Coach happy as Chesterfield start hockey season with draw

Goalscorer Joe Morton (left) in action during Chesterfield's 1-1 draw against Streetly.
Goalscorer Joe Morton (left) in action during Chesterfield's 1-1 draw against Streetly.

Coach Christian Battye was more than satisfied after Chesterfield had opened their Midland League, Second Division campaign with a solid 1-1 draw away to Birmingham side, Streetly.

“That was a really good team performance,” said Battye. “Everyone put a shift in. There were some tired legs, but that’s how it should be. The only slight complaint is that we tossed away the lead, but a draw was a fair result.”

On a difficult pitch and against physically imposing opponents, Chesterfield fielded a much-changed side from last season, with Australian import Hugh Flassman, summer signing Josh Beardsley and utility man Joe Scott among those making effective debuts.

But they put in an assured performance, surviving a tight first half, even though Battye himself was sin-binned after a series of close-to-the-wind challenges.

Goalkeeper Matt Lloyd also pulled off a miraculous save, but in a much more open second half, Chesterfield snatched the lead when a sweeping move was coolly finished at the near post by Joe Morton to cap another marauding display from the 15-year-old.

The visitors were left kicking themselves with the manner in which they conceded an equaliser when Scott was adjudged to have committed a foul on the edge of the circle, and Matt Bates converted the resulting penalty corner. But with Ben Curley turning in a man-of-the-match display, they held on well for their share of the spoils.