Chesterfield 1 Wigan Athletic 1

Gavin Massey
Gavin Massey

Will Grigg scored his second goal in two pre-season games as Wigan Athletic were held to a 1-1 at Chesterfield in their penultimate summer hit-out.

Taking his Latics side back to his old stomping ground to honour Spireites legend Tommy Lee, boss Paul Cook will have been pleased at the sight of 20 players getting valuable match minutes into their legs.

He’d have been less pleased with some of the rather robust tackling early on from the home side, but thankfully there were no injuries sustained as a result.

Grigg opened the scoring just before half-time with a header from Max Power’s cross.

The Northern Ireland striker then saw another header just after the restart, from Darron Gibson’s delivery, chalked off for a marginal offside call.

And the home side got the equaliser that perhaps their endeavour warranted when Jerome Binnom-Williams found the net from close range at the three-quarter mark.

Callum McManaman managed to get on for his second Wigan ‘debut’, while there were solid showings from Gibson and fellow trialists James Perch and Ross Wallace.

Right from the off Latics knew they were in for a game, against a Chesterfield side - managed by Martin Allen - whose approach could be described as anything but friendly.

Binnom-Williams - bearing a striking resemblance to Anthony Joshua in terms of physique - fired just wide for Chesterfield, before leaving Max Power and Reece James in a heap in quick succession.

If Sam Morsy - starting the game after less than a fortnight of pre-season work under his belt - was enjoying his return to Chesterfield, he didn’t appreciate Michael Nelson leaving his foot into a challenge that caused the referee to step in for a word.

When the football finally broke out, Latics started playing some decent stuff, although the home side were always giving them something to think about on the break.

But it was the visitors who nosed in front seven minutes before half-time when Power’s cross was nodded home by Grigg.

The ball clearly took a deflection off a home defender on the way in, but Grigg was in no mood to hang around to debate the validity of his effort.

There was another skirmish right on half-time, between Nick Powell and Laurence Maguire - brother of former Latics loanee, and England World Cup star Harry - with the whistle helping to calm things down.

Latics made one change at the break, Gibson for James, which saw Power dropping back to right-back.

There was more needle here between Morsy and Zavon Hines, who’d already had a do with Dan Burn in the first half, with Chesterfield not content to sit back and allowing their opponents to play.

It was almost 2-0 to Latics on 52 minutes, when Gibson’s cross was nodded home by Grigg, only for the offside flag to be up on the far side.

At the other end, Chey Dunkley did ever so well to block a rocket from Charlie Carter, with Will Evans doing likewise after Gavin Massey had led a Latics counter.

Kal Naismith then took over from Perch, settling in at left-back on debut, before the visiting fans got their first glimpse of McManaman, along with James Vaughan, with Grigg and Michael Jacobs making way.

Christian Walton had to pull off a great save to deny Hines, who really connected with a rasping free-kick from the left-hand side.

But the pressure was building, and the equaliser did arrive midway through the second period.

It was fitting it came from Binnom-Williams, who’d been arguably Chesterfield’s best player on the night, on the spot to stab home at the far post with Walton helpless.

Powell walked off at the break in play to be replaced by Gary Roberts, another ex-Spireite who was afforded a standing ovation from the home fans.

Alex Bruce, Shaun MacDonald and Wallace took over from Dunkley, Morsy and Massey, as the game petered out into a draw.