Late Ash Higginbottom effort secures first point of the season

Hockey - Chesterfield vs Edgbaston 68-James Halle-Smith (Edgbaston) 6-Vasileios Fouflias (Chesterfield)
Hockey - Chesterfield vs Edgbaston 68-James Halle-Smith (Edgbaston) 6-Vasileios Fouflias (Chesterfield)
Have your say

Chesterfield started on the road to recovery in Midlands Division One on Saturday with a gritty performance against Edgbaston HC in a 2-2 draw.

Goals from skipper Adam Bointon and predatory striker Ash Higginbottom were enough to secure a first point of the season for the north Derbyshire side at home.

After a spirited performance at league leaders Worcester the previous week, Chesterfield went into Saturday’s encounter with justified confidence.

It was the visitors that started the brightest, however, adapting to the difficult conditions quicker than the hosts and being sharper in and around the midfield area.

The home side set up to frustrate Edgbaston and deny them the space to create chances from open play - this tactic was having the desired effect until the Birmingham side won a penalty corner that was fired past Matt Lloyd by Edgbaston captain Nick Moon to give his side a 1-0 lead.

A disjointed first half saw Chesterfield struggle to provide meaningful service to the forward line and were guilty of wayward passing that gifted the ball back to their opponents.

A second goal for Edgbaston followed from another penalty corner, this time the impressive Moon squeezed his shot through Matt Lloyds pads to give the visitors a deserved 2-0 lead.

Bucking the trend of the current league campaign, Chesterfield were roused into action by falling two goals behind.

The introduction of Ash Higginbottom caused the Edgbaston defence immediate problems and his good work down the left won the hosts a penalty corner, which skipper Adam Bointon was on hand to deflect home after being teed up by Christian Battye.

Half time arrived with Chesterfield very much in the match at only 2-1 down.

The second half was at times a tense, scrappy affair that perhaps demonstrated why both sides are languishing in the lower reaches of the table.

Chesterfield midfielder Billy Fouflias was sin binned for a reckless tackle and the game became stretched and fractured.

The home side did manage to retain a measure of composure that has been absent so far this season. Tasos Varsamidis was able to combine to good effect with attacking midfielder Andy Hodgson down the right hand side as Chesterfield began to cause Edgbaston problems.

As the game wore on, the hosts pressed higher and higher up the pitch in search of an equaliser. The home sides industry was rewarded as they found the all important goal in the final 5 minutes of the game.

An excellent attacking move was started off by Bointon to release Battye down the right hand side; Battye then cut inside and fed Higginbottom at the back post, who made no mistake with the finish.

There was still time for Edgbaston to mount one last attack, but on this occasion Chesterfield held their nerve to ensure a share of the points.

Chesterfield travel to Coventry on Saturday in what is sure to be a testing encounter.