Chesterfield maintained top spot in Midlands 2 after edging out fellow high flyers Burton on Saturday. Man of the match Josh Beardsley opened the scoring before in form Hugh Flassman sealed the points late on with a clinical finish.
Player Coach Christian Battye –
“What we saw today was the benefit of a hard pre season – we ran and ran and ran. Our work rate and fitness levels are second to none. I’ve never seen a group of lads work so hard, it’s great to see everyone digging in for each other. Josh (Beardsley) has been excellent in the past few weeks and took his goal really well, he’s a real handful for such a young lad and Hugh (Flassman) just keeps scoring. Having said that, we are winning games because we are so together as a squad”.
An end to end first half saw hosts Burton have the lions share of the possession without really troubling Matt Lloyd in the Chesterfield goal. The away side missed a golden chance to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty stroke, only for Battye to see his effort brilliantly saved by Derbyshire Under 17s keeper Jack Smith. Just as it seemed the half would finish scoreless, Beardsley had other ideas. Latching on to the end of a sweeping counter attack, the young forward rounded the keeper to slot home from a tight angle for his second goal in as many games.
Burton flew out of the traps in the second half and forced a series of penalty corners that Matt Lloyd repelled with ease. Chesterfield created several good openings only to come up short when it really mattered however. Another measured performance from veteran Adam Bointon helped the visitors take control of the second half as he drew on all his experience to dictate the pace of the game. Chances came and went before the intervention of leading scorer Hugh Flassman in the final ten minutes. The young Australian made the most of a penalty corner by rounding the first two defenders and slotting home low into the net to make it 2-1. It’s now six goals in seven games for Flassman since arriving from the Tasmanian Premier League in September.
Chesterfield have now won their last six games and sit three points clear at the top of Midlands 2. Next week they welcome Telford & Wrekin HC, who also boast an unbeaten record and sit in third place.
Dan Molloy, Joe Morton, Josh Beardsley, Hugh Flassman
Chesterfield hockey club 1st team secured their fifth win in a row on Saturday despite a second half fightback from a highly motivated Sikh Union side. The victory was in no small part down to a classy display from goalkeeper Matt Lloyd, who pulled off a wonder save in the dying seconds to help Chesterfield move three points clear at the top of the table.
Manager Shane Hale was satisfied post match, despite a nervy second period -
“We had a really excellent first half and should have been out of sight, some of our build up play was fantastic. When we keep it simple we look unplayable at times. The second half wasn’t great though. We seemed to switch off and let them back into the game. You can’t do that against a side like Sikh Union who have the quality to punish you if you’re not careful. It’s another win though and this squad is learning all the time”.
Dan Molloy celebrated a recall to the starting line up with the opening goal, his shot squeezing in at the near post to give Chesterfield the perfect start. Their lead was doubled when energetic midfielder Joe Morton slotted underneath the ‘keeper after seeing his initial shot well saved. Sikh Union pulled a goal back before a clever finish from Josh Beardsley restored Chesterfield’s two goal lead. Despite having the majority of the play, the home side were unable to add to their tally before the half time interval.
The visitors threw caution to the wind in the second half and were rewarded with two goals to draw the scores level. Playmaker Mundeep Virdi and skilful winger Sarpreet Mehat were given time and space to play as the home side began to wobble somewhat. Although they were far from their best, Chesterfield always looked dangerous on the break. The game looked to be heading for a draw until a flowing team move was well finished by Hugh Flassman, who grabbed his fifth goal of the season with less than five minutes to play.
There was still time for one last Sikh Union attack – and when the ball fell to Pritpal Dhanjal it looked as if the away side would snatch a point, but Matt Lloyd saved brilliantly to make sure Chesterfield gained all three points.
Line up –
Lloyd (GK); Bacon, Moores, Curley, Scott; Morton, Battye, Hancock, Fearn (c); Molloy, Flassman. Subs – Beardsley, Green, Bointon.
