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First teamers on target and youngsters impress in win over Handsworth

Tommy Lee and Charlie Wakefield in action against Handsworth Parramore (Pic: Phil Tooley)
Tommy Lee and Charlie Wakefield in action against Handsworth Parramore (Pic: Phil Tooley)

Several first team players got valuable match fitness from Tuesday’s friendly win over Handsworth Parramore on Tuesday, but it was youngsters who particularly caught the eye.

Chesterfield ran out 5-1 winners over their NCEL Premier League hosts at Sandy Lane in Worksop.

It was goalkeeper Tommy Lee’s first chance to play 90 minutes since the 2015/16 season.

He was joined in the starting XI by the likes of Paul McGinn, Reece Mitchell, Charlie Wakefield, Jak McCourt, Connor Dimaio, Ricky German and Delial Brewster.

Four of the goals came from those first team squad members, but the fifth and possibly best of the night was scored by one of the standout performers – Conor Fowler.

He and second half substitute Levi Amantchi did their level best to impress first team manager Gary Caldwell, who was on the bench for the fixture.

Fowler did well in defence in the first half, alongside fellow youngsters Dylan Hand and Jay Smith – the trio competing manfully against the vastly experienced, physical and tricky frontman Jon Froggatt.

And playing in a more advanced role in the second half, Fowler put himself about and showed a willingness to get on the ball before scoring a fantastic goal.

The lofty figure of Amantchi appeared later on and had plenty of involvement – the highlight perhaps a lovely bit of skill that left two Handsworth players in a heap having tackled each other and missed the 16-year-old striker completely.

He was unlucky not to cap his appearance with a goal, Parramore keeper Jim Pollard denying one of his shots after the striker had earlier put a six-yard header over the bar.

As for the first team players, Lee’s completion of the fixture was the real bonus.

McCourt recovered from a patchy first half to run the show after the break.

Only McGinn lasted the distance, of the senior outfield players, and he was responsible for several great balls into the box from the right hand side.

The opening stages of the game were keenly contested, before the two sides traded goals.

Wakefield opened the scoring just before the half hour mark after a one-two with Brewster.

But Handsworth hit back two minutes later, a ball down the middle troubling the Town defence, allowing the lively Alec Denton to lob a stranded Lee.

Dimaio curled in a wonderful second goal and before the break McCourt played in Mitchell who went past home keeper Pollard to make it 3-1.

On 62 minutes Ricky German’s partially blocked shot had enough sting left on it to find the corner of the net and Chesterfield took complete control, a raft of youngsters coming off the bench to maintain their intensity.

Fowler then bent a 25-yard effort past Pollard to complete the scoring, picking the ball up unmarked from a corner and making Parramore pay with a quality finish.

Chesterfield: Lee, McGinn, Hand, Smith, Fowler, Mitchell, Wakefield, McCourt, Dimaio, German, Brewster. Subs: Parkin, McKenna, Amantchi, Ofoegbu, Phillips, Brownell.

Handsworth Parramore: Pollard, Ludlam, Eades, Istead, Cutts, McCarthy, Saeed, Finlaw, Froggatt, Denton, Nicholson. Subs: Butt, Jones, Bradley, Buttle, Brown, Curtis, Hills.

Ref: Sam Wright