Aldershot secured a well-earned point against high-flying Chesterfield as Jake Hutchinson’s first-half effort was cancelled out by Paul McCallum’s rebounded effort immediately after the second-half restarted.
The Shots made three changes with Jake Hutchinson and Oliver Pendlebury – who were both cup tied for Saturday’s Isuzu FA Trophy win – started with Morgan Roberts starting for the first time in place of Josh McQuoid, Karoy Anderson and Tommy Willard.
Aldershot’s first chance fell in the seventh minute when Justin Amaluzor sprung an offside trap to race onto a Joe Partington pass and his square-ball across the face of the goal was inviting but Morgan Roberts just couldn’t meet it at the far-post.
With an attacking quartet of Ryan Glover, Morgan Roberts, Justin Amaluzor and Jake Hutchinson, runs in behind were proving dangerous for the home side and Hutchinson was close to getting on the end of Glover’s through ball.
And that a perfectly timed run in behind the Chesterfield defence was how Aldershot took the lead in the 21st minute. Justin Amaluzor played it through to the bright Hutchinson who showed great composure to shrug off pressure from the defenders rushing back and slot the ball under Ross Fitzsimmons.
Chesterfield weren’t exactly passengers in the first-half. They were tidy in possession and Tim Akinola made a number of impressive runs from midfield but they failed to threaten the Shots goal and only really put pressure on through number of corners.
Tempers flared around the 35th minute as Haji Mnoga made a heavy challenge on Mike Jones. The Portsmouth loanee looked to have won the ball but followed through on the midfielder which Chesterfield captain Jamie Grimes ran half the length of the field to get in the faces of a number of Shots players about.
Chesterfield certainly jumped out of the blocks for the second-half and found their equaliser within a minute. Paul McCallum controlled a cross and smashed the crossbar but the ball bounced straight back to him and he found the back of the net.
The Spireites’ new striker should have had a second 10 minutes later as he found himself through on goal but failed to show the same composure as Hutchinson as he fluffed his shot well wide.
Hutchinson was still finding brilliant runs in the second-half and after being played through again by Amaluzor, was close to his second of the night. His fierce shot was parried by Fitzsimmons and fell back to Hutchinson but at a wide angle he fizzed a ball across goal that was bundled clear by Chesterfield.
Chesterfield continued to put pressure on Aldershot as the game drew to a close without putting Ashby-Hammond’s goal in too much danger. The Shots’ defence stood firm and put their bodies on the line with a number of fantastic blocks for a very well-deserved point.
Shots lineup: 1. Luca Ashby-Hammond, 3. Ollie Harfield, 4. Joe Partington (c) (18. Henry Ochieng 66′), 5. Tyler Cordner, 7. Justin Amaluzor, 8. Tyler Frost, 17. Jake Hutchinson (27. Tommy Willard 81′), 19. Oliver Pendlebury, 22. Haji Mnoga, 23. Ryan Glover, 29. Morgan Roberts (10. Josh McQuoid 56′). Subs not used: 15. Karoy Anderson, 16. Corey Jordan.