Fearn – FG FG; Flassman - FG
A mature performance from Chesterfield was enough to secure all three points away at Bloxwich on Saturday. Two well taken goals from skipper Michael Fearn and a wonder strike from Man of the Match Hugh Flassman saw the Derbyshire side move into second place in the league – with only goal difference keeping them from top spot.
Coach Christian Battye was more than happy with the result –
“We weren’t quite hitting our standards in the first half and only really got going in the final fifteen minutes of the game, but we did enough to win. The entire squad contributed today – even if we’re not playing particularly well we all still work for each other. We haven’t conceded too many and always look dangerous going forward, so it’s been a really positive start to the season”.
Chesterfield struggled to get going in what was a largely forgettable first half. There were only flashes of quality on display as the home side restricted the visitors to half chances – Joe Scott had a deflected effort well saved but there was precious little to savoir from either side. When Chesterfield finally broke through it felt something of an anti - climax, despite the excellent diving finish from Fearn to turn in a well - placed Flassman cross. Chesterfield held the lead for all of 5 minutes before Bloxwich equalised on the stroke of half time.
A much more energetic second half and a tactical adjustment from Manager Shane Hale brought greater reward for Chesterfield. The Bloxwich ‘keeper was kept busy throughout as the away side began to get on top of the match - with Adam Bointon and Dan Molloy holding the ball up brilliantly on the forward line. Fearn grabbed his second of the game (and fourth of the season) from an improbable angle before Flassman stole the show with a terrific backhand finish from the top of the circle to seal the points.
The result makes it 4 wins in a row for Chesterfield as they look ahead to hosting second bottom Sikh Union next weekend.
Flassman – PC
Chesterfield kept their third clean sheet in a row and grabbed all
three points against a well drilled Stratford side on Saturday. Australian Hugh Flassman rifled in
a penalty corner to give his side a deserved victory in what was a
tightly contested match between two candidate for promotion.
The hosts welcomed back Adam Bointon and Joe Morton into the squad but were without Johnny Hancock and the suspended Patrick Evans, meaning utility player Joe Scott was drafted in at left midfield.
Both teams went into the game with impressive defensive records which meant for a somewhat predictable, but none the less enthralling first half.
The home side created a handful of openings but were unable to convert, whilst Chesterfield ‘keeper Matt Lloyd was able to mop up anything the visitors threw his way.
Stratford were first out the blocks in the second half and Chesterfield were forced to absorb a sustained barrage of pressure from the visitors. Chesterfield were helped by a Man of the Match display from Josh Brocklehurst – who bravely battled through a slightly painful hamstring to complete a full 70 minutes.
Once Chesterfield were able to string a few passes together however, they opened up the oppositions defence and posed a constant threat on the break.
Mature displays from Adam Bointon and Christian Battye enabled the more creative talents of Hugh Flassman and Michael Fearn to flourish. The home side created – and missed – gilt edged chances in the second half before they finally broke the deadlock. Golden opportunities for both Morton and Bointon came and went before the intervention of Flassman, who stepped up to fire home a penalty corner with only minutes left on the clock.
Skipper Michael Fearn was happy with his sides afternoon -
“We weren’t completely pleased with how we played in the first half, but I still thought we were the better side. The first 10 minutes of the second half was fairly ropey and we had to roll our sleeves up a bit, but we always looked like we were going to score. Stratford are a very good side so the result today could prove to be a big one come the end of the season”
Chesterfield travel to mid table Bloxwich next weekend.
Green – FG, Fearn – FG
Chesterfield put in a gritty display away at Coventry on Saturday to earn three points in testing circumstances. Joe Green and captain Michael Fearn were on target in an ill tempered, fractious affair. Patrick Evans was sent off late on but Chesterfield held on for a much deserved win. The three points were all the more satisfying for the visitors after losing Joe Morton to a calf injury in the warm up and Dan Molloy midway through the first half with a nasty blow to the head.
A tight first half saw Hugh Flassman have a goal chalked off as Chesterfield created a number of good chances they failed to convert. Hosts Coventry rarely troubled a well organised Chesterfield defence, with all the running made by the away side. The game soon descended into a sea of cards and flying tackles however – certainly not one for the small group of travelling supporters to savour.
