Turnaround at Chesterfield under John Sheridan has been phenomenal

A crucial win at Havant with a last-minute penalty means that Chesterfield can start to look forward to next season.

Sunday, 17th March 2019, 6:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 17th March 2019, 7:28 pm
Picture by Gareth Williams/AHPIX.com; Football; Vanarama National League; Havant & Waterlooville v Chesterfield FC; 16/3/2019 KO 15.00; Westleigh Park; copyright picture; Howard Roe/AHPIX.com; Chesterfield manager John Sheridan

We aren’t mathematically safe, not having quite reached the 50 points mark, but Saturday’s win puts clear daylight between us and the bottom four.

Statistics wise, this was the first time in the league that Chesterfield had come back from a goal down to win a game against anyone — the only other time we had achieved that was in the cup at AFC Fylde.

Since John Sheridan came in, his first match being at home to Bedford Town in the FA Trophy, we’ve had seven wins, two draws and four defeats in total, including the two cup matches.

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That’s a 53% win rate, which is phenomenal, considering where the team were languishing. When Sheridan arrived, the stats showed that we would need to win nearly half of our matches to avoid relegation again — and that has already being achieved.

Under Martin Allen in the league, there were four wins out of 25, giving only a paltry 16% of games won. If there was a prize for drawing matches 1-1, Chesterfield would have won a trophy!

If Martin Allen’s win rate had been extended until the end of the season, that would have meant only eight league wins in a whole campaign and certain relegation.

One of the key aspects of our upturn was started by interim manager John Pemberton and continued by Sheridan — putting Robbie Weir in front of the defensive line to break up play.

Also, the signing of Scott Boden has been crucial, Saturday being the second time he has converted from the penalty spot to give us all three points in a game.

The only real criticism that one can level at the team now is the poor home form.

Overall, our games at the Proact put us in 22nd place in the rankings, but we are the ninth best side on our travels.

I’m quite surprised the home attendances have stayed so high with some of the poor fare on offer. Frankly, I’ve become sick of watching the opposition celebrate their biggest away win of the season at our stadium.

There are four home and three away matches left. Anyone on a budget might consider a trip to Dover or Gateshead as a better investment than walking to Whittington Moor.