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.