Chesterfield defied a mounting injury list to put in a battling performance against Midlands Division One leaders Stourport in a top versus bottom clash at St Mary’s.
Skipper Adam Bointon (dislocated shoulder), Tom Branson (dislocated knee), Stephen Hubbard (hamstring strain) and Joe Scott (illness) were all unavailable, with coach John Nash drafted in to the starting line up on Sunday.
Andy Hodgson and stand-in skipper Chris Battye were first to every 50-50 ball as Chesterfield looked to disrupt the visitors’ play with a strong defence and utilising the pace of forward Chris Cowley on the break.
Stourport passed the ball around the circle, demonstrating why they’re top of the league, and finally broke the deadlock through an Andy Cavendish drag flick that squeezed past home keeper Matt Lloyd.
A second soon followed for team and player when Josh Brocklehurst was adjudged to have stopped a goal with his body and Stourport defender Cavendish calmly dispatched the resulting penalty stroke high into the net.
Rob Anderson was introduced and teed up Battye, who was unlucky to see his clever lob miss the target by inches. The second half saw Stourport probe further but found the Chesterfield defence resolute.
With ex-Great Britain Olympian Kalbir Takher pulling the strings in midfield, the league leaders created several chances but Lloyd in Chesterfield goal was equal to anything that Stourport could throw at him.
Coach Nash said: “Considering the mounting injury list and the fact we were playing the league leaders, I honestly can’t ask for anything more from the lads than what I’ve seen.”
Chesterfield travel to Edgbaston on Saturday and take on Old Halesonians on Sunday in two big relegation clashes.