Chesterfield plunge to defeat in hockey ‘title decider’

Chesterfield's man-of-the-match Will Murphy, who saved a penalty stroke.
Chesterfield's man-of-the-match Will Murphy, who saved a penalty stroke.

The heroics of stopper Will Murphy were not enough to prevent a heavy defeat for Chesterfield in the match billed as a title-decider in Division Three of the Midland Men’s Hockey League.

Despite a man-of-the-match display by Murphy, Chesterfield crashed 5-2 to Telford and Wrekin, who are now four points in front of them at the top of the table.

In a free-flowing, open contest, Telford had too much firepower, and visiting coach Christian Battye had no complaints about the outcome.

“Telford have some really experienced players and are very well organised,” Battye said. “They’ve not lost a game all season and showed why.

“We conceded early and, after that, it was always going to be a tough ask. Will made some outrageous saves to keep us in it, but we couldn’t make that breakthrough when it mattered.

“Our lads will have learned a lot from today and they’ll pick themselves up. We’ll be raring to go next week.”

Telford’s early goal came from a penalty corner, and a second soon followed when Chesterfield were caught on the counter.

The visitors rallied after Murphy had brilliantly saved a penalty stroke. Josh Beardsley went agonisingly close before cutting the deficit when sweeping the ball home from a pass by the ever-busy Dan Molloy.

A frenetic second half saw both sides push forward whenever possible, but Telford raced into a 5-1 lead before Johnny Hancock grabbed a stylish, late consolation.