FC Halifax Town will finish 2021 second in the Vanarama National League following a 1-1 draw against league leaders Chesterfield at the Technique Stadium.
The Spireites started and finished the day top of the table with the Shaymen level on points in second place.
Town boss Pete Wild had made one change from the last league game against King’s Lynn Town with Harvey Gilmour coming in for the recently departed Elliot Newby who had been recalled from his loan spell by Stockport County.
An early cross from Alex Whittle was well defended by Niall Maher as the home side looked for a good start, Town had an early opportunity with a set piece as Matty Warburton was fouled on the right-hand side, Harvey Gilmour’s ball into the box was headed away.
Quick Town movement saw the ball worked into the feet of Billy Waters and he was fouled by Gavin Gunning who received a strong warning from referee Garreth Rhodes. The freekick to the Shaymen from Warburton sailed out of play for a goal kick.
It was the Shaymen who went ahead against the league leaders on 18 minutes through Matty Warburton. Billy Waters had capitalised on a header which wasn’t dealt with by Gunning, he went into the box and found Warburton who fired his shot into the bottom right-hand corner for his 6th goal of the season.
The home side looked to hit back immediately and won a corner on the far side, Calvin Miller ball in was not dealt with by Johnson and Kieran Green was able to clear the danger from the box.
Long ball for Slew, he turned and was fouled by the defender, but the ball fell to the feet of Waters who fired over, and the referee indicated he had allowed play to continue as Town had the advantage.
Miller down the left-hand side took on the Town defence, his cross into the box was held by Johnson after a deflection on the way through to the keeper.
Gilmour looked to find Warburton, but Gunning was able to cut out and find the keeper, but his clearance went back to Gilmour, but he couldn’t control the ball and Chesterfield were able to clear.
A foul by Kieran Green on 38 minutes gave the home side a freekick on the left-hand side, the ball into the box found Tshimanga and his shot was saved by Johnson.
Town broke through Waters, looked for Warburton he checked, and Chesterfield won the ball back, Kellerman looked for the run of Asante, but it was overhit and went out for a goal kick.
Miller got down the left-hand side, his cross was blocked by the impressive Warren for a corner in injury time, Miller’s ball into the box and Fraser Kerr headed over from 8 yards out.
Chesterfield made the first change of the game with Liam Mandeville replacing Curtis Weston at the start of the second half, but it was Town who started the second half brightly with 2 chances for Jack Senior to cross with options in the box and the home side was able to clear.
Kian Spence was the first man into the book for a foul on Manny Oyeleke on 55 minutes, freekick to the home side on the right-hand side. Miller’s ball into the box was cleared looking for Waters to chase but Chesterfield able to head back to the keeper.
Manny Oyeleke followed Spence into the book for a late challenge on Kieran Green on the halfway line.
Play was halted for treatment to Liam Mandeville, when play restarted Chesterfield tried shots from all angles but the Shaymen’s defence stood firm.
Slew won Town a corner, taken short to Gilmour and his cross was met by Bradbury but his effort was blocked. Chesterfield up the other end found Khan but he couldn’t find a shot as Town defended well with everything they had.
A Chesterfield corner saw a clearance go just wide of the post from a Spence deflection and then Town cleared another corner as the home side continued to look for an equaliser.
Referee Garreth Rhodes awarded a penalty to the home side, but the decision was overturned by the assistant referee on the near side on 73 minutes much to the anger of the home side and their fans.
Wild made his first two substitutes with 15 minutes left as Summerfield and Woods replaced Warburton and Spence.
Tshimanga was fouled 25 yards from goal by Maher, the Town captain went into the book for the challenge. The freekick hit the wall and Town were able to clear again.
A corner by the home side was headed over his own bar by Senior with 10 minutes remaining, Gilmour headed away the next one.
The league leaders weren’t to be denied and equalised with 6 minutes remaining with a shot from substitute Jack Clarke beating Johnson down to his left-hand side.
Town looked to find a winner, Slew won Town a corner but the ball into the box didn’t fall to Waters and went out for a goal kick.
Summerfield found Waters in space down the right-hand side, and he was fouled by Gunning who was booked for his challenge as the fourth official announced 9 minutes of injury time to be played. The ball into the box from Woods sees Bradbury go down and the referee stops play for treatment on the Town defender.
Chesterfield worked the ball down the left-hand side into Saidou Khan, but his shot was saved by Johnson.
Summerfield found Senior in the box, his cross was blocked for a corner 7 minutes into injury time, Summerfield’s ball towards Bradbury is over him and Town were able to block the clearance deep in the Chesterfield half.
Town were awarded a freekick in the last minute of injury time, the ball into the box looked for Maher but Loach was able to claim for the last action of the game.
It ended all square at the Technique Stadium, the Shaymen will to Grimsby Town on Monday in front of the BT Sport cameras, 3pm kick-off.
Chesterfield: 1 Scott Loach, 3 Calvin Miller, 12 Tyrone Williams, 5 Gavin Gunning © 32 Fraser Kerr (11 Jack Clarke 79), 29 Alex Whittle, 8 Curtis Weston (10 Liam Mandeville 46), 4 Emmanuel Oyeleke, 16 Jim Kellermann, 19 Kabongo Tshimanga, 9 Akwasi Asante (28 Saidou Khan 60)
Subs: 22 Jamie Grimes, 23 Stefan Payne
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 6 Tom Bradbury, 8 Kieran Green, 10 Matty Warburton (26 Martin Woods 75), 11 Billy Waters 17 Kian Spence (4 Luke Summerfield 75), 21 Tyrell Warren, 20 Harvey Gilmour, 25 Jordan Slew, 31 Niall Maher ©
Subs: 5 Jesse Debrah, 14 Matt Stenson, 22 Jack Vale
Referee: Garreth Rhodes
Goals: Warburton 18, Clarke 85
Yellow Cards: Spence 54, Oyeleke 60, Maher 77, Gunning 90, Stenson 90
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 8106 (779 away)
Chesterfield 1 FC Halifax Town 1
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