It was a triple change on the hour that changed the course of this game, as Dean Keates sent on JJ Hooper, Devonte Redmond and Akil Wright – within two minutes we had drawn level and well on our way to earning a replay.
Mike Fondop had given his new team the lead early on, but Bobby Grant’s leveller from Redmond’s cross means we do it all again on Tuesday evening. Although by that time, we will know the first round draw, which takes place on Monday evening, live on BBC2.
James Horsfield made his debut, after his clearance was received in time for him to be eligible for the Cup and showed up well, while skipper Shaun Pearson was also in the line-up after suffering with a virus in midweek.
Following an early Wrexham break that saw Luke Young fire a left footed effort at Shwan Jalal, Sam Wedgbury then took the home side forward and set Joe Rowley away on the right. He beat three men to find a shooting position and forced a great diving save out of Rob Lainton, who can’t have seen the effort until late through a forest of legs in front of him.
On six minutes, Horsfield advanced down the right and crossed deep over three Wrexham forwards to deliver the ball to the head of Paul Rutherford, who directed his effort on target with Jalal grabbing it under his cross bar.
Minutes later, a Wrexham free kick in the home half dropped for Mark Harris to try his luck from 10-yards, but unfortunately, his shot only cannoned off teammate Jake Lawlor.
On 10 minutes, a ball down the right saw Fondop hold off a challenge from Pearson, leaving Lainton to race from his line, but the former Wrexham striker was able to place a chip over the keeper and give the Spireites an early lead.
Both Fondop and Rowley continued to be a nuisance to the Wrexham defence, with the latter also buzzing around looking for scraps to keep feeding his front runners.
For Wrexham, Harris used his pace to good effect and looked to have beaten the offside trap from the halfway line, but an assistant’s flag pulled him up for offside – it must have been a close thing on 22 minutes.
Shortly afterwards, Rutherford’s angled shot whistled passed the back post, but the referee indicated for a corner, so it must have taken a slight deflection on its way through.
On 35 minutes, Young was judged hardshly to have fouled his opponent when he came away with the ball under his control. This was 25 yards out and directly in front of goal, allowing Jay Sheridan to step up and take the free kick, which Lainton did well to save when diving to his right and pushing the ball away for a corner.
Play was held up on 33 minutes, as Wedgbury was down in midfield receiving treatment before limping off to be replaced by Jonathan Smith.
The Reds moved up field and two chances to play the killer ball inside the home penalty box were wasted with forwards in good positions – so letting Chesterfield off the hook.
Next up, was a Young free kick delivered into the home six-yard box that saw Tom Denton head behind for a corner, but it wasn’t too far away from being into his own net!
Wrexham were at least retaining possession and pushing Chesterfield deep, with a series of crosses that forced the home defence into action, but all too often a clearing header up field was the outcome.
At a Wrexham corner in the final minute of the half, the referee twice spoke to Josef Yarney, who had already had a warning for knocking the ball out of Young’s hands at a Wrexham throw in, but he still escaped without a caution.
The corner was initially cleared, but Summerfield was onto the loose ball and tried a shot that was blocked by a defender, before referee blew his whistle to send the teams back to the dressing room.
Into the seocnd half and Gevaro Nepomuceno did well to keep the ball in play on the left, with the Curaçaoan's teasing cross reaching Rowley in the middle, whose first-time effort was well blocked by Pearson.
Some good build up play by Wrexham on 55 minutes, ended with Horsfield’s searching cross knocked behind for a corner. Summerfield’s ball in was aimed at Pearson and while he got his head to it, the whistle sounded for his tussle with Will Evans.
Move good inter-passing worked the ball to the edge of the Chesterfield box, but the final pass in for Harris was over hit and the frustration was there for all to see in the Wrexham dugout.
A triple switch on 60 minutes, saw Wright on for Young, Hooper replace Harris and Redmond for Summerfield.
Within two minutes the changes had paid dividends, as Horsfield fed a lovely ball down the line for Devonte Redmond to cross to the near post, where Bobby Grant headed home the equaliser.
Wrexham poured forward and JJ Hooper turned his marker inside out before seeing his shot deflected for a corner. The ball came over and Grant’s effort was also deflected away for another flag kick. That was played in from the opposite side and three red shirts threw themselves at the cross, but they all missed it by inches.
On 66 minutes, Evans was booked for flattening Hooper out on the wing, taking one for the team with his defence stretched!
The free kick was swung in by Young and Pearson was not far away from it at the bock post, as he again battled toe-to-toe with the Chesterfield captain Evans.
Follwoinga free kick for the home sode, Lainton took exception to Fondop knocking into him yet again and the big Cameroonian was immediately replaced by ex-Wrexham loanee Anthony Spyrou on 69 minutes.
Another good build up by the visitors ended with Grant firing a shot from the edge of the box that Jalal was happy to collect, moving away to his right.
The game was held up on 75 minutes, when Grant and Hayden Hollins were bumping each other on the edge of the box and Jalal came over the pair, injuring himself when landing awkwardly.
On 86 minutes, the home side nearly capitalised on Wrexham losing the ball in the other half, as a long pass over the top set Spyrou free and while Lainton ran out his box to head it away, it only spun off him and in to the path of the striker. It looked a simple task to slide the ball into an empty net – but that was not counting on Pearson who was scurrying back and managed to get a leg across to clear the danger, well worth watching again on the highlights.
As we moved into added time, the Reds just couldn’t clear their lines, with some concerted pressure ending as Spyrou fires into Lainton’s arms.
No more goals, means we head back to the Racecourse on Tuesday evening for a replay.
Chesterfield: Jalal, Yarney (Mandeville 78), Sheridan, Evans, Hollis, Wedgbury (Smith 36), Weston, Nepomuceno, Fondop (Spyrou 69), Denton, Rowley.
Subs: Coddington, Gerrard, McGlashan, Boden.
Wrexham: Lainton, Horsfield, Lawlor, Pearson, Jennings, Summerfield (Redmond 60), Barton, Young (Wright 60), Rutherford, Grant, Harris (Hooper 60).
Subs: Dibble, Carrington, Tollitt, Oswell.
Referee: Peter Gibbons (Merseyside)
Chesterfield: Evans (66, foul)