As the quality of the hockey on show deteriorated, the half time whistle came as a welcome relief.
Although the second period largely mirrored the first, Chesterfield produced enough moments of invention and quality to elevate the gloom. Man of the match Joe Green broke the deadlock with a trademark finish – which put the polish on another busy display for the attacking midfielder. Michael Fearn got on the end of a sweeping team move to seal the points late on, ensuring Chesterfield maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
Manager Shane Hale summed up the game –
“That was a very, very satisfying win. We dug in and stuck at it, that’s what Chesterfield sides do and what we need to keep on doing”.
Stratford are the visitors to Chesterfield next Saturday.
Lloyd; Bacon, Moores, Curley, Brocklehurst; Green, Fearn, Hancock, Evans, Flassman, Beardsley. Subs – Molloy, Battye.
Flassman – FG, FG, Green – FG, Fearn - PC
Two strikes from Australian Hugh Flassman, plus well taken goals from skipper Mike Fearn and Joe Green were enough for Chesterfield to claim all three points against a well drilled Coalville side on Saturday. A gritty team performance and a Man of the match display from Flassman saw Chesterfield record a deserved win, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Mike Fearn was full of praise for his side after the game –
“We looked really solid at the back and fast on the break – it was just an excellent team effort again today. Hugh (Flassman) is settling in very well and is enjoying life in the town which is great to see. Next week won’t be easy but it’s a tight league, we’ve just got to keep our heads down and get on with it”
Flassman got the ball rolling with an unstoppable strike from the top of the circle, he then turned provider shortly after – laying on a pass for Joe Green to round the keeper and score his first of the season. The home side largely dictated the pace of the game but on the rare occasion Coalville threatened ‘keeper Matt Lloyd was able to deal with anything that came his way.
The hosts went into the break 2-0 up but truthfully should have been more comfortable.
Chesterfield set about their task with vigour in the second period and played the majority of the game in the opposition half. A searing one touch counter attack saw Hugh Flassman grab his second of the game, deceiving the goalkeeper and calmly slotting home. A fourth and decisive goal arrived through Mike Fearn at the far post after a weighted pass from Dan Molloy.
Flassman was clearly delighted to get off the mark – “I’m really enjoying it all so far, everyone at the club is really friendly and the same goes for the people in the town too! I’m glad I bagged a couple today – hopefully there’s more to come”
Chesterfield travel to Coventry HC next Saturday.
Morton - F
Chesterfield opened their 2017/18 league campaign on Saturday with
a solid score draw away at Birmingham side Streetly HC. A difficult
pitch and a physically imposing opposition provided stern test for a
young Chesterfield side, but they more than matched the hosts to put
in an assured performance. Joe Morton's goal wasn't enough for the
win however as Streetly showed their mettle to equalise and ensure
the points were shared.
After a fruitful summer of recruitment, Chesterfield went into Saturday's encounter a much changed side from last year. Australian import Hugh Flassman and summer signing Josh Beardsley both put in effective displays, plus the return of utility man Joe Scott also added extra steel to the back line.
The first half was an understandably tight but none the less fiercely competitive affair. Skipper Michael Fearn had a shot cleared off the line, whilst at the other end Chesterfield 'keeper Matt Lloyd produced a miraculous save to keep the scores level. Player coach Christian Battye did his best to get sin binned after a series of close to the wind challenges and was perhaps fortunate to escape with a warning just before the half time interval.
A much more open second half saw both sides press for the win, with chances coming and going at either end of the pitch. Flassman had a penalty corner brilliantly cleared by the defender, leaving the young Tasmanian wondering how he hadn't got himself on the scoresheet.
When the opening goal did eventually arrive it proved to be well worth the wait. A sweeping team move was finished by teenager Joe Morton, who capped another marauding display with a cool finish at the far post. It was just reward for the promising 15 year old, who was a constant threat down the right hand side throughout the game.
