Liam Norcliffe’s Chesterfield column: Scrappy win over Barrow will kick-start rise up the National League
“You’re not Graham.”
In case you’ve not heard the news our Chesterfield reporter for the last three years has moved on to cover Leeds United (booo) for the Yorkshire Post.
It goes without saying that Graham did a superb job and he leaves with the DT’s best wishes.
I won’t go over the top and wish him too muck luck, though, because no one wants to see Leeds succeed.
In fact, if Graham can bring Leeds as much luck as he did to Chesterfield, then that will do just fine.
Jokes aside, I’m sure he will do a grand job and he will be watching the best footballing side in the Championship, in my opinion.
So who am I? Well I’m the new Graham. I’ve been working for the Derbyshire Times for the last three years on news but it has always been by ambition to be a football reporter.
I am very grateful to be given this opportunity and promise I will do my best to bring you as much inside knowledge about what is going on at the Proact as Smythy did.
One thing I will say is that I will be hoping for a better win percentage.
Having said that, I could not lift the curse last Tuesday night on my debut in the press box.
The Woking game was the first I had seen of Chesterfield this season.
I thought they started the match on the front foot and looked quite threatening.
They got the ball out wide at every opportunity and put several crosses into the box.
Some of the crosses were not the best but I thought Chesterfield looked the team most likely to score without creating a clear cut opportunity.
The first goal was really soft and I think the Spireites lost their way a little. They needed someone to put their foot on the ball in the centre of midfield and calm everyone down.
The second Woking goal was a tremendous free-kick but the Spireites rallied well and could have pinched a point at the end.
From my first viewing I could see why John Sheridan has been keen to get more pace into the side.
Sheridan and everyone at the club have been working really heard to address the lack of speed in their ranks and on Friday they managed to get two deals over the line.
Both striker Mike Fondop and winger Jermaine McGlashan started at Barnet and gave the Spireites that extra edge they have been missing so far this season.
It could not have gone any better for Fondop, scoring after just two minutes and adding another after half-time.
There is competition for places at the top end of the pitch now with Fondop, Scott Boden, Liam Mandeville and Tom Denton (when he returns from injury) all battling for a place in the starting line-up.
McGlashan offers that pace out wide that Chesterfield have been crying out for. He also brings a lot of experience with him as well to help the younger lads along.
Looking ahead to this Saturday and Chesterfield could really do with getting a win no matter how it comes.
They have shipped nine goals in five games so if they can tighten up at the back then I fancy them to pick up their first three points of the season and start motoring up the table.
I know it has been a difficult start to the season but I wouldn’t panic just yet and I back Sheridan to turn the form around over the next few weeks.