Chesterfield Hockey Club banish ghosts of seasons past to record back-to-back wins

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Chesterfield travelled to Solihull on Saturday to face Old Silhillians in their final Midlands Division 2 encounter before the Christmas break and came away with a 3-0 win.

Looking to record back to back wins for the first time this season, Chesterfield were boosted by the returning Adam Bointon and a strong squad of 15 with only the injured Jamie Franklin unable to make the trip.

The North Derbyshire side started the game brightly; perhaps keen to lay to rest the ghosts of last season’s visit where they were hammered 9-0 on the opening day.

The hosts were the first to put the ball into the net after a pass into the circle found its way to the back post. Although the goal was initially given, deliberation between the umpires saw the goal disallowed after the ball had been adjudged to have rolled out of play during the build up.

Tempers became frayed and the hosts lost their cool leading to both sides having players sin-binned. Chesterfield kept in control and were rewarded moments later when good play between Christian Battye and Andy Hodgson saw Tasos Varsamidis collect the ball in the right corner.

His precise centre found Joe Green on the back post who made no mistake in coolly slotting the ball home. With tails up, Chesterfield became a constant threat. Old Silhillians had another player sin-binned for upending Adam Bointon shortly after the Chesterfield man’s introduction.

The home side came out charged and Chesterfield, on the back foot, found it hard to clear their lines however they remained strong. With Old Silhillians unable to break down a resolute Chesterfield defence it was the visitors who struck the crucial blow.

An exquisitely taken free hit from Jonno Hodgson saw him lob the ball up and over the Old Silhillians defence for brother Andy to collect in the air. His touch was perfect as he brought the ball down before making a decisive pass for Chris Cowley to sweep home a goal that could be admired by all.

With time running out the final nail was hammered in the coffin as great work down the left exposed a defence light in numbers. Assured play from Bointon saw him find an unmarked Battye who was able to slot home into an empty net to give the visitors an excellent 3-0 away win.

Skipper Battye was in defiant mood: “We were excellent. I am thrilled with the manner in which we played and delighted with the result. What a difference a year makes. Last time we came here we were embarrassed in what was a pretty desperate day for us but today we put that to bed.

“Old Silhillians are a decent attacking side but we stood firm. They ran out of ideas and we were able to pick them off. I’m really pleased for all the lads and we can now go into the Christmas Break full of optimism”.

Chesterfield host Melton on Saturday, January 9.