Captain Michael Fearn led by example as Chesterfield began 2018 as they finished 2017 with victory to stay top of the Second Division in the Midland Men’s Hockey League.
Frean grabbed a brace and turned in a man-of-the-match performance in Chesterfield’s 3-1 success at home to mid-table Finchfield, which was their ninth win in 11 league games so far.
Jon Moores also converted a penalty corner, while the hosts welcomed back playmaker Andy Hodgson after a 12-month absence on a day that was the perfect warm-up for this weekend’s crunch clash with second-placed Streetly.
Coach Christian Battye said: “We were a little rusty, but it’s another win. We played some good stuff at times and looked in control of the game.
“We could have been more clinical and scored more goals, but I was very happy with the performance. It was also great to have Andy back. He helped us control the midfield.”
Chesterfield took the lead when Fearn rounded off a flowing team-move to lift into the net at the far post. Finchfield equalised moments later when ‘keeper Matt Lloyd was beaten by a deflected shot, but Moores’s powerful drag-flick restored the advantage and several chances went begging before Fearn finished coolly for his eighth of the season.