Resolute Chesterfield dig deep to stay top of hockey table

Chesterfield line up to defend a penalty corner during their win at University of Warwick.
Chesterfield line up to defend a penalty corner during their win at University of Warwick.

Digging deep to fend off a fightback, Chesterfield notched their third win of the season to stay top of Division Three in the Midland Men’s Hockey League.

Chesterfield controlled the opening period to lead 3-1, despite having players sin-binned at various stages. University of Warwick rallied after the break, throwing everything at their visitors to try and rescue a point. But captain Josh Brocklehurst and player/coach Christian Battye’s boys were resolute and wound down the clock to secure all three points in a 3-2 success.

Brocklehurst said: “Make no mistake, that was a very good win. We were always going to struggle with our two main forwards missing and a few injuries in the squad, but we defended brilliantly, dug in and were good value for the three points.”

Battyle said: “I thought we managed the game very well. We had four periods where we were down to ten men, but we were still able to control the game. It shows how far we have come in a very short space of time.

“I’m really happy with the start we have made to the season, especially with such a young group. Third-placed Telford and Wrekin this weekend will be a real test for us, though.”

Good work by Battye himself, winning the ball at the top of the circle, led to the opening Chesterfield goal midway through the first half, scored by Johnny Hancock with a searing half-volley.

Man-of-the-match Louis Johnson then grabbed his first league goal for the club when he turned in a cross to the back post by Joe Morton. And although Warwick pulled one back, Chesterfield restored their two-goal cushion when Morton and Johnson combined again, this time the former flashing the ball across the face of goal, where the latter steered it into the net.

Rejuvenated Warwick emerged for the second period with renewed purpose and found themselves back in the game via a fortunate deflection.

CHESTERFIELD LINE-UP -- Murphy/ Bacon, Moores, Curley, Brocklehurst, Morton, Battye, Evans, Beardsley, Speed, Hancock, Johnson, Eade.