Late equaliser eases pressure on under-fire Chesterfield boss at Maidstone
A late equaliser from substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune eased some of the pressure on Chesterfield manager Martin Allen, earning them a 1-1 draw against Maidstone United on Saturday.
After ten games without a win, Chesterfield dominated the early exchanges of this National League fixture, on their first ever trip to Maidstone’s Gallagher Stadium.
Tom Denton headed just over from Charlie Carter’s cross after six minutes and Carter by then heavily bandaged after a clash of heads with Will De Havilland, drew a fingertip save from Lee Worgan in the 24th minute.
Maidstone hadn’t mounted a coherent attack, but still took the lead on 31 minutes, when Laurence Maguire misjudged Lawrie Wilson’s long punt downfield.
Blair Turgott stole in between Maguire and keeper Callum Burton and headed the Stones in front, a lead they kept until half time.
After a tepid start to the second half Worgan was forced to make a superb save on 64 minutes when De Havilland nearly headed an innocuous cross into his own net.
Maidstone were content to soak up the pressure and mount occasional counter-attacks, until the 70th minute Turgott mugged Will Evans and drew a sharp save from Burton.
Curtis Weston then wasted a great chance when he dragged a shot wide on 73 minutes, but within 60 seconds Fortune equalised, pouncing on a defensive error and rolling the ball into the bottom corner.
A jittery Maidstone nearly scored an own goal two minutes later but Worgan smothered Michael Phillips’ mishit clearance.
Burton then saved at point-blank range from Turgott before Jack Paxman fired just wide as United searched in vain for a winner, but the Spirites held on for a fully deserved point.
Maidstone United: Worgan, De Havilland, Finney, Lewis, Paxman (Wabo 86), Turgott, Walton, Phillips, Cassidy (Quigley 85), Wilson, Doyle.
Subs not used: McLennan, Loza, Durojaiye.
Chesterfield: Burton, Binnom-Williams, Shaw (Fortune 57), Weston, Maguire, Evans, Denton, Smith, Muggleton, Carter (Kayode 38) Rowley.
Subs not used: Hollis, Reid, Render.
Attendance: 2438 (252 Chesterfield).