BANNED: DT's Spireites writer sees good, bad and ugly from the stand

There were good, bad and ugly elements to the visit of Sheffield Wednesday to the Proact in Chesterfield's first home appearance of pre-season.

Saturday, 16th July 2016, 5:03 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th July 2016, 6:09 pm
Chesterfield v Sheffield Wednesday, viewed from the South Stand

Unsurprisingly, the difference between a League One outfit and a top Championship side showed in a game that perhaps came a little too soon for a Spireites squad not that long off the plane from Hungary.

The good in the first half came in the pint-sized form of Fernando Forestieri, a wonderful little footballer who showcased his dribbling ability, balance and finishing without ever appearing to break a sweat.

In the second half Gboly Ariyibi single handedly dragged the game out of its pre-season runaround slump and gave Chesterfield some genuine attacking menace.

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Too often before the break the Spireites had simply failed to get the ball from back to front, their midfield incapable of taking control or creating much to talk about.

In fact it was left-back Dan Jones and right-back Paul McGinn who sent the best balls of the first half into the box, and centre-half Ian Evatt drove one beautiful long raking pass out of defence to get his side up the pitch.

Ariyibi’s second half showing has to be seen in the context of a 10-man substitution by Sheffield Wednesday.

But that hardly detracts from a confident display that was a joy to behold from the South Stand – a press box ban imposed on the Derbyshire Times by Chesterfield FC dictating a new position from where to view the game.

Jérémy Hélan was given a torrid time, unable even to foul Ariyibi who wanted the ball all the time after first getting the better of his marker.

There was an end product to most of Ariyibi’s best work too.

The bad in the game was a number of poor challenges, more down to rustiness and pre-season tackling than any malice.

Reece Mitchell was introduced to the game by a Marco Matias lunge that halted the former Chelsea youngster’s surging run.

Kristian Dennis certainly put himself about on his first Proact outing as a Spireite, flying into tackles that weren’t all legal.

No one will be able to accuse the former non-league man of a lack of desire, he clearly wants to impress.

And had he turned in one of Ariyibi’s crosses, his introduction to his new fanbase would have been complete.

The game’s ugly side was wildly predictable.

It took less than 90 seconds for the first song about Ched Evans to ring out from the away end of the ground.

Sadly, there was a retort from a minority in the South Stand, a real shame given the presence of so many kids behind the goal.

Try explaining that one to your young son or daughter. Or even the desire to ‘banter’ about it.

Had he played, there’s little doubt the Welsh striker would have pulled focus for the entire duration of his appearance.

The slight knock that kept him out of action – not that I believe there was ever an intention to play him in this one – perhaps a blessing in disguise.

Other notes worth making - Ryan Fulton looks a confident, competent goalkeeper at the tender age of 20, Dan Jones’ return should prove a huge boost to Wilson and the sparse attendance suggests there wasn’t a huge appetite in North Derbyshire for this one.