Chesterfield 3-3 West Bromwich Albion: Late Brandon Thomas-Asante goal earns Baggies replay against Spireites

Brandon Thomas-Asante headed a stoppage-time equalizer as West Brom denied Chesterfield a shock FA Cup win in an absorbing third-round tie.

Thomas-Asante smashed the Baggies ahead inside 90 seconds, but Tyrone Williams leveled from a yard.

Karlan Grant raced through to restore the lead only for Armando Dobra to slot home an equaliser, before crashing in his fifth FA Cup goal this season.

A tiring Spireites looked set for victory before the late drama.

Thomas-Asante’s beautifully controlled finish was a cruel blow to a Dobra-inspired Spireites, who had more than matched their much-changed Championship opponents both in quality and endeavor.

The majority of a packed crowd of almost 10,000 were desperately trying to lift an increasingly jaded home side brimming with confidence having won 15 of their 23 league games this season.

But West Brom’s pressure finally told as they maintained momentum and continued their dazzling reawakening under boss Carlos Corberan.

A ninth win in 11 matches looked on the cards after a blistering start, despite the Spaniard making 11 changes from Monday’s 1-0 win over Reading.

The restored confidence rubbed off on the new-look line-up as Grant controlled a fine cross-field pass from Jake Livermore and created space with a superb step-over to tee up Thomas-Asante.

Paul Cook’s team, who beat League Two sides Northampton Town and AFC Wimbledon to get to this stage and had won their past six home games in the National League, responded impressively against a team 66 league places above them.

Dobra shines for Spireites

And they were were level after just eight minutes, Williams bundling the ball home from less than a yard out after Jamie Grimes headed the ball back following a well-worked set-piece.

The frantic pace continued as Grant ran on to a sweet Adam Reach pass to slide in his fifth goal of the season for a 2-1 lead, but the vision, trickery and quality of Dobra had been causing problems from the outset and the Albanian midfielder made his class show with home pressure mounting.

Baggies keeper David Button twice had to make excellent saves to thwart Liam Mandeville, before a slick move resulted in a calm first-time Dobra finish from Mandeville’s cross – a goal which kept up Dobra’s record of scoring in all four FA Cup ties he has played this season.

Another Dobra goal soon arrived to ensure a half-time lead, this time the 21-year-old following up Joe Quigley’s shot to blast into the roof of the net after Button’s initial save.

West Brom made five changes as they chased a leveller, with Daryl Dike, Dara O’Shea, Jayson Molumby, Jed Wallace and Okay Yokuslu all coming on, but clear chances were rare.

Dike went close in a goalmouth scramble and home keeper Ross Fitzsimons made a wonderful low save to push away Thomas-Asante’s late header, only for the Baggies man earn a replay deep into added time.

West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan told BBC Radio WM:

“It was a typical FA Cup game with a lot of goals. It was very open. When we conceded the goal they started to be better than us – especially in the first half.

“I’m pleased to have a second opportunity to get through because, for many moments in the game, they were better than us. They played with a lot of harmony.

“We were losing many individual challenges and losing many second balls in the middle of the pitch, which allowed them to control the game.

“At least we have the opportunity to go through in the cup at home. When you cannot win it is important to have the opportunity to go again.”

Chesterfield assistant manager Danny Ward told BBC Radio Sheffield:

“It’s a bit of a sickener – you take it to the last minute and they hit an equaliser, you probably wouldn’t have believed it. Disappointed to conceded so late but we’ve scored three goals against a Championship side and I think we can be very proud.

“Fair play to West Brom, I think you saw the reaction from their supporters what it means to them to get that replay. He (Carlos Corberan) was bringing on a lot of big hitters towards the end – he wasn’t happy losing the game to a National League team so fair play for giving us that respect.

“At 3-2 at half-time it was one of the best games I’ve seen for a long time – for a neutral it was a great way to finish the game but we’ll take thousands down there and try to do it all again.”

Line-ups

Chesterfield

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Fitzsimons
  • 20King
  • 12Williams
  • 5Grimes
  • 33ClementsSubstituted forhortonat 72′minutes
  • 35Jones
  • 7Mandeville
  • 4akinolaSubstituted forAsanteat 87′minutes
  • 26OldakerSubstituted forBanksat 71′minutes
  • 17DobraSubstituted forUchegbulamat 87′minutes
  • 27QuigleyBooked at 64minsSubstituted forTshimangaat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3horton
  • 9Tshimanga
  • 11Clarke
  • 16Sheckleford
  • 18Uchegbulam
  • 19Asante
  • 21Palmer
  • 28Banks
  • 31Chadwick

West Brom

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Button
  • 29Gardner-Hickman
  • 16KellySubstituted forO’Sheaat 56′minutes
  • 6Ajayi
  • 26AshworthSubstituted forMolumbyat 45′minutes
  • 11DianganaSubstituted forJ Wallaceat 65′minutes
  • 8livermoreSubstituted forYokusluat 72′minutes
  • 7rogicSubstituted fordikeat 55′minutes
  • 20reach
  • 18Grant
  • 21Thomas-Asante

Substitutes

  • 3Townsend
  • 4O’Shea
  • 10Phillips
  • 12dike
  • 14Molumby
  • 17J Wallace
  • 19swift
  • 24Palmer
  • 35Yokuslu

Referees:
Rebecca Welch

Attendance:
9.819

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