Danny Webb proud of Chesterfield but admits late West Brom leveller ‘a sickener’
Chesterfield assistant manager Danny Webb was left feeling a mixture of pride and disappointment after seeing his non-league side denied a memorable FA Cup upset against West Brom by a stoppage-time equaliser.
The Spireites took the form that has turned them into promotion challengers in the National League by coming from behind twice against opponents who had won eight of their last nine games in the Championship.
The home side were unquestionably the better team in what was a sensational first half at the Technique Stadium, with Armando Dobra’s two goals putting them within touching distance of a place in the fourth round.
In the end, it was the away supporters who were trying to make their way onto the pitch in celebration, as Brandon Thomas-Asante’s late header rescued a 3-3 draw for the visitors and earned a replay at The Hawthorns in just over a week’s time.
Webb said: “I’m very proud of the day, really, and I think it summed it up when we conceded after a couple of minutes that the whole stadium started singing.
“The boys need that sometimes because I’ve been in other games where you go a goal down, as underdogs, when the place just goes flat because you don’t respond.
“The supporters sparked that so fair play to them and we gave them something more to sing about by going on the front foot.
“I’d be lying if I said it’s not a bit of a sickener, it’s a bit raw at the minute, obviously, but if you said before you’d have a game like that, the supporters would have snapped your hand off, just for entertainment value.
“Disappointed to concede so late, of course, but we’ve scored three goals against a Championship team and I think everyone can be very proud.”
West Brom led after just two minutes when Thomas-Asante lashed in Karlan Grant’s cut-back, but Chesterfield’s response was swift as Tyrone Williams scored from close range after Jamie Grimes’ header across goal.
Grant restored the Baggies’ advantage after 17 minutes after being put through by Adam Reach, but the hosts came back strong again when Dobra swept in Liam Mandeville’s low cross.
The Spireites then took a 41st-minute lead against a team 66 league places above them when Dobra doubled up by hammering in after David Button had saved from Joe Quigley.
Chesterfield goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons kept his team in front by saving from Daryl Dike and Thomas-Asante but could not prevent the latter from finding the net in the third minute of stoppage time.
West Brom boss Carlos Corberan said: “We started the game with a lot of determination, but immediately they started to be better than us.
“In the press, we couldn’t break and we couldn’t stop their attacks.
“When they went ahead for the first time they were deserving because, for me, they were better than us in the first half.
“But you need to react. You need to, first of all, react by winning the basics – more challenges, more second balls – because they were better than us in everything from minute 30 to minute 45.
“We didn’t give enough solution and reaction, we didn’t perform well enough in attack or defence and that’s why the goal in the last minute gave us the opportunity to show that we deserve to be in the cup.
“To have been eliminated today, that would have been a very bad result.”
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