Five things we learned from Chesterfield v Leicester City Under 21s
Chesterfield concluded pre-season with a 3-1 win against a Leicester City XI at the Proact last night.
But before the real stuff starts with a trip to Oxford United on Saturday in League One, here are five things we learned from the last of the summer friendlies.
1: Premier League B teams are not a draw
The Proact was eerily quiet last night with a very small crowd attending the friendly fixture. The Football League would do well to take note, ahead of their launch of the new and much maligned EFL Trophy.
Supporters are unlikely to justify spending their hard earned cash to see the Under 21 and reserve sides of Premier League clubs and last night was probably a taste of what is to come at stadia across the country this season for EFL Trophy ties.
Sadly, in this case, those who didn’t attend missed a cracking second half from the Spireites, but that’s beside the point.
2: Spireites young guns did themselves no harm
A number of teenagers were handed the chance to shine at the Proact and there were a couple of real bright sparks.
Curtis Morrison made an impression with a darting run in the first half, while after the break Iffy Ofoegbu showed pace to get to the byline before whipping in a nice cross.
It was lovely to see Derek Daly, a first year professional, celebrate when his pinpoint cross from the other side was headed home by Gary Liddle.
Laurence Maguire is probably the most likely of the club’s youngsters to break into the first team but hopefully we’ll see more of Mark Smith’s academy products as the season progresses.
3: Jon Nolan could provide creative spark
Nolan pulled on the Spireites shirt for the second time since joining the club and looked the part with some lovely touches in midfield, joining the attack with purpose at times.
You don’t like to set anyone up for a fall and it’s still very early days, but there’s a chance he could provide the creativity Chesterfield’s midfield needs.
4: Liandro Martis is an exciting talent
Star of the first half, undoubtedly, was Leicester’s trialist Liandro Martis.
The 20-year-old from Curaçao, who has been on trial at Manchester United and counts Feyenoord as a former employer, made three or four searing runs through the Chesterfield midfield and defence and scored a beautiful goal.
Three times he took advantage of slack play from the Spireites and set off on a solo attack, each time showing lightning pace.
5: Pre-season is a pale imitation of the real thing
Long live the art of tackling. Yes, it would have been unwise for anyone to throw themselves into a full blooded 50:50 just days before the start of the season, but pre-season friendlies don’t half make you yearn for the real thing.
It is, however, comforting for Chesterfield that the players who took part last night appeared to come off unscathed.
Danny Wilson was taking no chances with two of his prize assets though, Ched Evans and Jay O’Shea withdrawn after less than 45 minutes work.
Pre-season is over, thank God, bring on the proper football.