Non-league football carries on for South Yorkshire despite coronavirus threat

Written by Rhi Storer

As the coronavirus sends top-tier football into hiding, fans still had the opportunity to get their fix at non-league grounds around the country.

Six of the 12 scheduled matches in the National League – the fifth tier of English football – were given the green light this weekend, meaning it was business as usual for devoted fans who travel hundreds of miles each week to follow their team.

Chesterfield travelled to Dover Athletic, representing football for South Yorkshire after games for the Sheffield-based clubs were of course postponed for the foreseeable future.

The Spireites dug out a 1-1 draw after a late Nassim L’Ghoul strike cancelled out Tom Denton’s 80th minute penalty.

Speaking after the match, John Pemberton said he was disappointed with not taking all three points after a strong display.

He said: “I felt we deserved the three points today.”

“In the first half their goalkeeper has had to make three or four decent saves.

“We’ve made massive strides. The players are disappointed in the dressing room.

“We should win a game where nine weeks ago we were nowhere near winning a game.

Tom Denton scored in the 80th minute / Chesterfield FC

“We’ve gone up a position in the league, so as we stand here now, it’s a good point.”

When questioned about Coronavirus, the boss laid out the precautions he and the squad will take over the coming days.

“I think first and foremost we will be sensible and self-isolate ourselves from the ground,” said Pemberton.

“We will see what the next step is for us. I don’t know if we will end up playing the next game.

“We certainly will be doing our best to keep everybody safe and healthy.”

Written by Rhi Storer

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