Lack of play leaves Chesterfield out of sorts

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It was a second successive calamitous weekend for Chesterfield who faced yet another blank Saturday before being eliminated from the Premier Cup on Sunday.

The Saturday game at Dunstall was eventually called off without a ball bowled as incessant rain rendered the ground unplayable making this the fourth Saturday out of the last five that Chesterfield have been unable to play.

The meagre points return from another cancelled game leaves Chesterfield sinking down the league table on a day when the other five Premier matches were in play and the team suffered further with the lack of match play in what has been a five week period with only two games played.

The lack of play was evident on Sunday at Spondon where an insipid batting display saw them knocked out of the Premier Cup.

Chasing a modest 237 to win on one of the smaller and faster scoring Premier grounds, Chesterfield imploded when a series of rash shots and the running out of Ben Slater reducing the side to 42-4.

Matt Fletcher and Matt Higginbottom ably demonstrated what could be achieved with a more measured approach and had little trouble in adding 60 in 13 overs before a ball held up on Fletcher who was caught out for 23.

Higginbottom continued in fine form adding a couple of sixes to a series of fours but wickets fell at the other end and when Higginbottom finally holed out for 57 Chesterfield were 140-8 and the game effectively over.

Joe Ashdown (4-13) and Chris Windmill (2-13) quickly claimed the final two wickets leaving a down and out Chesterfield the losers by 91 run margin.

Earlier in the day Spondon overcame the loss of two early wickets with a 99 partnership between Josh Brear (84) and David Hartley (45) and just when the side looked to accelerate they ran into problems with the return of pace in the form of Higginbottom and Johny Marsden.

Their final seven wickets fell in the space of 38 runs as Higginbottom finished with 5-43 and Marsden with 2-33 of their ten over allocations while Drage Thompson took five caught behinds.

But the resulting 236-9 proved far too much for an out-of-form Chesterfield side who now need to find a performance on Saturday with the visit of next-to-bottom Marehay to Queen’s Park when anything other than a good results risks seeing Chesterfield drawn into a dog fight against relegation.