Shots earned a richly deserved point from their League Two encounter with table topping Chesterfield in their first ever visit to the b2net Stadium thanks to two goals from Tim Sills - his first since his return to the club.
With in-form midfielder Luke Guttridge struggling with a sore groin, Manager Dean Holdsworth was forced to shuffle his pack and in addition to the recall of Manny Panther, he elected to start Peter Vincenti ahead of Danny Hylton, in a new style 4-2-1-3 formation. Ben Harding played the more advanced role of the three central midfielders, whilst Alex Rodman and Jermaine McGlashan attacked from wide positions supporting Sills.
After a fairly quiet start to the match, Chesterfield took the lead in the seventh minute, when Smalley headed home from close range after a long throw was flicked on invitingly into his path. Other than 'card happy' referee Taylor booking three different Shots players there was little else worthy of note in a fairly uneventful first half.
Holdsworth asked his players at the break if they had the character to match their ability - and his charges responded with an excellent second half display. On the hour, Sills levelled with a well struck half volley from 12 yards and he was on hand again in the 80th minute to follow up after Alex Rodman's well struck penalty was saved by Spireites keeper Tommy Lee. The penalty had been given for a clear handball as Rodman sent a dangerous looking left wing cross into the area.
For a few minutes it looked like Shots might hang of for what would have been a fantastic win, but the home side have specialised in scoring late goals this season and levelled the scores again in the 85th minute. Once again it was the lively Smalley who scored it, taking advantage of a slip by Ben Herd to advance into the area, cut in from the left and send a clinical low strike past the Young in the Shots goal.
Chesterfield, spurred on by a noisy home crowd, pushed forward in search of a winner, but Shots held firm and hung on for a much deserved point.
Shots: Young 7, Herd 6, Jones 7, Charles 7, Grand 6, Panther 6, Vincenti 6, Harding 6, McGlashan 6, Rodman 7, Sills 8.Att: 5669 (199 Shots fans)