Latics pegged back by champions-elect Chesterfield

Date published: 16 March 2024

National League champions-elect Chesterfield came back from an early two-goal deficit at to earn a 2-2 draw at play-off chasing Latics.

When experienced campaigner and ex-Spireite Dan Gardner fired Micky Mellon's men two clear after 23 minutes, prospects looked rosy for the hosts.

However, the visitors hit back to draw thanks to a goal in each half.

James Norwood's penalty gave Latics an early lead after Chesterfield's on-loan goalkeeper Harry Tyrer had brought down Andrew Dallas.

The hosts then doubled their lead midway through the first half when Gardner ran on to Dallas' pass to slot home, but the visitors reduced the deficit three minutes later through Bailey Hobson before both sides hit the woodwork.

Latics defender Nathan Sheron's header - following a corner - struck the crossbar and Chesterfield midfielder Armando Dobra's shot came back off a post.

Joe Quigley levelled it up for the Spireites just after the hour mark, converting from the spot after Hobson had been upended in the area.

Mellon said after the game: "You can't give away the goals that we gave away when you're 2-0 up or miss the chances that we missed if you're going to beat the best team in the league."

Latics return to action next Saturday when they travel to Dagenham and Redbridge.

Meanwhile, Latics youngster Oli Hammond has been called up by Wales U-21s for their upcoming international fixtures.

The Young Dragons will take on Lithuania U21s in a Uefa U21 European Championship qualifier at Newport County’s Rodney Parade on Friday (March 22).

Four days later, he will be part of the squad which travels to Turkey to play Morocco U-23s in a friendly.

As a result of the call-up, the 21-year-old will miss Latics’ trip to Dagenham on Saturday.

Hammond has already received nine caps for Wales U-21s, following his previous outings for the national team, starting in 2021.

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