fp92077 Chesterfield V Carlisle first goal
fp92077 Chesterfield V Carlisle first goal

Prolific marksman Leon Clarke has been beaming from ear to ear since arriving at Chesterfield FC on a three-month emergency loan.

And the striker, with an astonishing five goals in three appearances, has become an instant hit with the B2net faithful.

Clarke hit a hat-trick in the 4-1 triumph over Carlisle and spoke of his feelings after the game which lifted the Spireites into 14th place in the League One table.

He said: “It was amazing to score three times, a great feeling, the best feeling I have had in my career.

“When I first came here the players welcomed me and I have not stopped smiling.

“I am the happiest I have been in my career.’’

A product of the Wolverhampton Wanderers academy, Clarke, 26, played for the Molineux club before loan spells at Kidderminster, QPR and Plymouth served as a prelude to a signing for Sheffield Wednesday.

Further loan spells took place at Oldham – where Clarke first worked with then-manager John Sheridan – and Southend before a permanent move to QPR.

A loan spell at Preston ensued prior to a move to League Two side Swindon Town where he was signed by Robins boss Paulo Di Canio on a two-year contract.

But an early season post-match bust-up with Di Canio led to Clarke’s exit from the County Ground and he moved to the B2net on a 93-day loan spell after striker Jack Lester suffered a broken arm.

And the move back north looks to have rejuvenated Clark’s career and his five goals in his first three games has elevated him into exalted company.

For the last Chesterfield player to achieve such a feat was Dennis Woodhead in the 1955/56 season and if he hits the net at leaders Charlton on Saturday he will become the first Spireite to score in his first four games since Colin Cook in 1932.

Meanwhile, highly-rated young striker Jordan Bowery has signed a new extended contract with the Spireites until June 2014.

Bowery, 20, has so far made 58 appearances for the Spireites.

Manager John Sheridan said: “Jordan has lots of potential and a real future in the game, but it’s all up to him now to make a name for himself.”

The 4-1 triumph over Carlisle led to the Blues chief giving his troops a big pat on the back.

He said: “Full credit to the players, I thought our performance was first class.

“We played really well and looked confident. Both sides played some excellent football and it could have ended 6-3. I was very disappointed with the goal we conceded. It looked to me to be a clear foul, so not sure what the referee saw there.

“Leon will get the plaudits, but all the players put in good performances from front to back and our work ethic was there.

“We have players who are a threat going forward and work hard as a team and we are keeping the ball much better now.’’

After a disappointing start to their League One campaign, Chesterfield have now climbed into mid-table, having picked up ten out of the last 12 points as a number of new signings have boosted the team. However, a stiff test is in store this weekend when they travel to London to meet League One leaders Charlton Athletic who are so far unbeaten in the league at The Valley.

l Chesterfield striker Jordan Burrow is joining Blue Square Bet north outfit Boston United on a month’s loan. The 19-year-old scored 26 goals in Chesterfield Youth Team’s Championship winning season last term and was awarded his first professional contract by the Spireites in May. He is expected to go straight into the squad for Boston United’s home game against Droylsden at the weekend.