Chesterfield 1-1 Morecambe

Chris McCready heads Morecambe in to the lead at Chesterfield.
Chris McCready heads Morecambe in to the lead at Chesterfield.
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Injury-hit Morecambe earned a well-deserved point at the Proact Stadium on Saturday.

Boss Jim Bentley made four changes from the defeat against Fleetwood on Boxing Day and saw his side produce one of their best performances for some weeks.

Chris McCready forced the ball over the line just before the half-hour mark to give the visitors the lead before Conor Townsend equalised for The Sprieites with a controversial free-kick.

Townsend later saw red for the home side just after the hour but The Shrimps could not find their way past the Spireites’ solid defence meaning they are now seven League 2 away games without a win, despite the improved performance.

The game kicked off at a frantic pace with both sides creating chances.

In the third minute Richard Brodie headed a Kevin Ellison cross just wide of the left-hand post and Andy Wright flashed a shot wide from 20 yards.

The home side hit back with Liam Cooper forcing Barry Roche in to a superb save from a close-range header and Drew Talbot directing a header against the crossbar from a left-wing corner.

The Shrimps continued to look bright going forward and took the lead on 29 minutes from a corner.

Lewis Alessandra produced a fine delivery, Stewart Drummond headed goalwards and McCready got the final touch from close range to score despite the best efforts of home keeper Tommy Lee.

Brodie had a golden chance to double Morecambe’s lead when put through by McCready but he shot weakly straight at Wright and he was made to pay as the home side hit back with a controversial equaliser on 39 minutes.

Drummond was harshly pulled up for a foul on the edge of the area and Conor Townsend took full advantage with a perfectly flighted free kick to beat Roche.

The half ended with another moment of controversy when Brodie was denied what looked to be a clear penalty when hauled down in the box after a mazy run.

The referee was at the centre of a storm on 64 minutes when he sent off Townsend for a stray elbow on Morecambe defender Will Haining but the Shrimps could not take advantage of the extra man.

The closest they came was in the final minute when Lewis Alessandra sped through on goal but saw his curler superbly saved by Lee low to his left.

Chesterfield had a chance to take the points as well when Danny Whitaker was given a free run on goal after a Haining error but he missed the target with only Roche to beat.

Chesterfield: Lee, Talbot (Boa Morte 81), Hird, Cooper, Smith, Togwell, Townsend, Darikwa, Whitaker, Dickinson (Boden 46), O’Shea (Clay 69). Subs not used: O’Donnell, Randall, Richards, Trotman.

Morecambe: Roche, Parrish, McCready, Haining, Wright, McGee (Reid 73), Drummond, McDonald, Ellison (Burrow 79), Alessandra, Brodie (Parkinson 86). Subs not used: Arestidou, Threlfall, Fenton, Doyle.

Referee: C Berry.

Attendance: 6,358.