After working so hard to take the lead Chesterfield we left kicking themselves in the manner they conceded the equaliser. Joe Scott was adjudged to have committed a foul on the edge of the circle - and Streetly defender Matt Bates converted the resulting penalty corner.
The remainder of the game was something of a battle but the Chesterfield defence were well
marshalled by a Man of the Match display from Ben Curley as the visitors held on for a point.
Coach Christian Battye was satisfied with the afternoon -
"That was a really, really good team performance. Everyone put a shift in and there are some tired legs now but that's how it should be. The only slight complaint is we tossed away the lead but a draw is a fair result. We can't be too disappointed with a point here today".
Chesterfield host Coalville Town at home next week.
Chesterfield finished their pre season on Saturday with a narrow
5-4 defeat away at Boots HC. A hat trick from Johnny Hancock plus a
goal from skipper Michael Fearn were not enough for the win, as
Midlands 1 side Boots outscored the visitors in an end to end game.
The match marked the debut for Chesterfield’s latest signing from Australia, 21 year old striker Hugh Flassman. Coming on at half time, he made an instant impact and forced the Boots keeper into a series of fine saves. He also grabbed an assist, crossing the ball for Fearn to turn in at the back post after great combination play with Joe Morton down the left hand side.
Flassman has signed from Derwent HC in Tasmania, and becomes the 10th player from the island to represent the club at 1st team level. Adam Clifford, coach of Derwent, offered a glowing endorsement of the young striker –
“Hugh is a quiet guy that's capable of breaking a game wide open with incredible pieces of skill on the hockey field. His penalty corner prowess will be a huge asset to Chesterfield's push for promotion, with Hugh's high conversion rate, particularly late in close games, a trademark of his play in Tasmania's Premier League competition. Hugh is capable of scoring from anywhere in the attacking circle and is at his most dangerous on the end of fast counter attacking moves.
Having been a past player of Chesterfield HC, I know Hugh will fit in with the squad quickly, be a fan favourite and help take some of the expectation off their younger, emerging players”
Chesterfield begin their league season away at Birmingham based Streetly HC next Saturday and can go into the 2017/18 campaign with some confidence.
In addition to the arrival of Flassman, the 1st team squad has been further strengthened by the signing of promising teenager Josh Beardsley, who has impressed on the forward line with four goals in three games. Goalkeeper Matt Lloyd also looks in fine form, whilst the evergreen Adam Bointon has showed no signs of the injury that kept him out of action for the second half of last season. Competition for the two promotion slots is sure to be fierce, but Chesterfield can justifiably consider themselves amongst the favourites this year.
Beardsley – FG FG, Johnson - FG, Moores - PC, Bointon - FG
After a comfortable win the week before at home to Nottingham, Chesterfield faced a much sterner test away at North Notts on Saturday. Despite the 5-2 scoreline Chesterfield were made to work hard for the win against a highly motivated North Notts.
A brace from Josh Beardsley – his second in as many games – plus strikes from Louis Johnson, Jon Moores and Adam Bointon were enough for the win.
The Derbyshire side welcomed back captain Michael Fearn to the starting XI after illness, whilst Christian Battye also made his return from a hip injury.
A cagey start soon gave way to a free flowing game with chances at both ends of the pitch, goalkeeper Matt Lloyd proved his worth once again with a string of fine saves – with one in the second half a contender for save of the season already.
Despite not being at their best, Chesterfield still produced enough flashes of quality to open up the Notts defence. 16 year old Josh Beardsley once again impressed on the forward line, grabbing two goals to take his pre season tally to four in two games. Fellow junior Louis Johnson also got in on the act, turning in from close range after great combination play from Joe Green and Christian Battye down the right hand side.
The opening period of the second half belonged to North Notts as Chesterfield allowed the home side too much time and space. Notts pulled a goal back and looked as if they might get back into the game before the timely intervention of Adam Bointon, who netted coolly to make it 4-1. Butler pulled a goal back to make it 4-2 but Chesterfield responded late on with a fine penalty corner strike from Jon Moores. There was still time for Dan Molloy to hit the post late on as the away side found their stride in the final ten minutes to run out deserved winners.
