AN INJURY-TIME penalty from Luke Norris rescued a point for Swindon Town against League Two’s bottom side Chesterfield at the Energy Check County Ground.

Norris tucked home the spot-kick with virtually the final kick of the game having himself been awarded the decision by referee Lee Collins after an apparent tug by Spireites’ defender Scott Wiseman.

Chesterfield looked on course for a second successive win at the County Ground, following last season’s last-gasp triumph, as goals from Kristian Dennis and Jak McCourt put them 2-1 ahead, after Timi Elsnik’s excellent opener for the home side seconds after half-time.

But Norris came to the rescue in the dying seconds to earn a draw that was the least the home side deserved from a see-saw struggle.

David Flitcroft made two changes from the side who thumped non-league Dartford in the FA Cup last Sunday, with Keshi Anderson returning having missed out in Kent due to parent club Crystal Palace not wanting him cup-tied.

Midweek Checkatrade Trophy goalscorer Kaiyne Woolery earned his first league start since the 2-1 defeat at Cheltenham early last month, while Paul Mullin and Donal McDermott, who missed out on the squad altogether after suffering an injury at Bristol Rovers on Wednesday, dropped out.

Mullin earned a place on the bench where Town’s top scorer Luke Norris also had a seat after his recovery from injury, while former Town player Brad Barry was among the starting XI for the visitors, who started the day rock-bottom of the Football League, with just two league wins to date.

Town suffered an early blow as midfielder Amine Linganzi limped off just a couple of minutes in and had to retire. His replacement John Goddard almost made an immediate impact as he let fly from 30 yards, forcing Spireites keeper Joe Anyon to tip wide at full stretch.

Nine minutes in the home side had a convincing shout for a penalty as Anyon took a heavy touch from a back pass and his attempted clearance was blocked back towards goal by Woolery. As the Town striker attempt to regain his feet he appeared to be held back by the visiting keeper, but referee Lee Collins was unmoved.

Chesterfield offered little early on, a Kristian Dennis free kick being blocked, before Harry Smith directed a header goalwards at the other end, but without the necessary power.

The visitors conjured up a fine move on 16 minutes as Louis Reed's diagonal ball was acrobatically deflected back across goal by Joe Rowley but Dennis couldn’t shrug off Lancashire to get any power in the header, which went wide.

Anderson then beat the Spireites’ offside trap from a quickly-taken free kick but despite touching it past Anyon, was only able to scuff wide from an acute angle.

Chesterfield appealed for a penalty soon after as the ball seemed to hit Town skipper Olly Lancashire’s arm in the box before Town suffered a second injury blow as Smith and Sam Hird clashed and required treatment, the Town striker coming off worse with a sizeable bump to the side of his head and departing, to be replaced by Norris.

Just after the half-hour the substitute was convinced he had scored when meeting Matty Taylor’s super corner from the right at the far post. The ball was headed out from under the bar and the officials’ verdict went against Town.

Home frustration grew as Andy Kellett received only a talking-to for taking down James Dunne, but Woolery saw yellow for an admittedly poor tackle on Rowley.

Norris then flicked on a Purkiss cross but the ball escaped the attentions of Anderson at the far post before Dunne was booked for a push and Chesterfield finished the half well.

An offside Dennis turned a mis-hit Rowley shot on to a post before Briggs found the ball at his feet 15 yards out, but his effort was blocked wide.

The sooner the first goal arrived for the home side the better and they didn’t have to wait long after the restart.

Anderson worked his way down into the corner and as the ball was sent across to Elsnik in the box, the midfielder turned and shifted the ball on to his left foot before curling a beauty beyond Anyon into the far corner.

Chesterfield should have responded immediately as the ball fell to Dennis seven yards out but he ballooned miles over the top.

But on 57 minutes they were level courtesy of some sensational control from Dennis. Reed lofted a super ball over the top and Dennis controlled instantly before firing under Reice Charles-Cook.

The Spireites sensed blood as Town’s performance level appeared to drop off, their midfield and left side of defence appearing to go AWOL at times.

Still, Goddard did superbly to create space and cross to the far post where Norris touched a bouncing ball over the top before Rowley, in acres of space, stung the palms of Charles-Cook, who got down well to block his fierce drive.

Woolery was replaced by Mullin for the home side before Goddard again lofted the ball to the far post where Anderson directed it back across goal from close range to no effect.

With just under 20 minutes though Town were stunned as Chesterfield took the lead with another magnificent strike. The danger appeared minimal as the ball arrived at the feet of Jak McCourt at least 35 yards out, only for the midfielder to let fly with a belter that saw Charles-Cook merely spectate as the ball rocketed into the net off the underside of the bar.

The rocked hosts attempted to conjure up a response but their efforts tended to fall into the huff and puff category as crosses failed to beat the first man or flew harmlessly away.

And Chesterfield could have added a third as the excellent Kellett went on a meandering run that ended with him firing inches wide of the far post.

Increasingly desperate, Town poured forward and Taylor tested Anyon from 35 yards.

Salvation arrived in the last minute of normal time as Giddard lofted another ball to the far post and Norris was sent sprawling by a tug from Scott Wiseman.

The visitors did their best to put the big striker off but after a few moments, he sent Anyon the wrong way to rescue his side.

SWINDON TOWN (4-3-3): Reice Charles-Cook, Ben Purkiss, Matt Preston, Olly Lancashire (captain), Matty Taylor, James Dunne, Amine Linganzi (John Goddard 4), Timi Elsnik, Kaiyne Woolery (Paul Mullin 66), Keshi Anderson, Harry Smith (Luke Norris 28).

Subs not used: Will Henry, Chris Robertson, Kellan Gordon, Kyle Knoyle.

CHESTERFIELD (4-4-1-1): Joe Anyon, Brad Barry, Sam Hird (Laurence Maguire 45), Ian Evett (captain), Scott Wiseman, Joe Rowley, Louis Reed, Jak McCourt, Matthew Briggs (Jerome Binnom-Williams 60), Andy Kellett, Kristian Dennis.

Subs not used: Dylan Parkin, Jordan Sinnott, Connor Dimaio, Diego De Girolamo, Robbie Weir.

Referee: Lee Collins

Booked: Town – Woolery, Dunne; Chesterfield: Reed, Maguire, Evett, Dennis.

Attendance: Not given