Published: 17:05, 14 March 2020
| Updated: 19:24, 14 March 2020
Dover Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw against Chesterfield in the National League on Saturday.
All the action came late in the game as Tom Denton looked to have earned the visitors the points from the penalty spot at Crabble before substitute Nassim L’Ghoul equalised.
It was the hosts who had the first chance with five minutes played when skipper Kevin Lokko dragged wide with his long-range effort.
Two minutes later, the Spireites counter-attacked but Dover goalkeeper Lee Worgan was equal to experienced frontman Nathan Tyson’s shot.
Worgan was called into action again in the 18th minute as he held onto Denton’s header after Jordan Cropper had burst into the home team’s penalty area.
Shortly before the half-hour mark, Lokko scooped over a Jack Munns free-kick from a matter of yards out.
On-loan Whites defender Shadrach Ogie dallied on the ball and allowed John Pemberton’s men to launch a counter-attack, led by Josef Yarney, only for Worgan to make a fine stop to deny 37-year-old Tyson.
But there was a flat atmosphere throughout the first half of the fixture, one of six to go ahead in the league.
Dover were forced into a half-time substitution as Lokko came off following a clash of heads with an away player towards the end of the first period.
Lokko was replaced by Paul Rooney, with Will De Havilland taking the captain’s armband.
Six minutes into the second half, Worgan once again kept Tyson at bay, this time denying the Notts County loanee with his feet.
As they tried to spark life into their play-off push, Whites went close on 55 minutes when Munns sent a free-kick over the bar.
Things got worse for Andy Hessenthaler’s team when Ricky Modeste limped off the field and was replaced by L’Ghoul with a little over 20 minutes left to play.
Chesterfield keeper Shwan Jalal then saved to deny Rooney after a free-kick from fellow substitute L’Ghoul, 12 minutes from time.
Soon after, the away team were awarded a penalty after referee Gary Parsons had adjudged Ogie to have handled the ball inside his own box and Denton fired home from the spot.
But with just over a minute of normal time to go, the home team, coming into the match after back-to-back defeats against Yeovil and Solihull Moors, equalised as L’Ghoul struck after finding some space inside the Chesterfield box.
The result leaves Dover 12th and Chesterfield 19th.
Whites manager Hessenthaler made three changes to his starting line-up from the side which were beaten by Yeovil as Ogie, Steven Rigg and Kurtis Cumberbatch replaced Bobby-Joe Taylor, Inih Effiong and L’Ghoul.
The day before the match, Spireites secretary Ashley Carson had criticised the National League's decision to allow matches to proceed this weekend in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dover: Worgan, Passley, Lokko (Rooney 46mins), De Havilland, Ogie, Cumberbatch (Yusuff 82mins), Munns, Gobern, Rigg, Modeste (L’Ghoul 69mins), Poleon. Subs not used: Taylor, Reason.
Chesterfield: Jalal, Cropper (Hutchinson 92mins), Yarney, Evans, Sharman, Buchanan, Smith, Weston, Mandeville, Tyson (Fondop-Talom 84mins), Denton. Subs not used: Fitzsimons, Boden, Weir.
Attendance: 1,214 (161 away fans).
More by this authorThomas Reeves
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)