Improving defence key to survival hopes, says Chesterfield HC midfielder

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

Adam Bointon’s last minute winner sealed a dramatic comeback over fellow strugglers Bridgnorth and a first win of the season for Chesterfield in Midlands Division 1.

Saturday’s result saw Chesterfield move to within a point of second-from-bottom Bridgnorth, who started at a blistering pace and took the lead in a frenetic first half.

Chesterfield’s defensive unit, led by Alex Kennerley and Ben Lamb, had their backs to the wall and finally cracked after a lengthy period of sustained pressure. A goalmouth scramble, which wasn’t cleared, and a shot that took not one but two deflections on the way past a stranded Matt Lloyd in the home side’s net.

It was a goal conceded that typified Chesterfield’s seasons so far. The introduction of Ash Higginbottom in to the forward line gave the hosts a much-needed shot in the arm but Chesterfield, more often than not, were second best.

As disappointing as the first half was, Chesterfield came out for the second period and produced a performance that offered encouraging signs in their fight to avoid the drop.

The home side found fluency and movement that was lacking in the first 35 minutes and began to carve out chances, as the visitors lost their cool with the match officials.

It was Bridgnorth’s turn to feel the heat and after Chris Cowley went close another incisive attack involving Bointon and Billy Fouflias saw the latter fouled. A penalty stroke was awarded that was finished coolly by the impressive Lamb to draw the scores level at 1-1. Andy Hodgson and Pat Grant continued to press.

Chesterfield sensed a win was on the cards and were rewarded for their hard work when Bointon lifted over the keeper to give the hosts three vital points.

Midfielder Battye said: “We’ve actually played far better this season and lost, so to be fairly average and still win is a massive positive. We’ve tightened up at the back so if we can start converting chances we stand a very good chance of staying in this league.”

Chesterfield travel to Telford with a chance of moving out of the relegation zone.