Skipper Michael Fearn was satisfied with his team –
“We knew today would be a lot tougher than last week and overall I think we responded well to what was a different type of game. I thought we could have worked a little harder to start with and came out after the break a touch off the pace, but we did enough to win the game. The squad is shaping up nicely”.
Chesterfield finish their pre season campaign next week away to Boots HC.
Beardsley 8' 66'
Johnson 28' 48'
Evans 58' 64'
A youthful Chesterfield side got their pre season campaign underway with a blistering 9-2 win at home to Nottingham HC. Three first and six second half goals saw a new look side run away with a comfortable victory.
With coach Christian Battye (hip) and skipper Michael Fearn (tonsillitis) unavailable Chesterfield were able to give a full debut to 15 year old James Eades, the latest graduate from the junior academy. The game also saw a welcome return to action for Adam Bointon, who showed no signs of rustiness after a long injury lay off as he capped a mature display with a fine goal. New signing Josh Beardsley also enjoyed a fruitful afternoon, netting twice and proving himself to be a threat in the opposition circle. 16 year old Louis Johnson also got in on the act – with two fine finishes to put the icing on an effective display. A further brace from experienced midfielder Pat Evans and further strikes from Johnny Hancock and Dan Molloy ensured the hosts had an afternoon to remember.
Coach Christian Battye –
“Today showed just how hard all the lads have worked since we started pre season way back in July. I’ve been challenging the group to self – organise and adapt to changing situations on the pitch and we’re now starting to see that message sinking in. We’ve had a brilliant summer to be fair and the atmosphere around the squad is fantastic. There’s a proper blend of young players and those of us that have perhaps a few more miles on the clock. Eight of the squad are under the age of 23, but there’s still plenty of experience to back that up. Next week (away to North Notts) will be a different test for us though”.
Chesterfield travel to local rivals North Notts next week, before wrapping up their friendly program the week after at Boots HC.
Fishleigh (3), Eades, Morton
A thrilling game at Loughborough saw Chesterfield U16 boys come out on top in what was a nail biting affair.
Chesterfield led 3-1 at half time after two goals from Luke Fishleigh and a James Eades strike but in the second half the home side pulled the scores level with 15 minutes to play.
Goals in the last 10 minutes from the club's top scorer Fishleigh and men's 1st team star Joe Morton were enough for the win however.
Chesterfield Boys now sit second place in the Northern Section of the championships - above giants Repton School and Beeston HC. The league resumes after Christmas, with Chesterfield in a great position to qualify for the knockout stages.
A brave display from Chesterfield boys was not enough as an excellent Derwent team ran out 5-0 winners in the Under 16 Boys league on Sunday. The home side were made to work hard for the win however, thanks in no small part to a superb performance from ‘keeper Ethan Fox, who put in an outstanding display - making a string of fine saves.
Chesterfield were missing key players but still caused Derwent problems on the break and were unlucky not score in the first half after a weaving run and shot from Luke Fishleigh flashed over the bar.
In the end Derwent’s experienced told as they ran in four second half goals and now stand an excellent chance of progressing through to the national stages of the competition.
Chesterfield can take plenty of positives from the game as they look forward to their next match away at Loughborough Town in two weeks time.
Chesterfield U16s (4) 11 - 1 (1) Belper U16s
An incredible seven goals from Luke Fishleigh helped Chesterfield Boys start their season with a bang against local rivals Belper. Two goals from Midlands U17s player Joe Morton and one each for captain Tom Bacon and forward James Whitfield saw the Under 16s run out comfortable winners.
Chesterfield take on Derwent U16s in the next pool game, who themselves recorded an excellent 5-2 victory over Repton School on Sunday.
Coach Christian Battye was thrilled with what he saw
"Each and every one of the boys contributed today and should be really, really proud of that performance. They weren't afraid to take risks and worked very hard for each other. The main thing now is they keep enjoying their hockey without getting too hung up on results".