Coach Christian Battye was pleased, if not elated, as title-chasing Chesterfield came through a double-header at the weekend with six points and ten goals.
Chesterfield beat Coalville Town 3-0 on Saturday and followed up 24 hours later with a 7-3 eclipse of Finchfield to move them up to second in the Midland Men’s Hockey League, Third Division table, three points behind the leaders, Telford and Wrekin.
Battye said: “We didn’t play to our best, and it wasn’t great to watch at times. It’s fair to say I wasn’t very happy with the first half of either game.
“But we got the job done and, all in all, it was a good weekend. What was pleasing was how the lads adapted against very dogged opponents. It was tough at times, but we got what we needed.”
Bottom club Coalville put in a performance more fitting to a mid-table side slot in a game that only went ahead after club volunteers and players cleared the pitch of snow from the previous night.
Jon Moores got the home side off to the best possible start with a neat finish over the stranded goalkeeper after only two minutes, but then Coalville frustrated them for the best part of the opening period with a resolute defensive display. It took a moment of magic from Tasmanian star Ollie Smith for Chesterfield to double their lead.
The hosts were much more energetic in the second half, but again, they were held at bay until ten minutes from time when Joe Morton made the game safe with a cool finish after leaving the defence in his wake.
Wolverhampton side Finchfield also made life difficult for Chesterfield. Indeed, they were twice in front, only for equalisers to come from Josh Beardsey and then 17-year-old Morton, who celebrated his 50th appearance for the club with a finish from close range.
New Zealander Jaedyn Eade then fired home a penalty corner to give Chesterfield a 3-2 half-time lead before the second period yielded a flurry of goals from Josh Brocklehurst, Smith, Johnny Hancock and Tom Bacon in a rout that kept up the pressure at the top of the table.