Chesterfield’s season peters out in Lamb’s final game as coach

Ben Lamb, who has stepped down as player/coach after two years at the helm.
Ben Lamb, who has stepped down as player/coach after two years at the helm.

A season that promised so much, including promotion, petered out with defeat in their final match and fifth place for Chesterfield.

Inspired by the amazing goalscoring exploits of Polish internationmal Damian Jarzembowski, Chesterfield were in contention for the title in the Midland Men’s League, Second Division for much of the campaign.

Jarzembowski ended up as the division’s top scvorer after plundering an amazing tally of 55 goals, 23 more than his nearest rival. And as a team, Chesterfield fired more goals (92 in 22 matches) than all bar two sides in the division.

But their promotion push fell short, and a 4-2 defeat at home to Streetly in their final fixture left them 11 points behind champions Hampton-in-Arden and nine points behind runners-up Boots.

The match was notable only because it marked the end of Ben Lamb’s tenure as player/coach after two years at the helm.

“I’m disappointed that we have not achieved promotion in those two seasons,” Lamb admitted on a day of mixed emotions for him. “But the squad is well placed to do so in the near future.

“There is a real feelgood factor within the club, and I hope I’ve been able to contribute to that.

“It has been a privilege to coach the first team. They have been a great bunch of lads to work with. We have had plenty of highs, with the odd low point thrown in, but I have been fortunate to work with some top players.

“The club is moving in the right direction, and has a great junior set-up.”

Lamb took over in 2015 when he was charged with overseeing a rebuilding programme. His efforts have been regarded as successful, but now the role of player/coach passes to Christian Battye, who stepped down as captain at the end of the Streetly game.

Lamb added: “The baton has been passed to Christian, and he will do a superb job. He’s a gifted player, and his attention to detail will stand him in good stead. He is driven and committed, and I wish him well.”

Johnny Hancock and Chris Cowley scored Chesterfield’s goals against Streetly in a game that was something of an anti-climax. Both sides were playing for little more than pride, with the hosts entrenched in fifth and the visitors safe from relegation after securing a draw the previous week.