Chesterfield Hockey Club's battle to stay up goes to the wire

Another late late show from Chesterfield HC saw them snatch a vital point against Harrogate on Saturday.

By Mark Duffy
Monday, 4th April 2022, 3:01 pm
Updated Monday, 4th April 2022, 3:01 pm
Dan Molloy slides to score the equaliser for Chesterfield on Saturday.

Following the previous week’s 5-1 defeat in the reverse fixture, a much-improved Harrogate had the better of the first-half as Chesterfield struggled to match the visitors’ intensity.

The Yorkshire side opened the scoring and deservedly held the lead going into half-time. If not for the intervention of Hugh Phillips-Bland in the Chesterfield goal things could have been much worse at the interval.

The home side started the second-half with renewed purpose, but soon found themselves 2-0 down and looking in real trouble.

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It wasn’t until the final 15 minutes when Chesterfield found their rhythm, skipper Jon Moores pulling a goal back with a trademark penalty corner to set up a gripping finale.

Roared on by a vocal home crowd, Chesterfield snatched an equaliser with under five minutes to play when Dan Molloy rounded off a superb team move.

The result means Chesterfield climb out of the bottom three after defeat for Sheffield University Bankers at home to Whitley Bay.

Whatever the outcome in the final round of games it looks set to be a day of drama in the Yorkshire & NE Premier.

At the foot of the table, just one point separates Newcastle University, Sheffield University Bankers (both on 21 points) and Chesterfield (22), with Durham University sitting above on 24 points, but having completed their fixtures.

Chesterfield and Newcastle University face off whilst Sheffield Bankers travel to title-chasing Ben Rhydding, who need a win to ensure promotion.

Captain Jon Moores said: “We knew it wouldn’t be another 5-1 win against these and credit to them they controlled the first half. We weren’t at our best but we dragged ourselves back into it, which has been a trait of ours in the latter part of the season. The second goal was unbelievable given the pressure at that point in the game.

“Newcastle will be a very, very tough game. They’ve also picked up points at the business end of the season so we are in for a fight. The home game was extremely tight and we had to throw everything we had at them to get three points - this Saturday will be no different.

“Whatever happens we should be proud of our season, but we’d love to stay in this division. Let’s see what happens.”