman and Jordan Bowery had given John Sheridan’s side a 2-0 half-time lead in as good a 45 minutes as his side had put together in recent weeks.
As the game entered the final quarter of an hour, the home side had picked up the pace, but the Spireites still looked comfortable and a much-needed win seemed in the bag.
However two goals in a minute, from Scott Laird and substitute Craig Reid, brought Borough level and they then looked the more likely side to pick up the three points.
Following on from the goalless draw at Preston in the week, John Sheridan had said his side needed the win at Broadhall Way. The fact that no new faces had arrived - he’d said he was after a midfielder and a striker - added to the pressure on him to ensure his struggling squad did the business.
Stevenage’s fitness-based style, crafted under Graham Westley, looks to have been slightly modified under Gary Smith. He’d clearly got his charges trying to play some good football but, on the day, they were not particularly effective at it.
The lack of Spireites loanees was at the back of all of the 308 travelling fans as skipper Trotman rose highest to head home Drew Talbot’s left sided cross.
Tommy Lee had to deal with an angled shot from former Blade Jordan Slew but before long the visitors had put clear air between themselves and Borough. Craig Westcarr flicked a header on for Bowery to receive, tucked on the left touchline. He cut inside and was faced with a duo of defenders, Lawrie Wilson and Jon Ashton. The striker saw Wilson get a touch but somehow the ball ricocheted off Ashton back into his stride. With fortune favouring him, he let fly from just outside the box to beat Chris Day.
Ashton glanced a header wide while Westcarr and Talbot pulled efforts wide as Spireites out-shot their loftier hosts ahead of the break.
For the second half Stevenage brought on Darius Charles and that released Laird to move from left-back to left midfield, the switch proved to be vital. Smith then brought on two more subs to give the home line-up a much more Westleyan look as they abandoned some of their more patient build-up and started to launch balls into the box.
Though Borough had stepped up a gear, Spireites looked solid, only a Lee save to keep out Joel Byrom had caused consternation ahead of their rapid double.
The first goal came from an awful right-wing corner that gained no height but saw Laird flick home, and then Reid poked home at the far post to make it 2-2.
Sheridan said: “We just threw the game away. I’m not happy one bit.”
Stevenage (4-4-2): Day 6, Wilson 6, Ashton 6, Roberts 6, Laird 8, Shroot 5 (Charles 46, 6), Bostwick 5, Byrom 6, Freeman 7 (Reid 65, 6), Agyemang 5 (Beardsley 61, 6), Slew 6. Subs (not used): Julian, Lascelles.
Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee 6, Hurst 6, Trotman 7, Thompson 6, Ridehalgh 6, Talbot 7, Allott 8, Niven 6, Mendy 6, Bowery 7, Westcarr 6 (Lester 80). Subs (not used): Fleming, Whitaker, Ford, Ajose.
Goals: Trotman 12, Bowery 22 (Chesterfield); Laird 76, Reid 77
Ref: Lee Collins (Surrey).
Booking: Trotman (Chesterfield).