Chesterfield HC braced for a relegation fight

Matlock Baileans v Beeston. Pictured for Matlock (in white) is Gemma Phipps.
Matlock Baileans v Beeston. Pictured for Matlock (in white) is Gemma Phipps.

Another bad day at the office for Chesterfield HC saw them slump to a fourth successive defeat and see them dragged into a fight for survival in Midlands League Division One.

Ill discipline and a ragged first half gifted the points to the visitors from Worcestershire, Old Halesonians.

Despite fielding a strong side and making a bright start to the game, Chesterfield fell behind after Old Hales countered and cut through the home sides defence to leave ‘keeper Matt Lloyd no chance.

A second goal for the visitors followed from a penalty corner, with a deflection sending defender Josh Brocklehurst the wrong way.

Falling two goals behind roused the home side and Chesterfield began to apply pressure to a strangely nervous Halesonians back line.

Ash Higginbottom, returning to the side after a lengthy absence, was a constant threat and teenager Tom Curley proved to be a menace on the forward line. The home side were desperately unlucky not to pull a goal back after a flowing move saw Chris Cowley inches away from scoring at the back post.

Chris Battye was also agonisingly close to playing in skipper Adam Bointon for a certain goal, but an excellent interception from the Old Hales ‘keeper kept the score at 2-0. Although Chesterfield looked dangerous going forward, they looked panicked and lightweight when it came to defending.

Before they knew it, the home side found themselves 3-0 down when Old Halesonians scored a scrappy third goal following a frantic goal mouth scramble. With confidence ebbing away, it seemed as if the hosts were dead in the water. Hope was rekindled however after Gareth Hunter found the net from a powerful penalty corner drag flick with only two minutes of the half remaining.

At this juncture it seemed as if Chesterfield would go into the interval only trailing by two goals. Any chance the home side had of taking anything from the game was put to bed though when the visitors converted a penalty corner with seconds of the half remaining to go into the break with a 4-1 lead.

A bad situation got worse in the second period when goalscorer Hunter was given a red card for dissent with only five minutes played and Chesterfield were left to play the majority of the half with ten men.

Andy Hodgson was then sin-binned to leave his team down to nine men in difficult circumstances. As the final whistle blew the reality of life in Midlands One finally hit.

Chesterfield will face a tricky away tie on Saturday at league leaders Worcester HC.