Tom Denton rescues a point for Chesterfield at Hartlepool United

Tom Denton celebrates his goal
.Tom Denton celebrates his goal
Tom Denton celebrates his goal .
Tom Denton’s header earned Chesterfield a crucial away Vanarama National League point as they drew 1-1 against Hartlepool.

Manager John Sheridan cast doubts over his future following the Spireites’ 4-0 loss to Sutton on Saturday – and must surely have enjoyed his players’ spirited response at Victoria Park.

Not least because Chesterfield were forced to rally from an early blow as Peter Kioso put Hartlepool ahead in the ninth minute.

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Yet the visitors were more than a match for Pools thereafter, Denton levelling just before halftime.

The striker almost secured victory in the second period, but his second-half volley flew agonisingly wide as the struggling Spireites settled for a share of the spoils.

Hartlepool entered the fixture following days of scandal after a home supporter racially abused one of Dover’s players during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat.

The club’s players donned Kick It Out t-shirts for the warm-up, while fans raised #LovePoolsHateRacism posters ahead of kickoff.

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Pools enjoyed a dream start on the field, Kioso bundling home after Michael Raynes’ header was denied by Shwan Jalal, one of four changes to the XI beaten at Gander Green Lane.

The game was end-to-end thereafter as Gime Toure and Gavin Holahan went close either side of the Spireites’ Curtis Weston stinging the palms of Ben Killip.

Killip was beaten eight minutes before the interval, Denton rising highest to deliver a powerful, downward header that the goalkeeper parried into the roof of the net.

Chesterfield carried that momentum into the second period as Denton once again wreaked havoc in the Pools’ box from a set-piece to tee up Joe Rowley, whose half-volley narrowly missed the mark.

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An even greater opportunity passed the visitors by midway through the half, Denton side-footing wide with the goal at his mercy.

Yet a point represented a solid night’s work for Sheridan’s men – who managed just eight across the opening 12 fixtures.

Hartlepool: Killip, Holohan (James, 88), Kioso, Raynes, Richardson, Kitching, Mafuta, Kennedy, Hawkes (Noble, 78), Kabamba, Toure.

Unused subs: Cunningham/Miller, Crichlow-Noble, Bale.

Chesterfield: Jalal, Yarney, Evans, Wedgbury, Nepomuceno, Hollis, Rowley, Wakefield (Mandeville, 75), Weston, Fondop-Talom (Boden, 57), Denton.

Unused subs: Coddington, McGlashan, Sheridan.

Referee: Samuel Barrott

Attendance: 2,953 (away attendance 133)