Last-minute penalty saves new-look Chesterfield in first match of hockey season

Youngster Ryan Speed, who scored for Chesterfield and picked up the man-of-the-match award.
Youngster Ryan Speed, who scored for Chesterfield and picked up the man-of-the-match award.

A last-minute penalty stroke earned new-look Chesterfield a 3-3 draw in a thrilling first match of the Midland Men’s Hockey League, Second Division season.

Taking on Telford and Wrekin, the team who pipped them to the Third Division title when both gained promotion last term, Chesterfield threw away a 2-0 lead to trail 3-2.

But in a frenetic finale, they threw everything at the visitors, and their efforts were rewarded when they were awarded the penalty and Dan Molloy kept his cool to send the ‘keeper the wrong way and earn a dramatic point.

Coach Christian Battye said: “Wow! What a game! Both teams certainly went for it. We have similar styles, and it was a proper match.

“At 2-0 up, we were cruising, but you have to respect the way Telford got back into it and took the lead.

“I’m really pleased with the way we stuck at it and didn’t panic. A draw was a fair result.”

Chesterfield have been busy in the transfer market since their promotion. Several new faces have joined the club, including Matt Drohan from Sheffield Hallam, Josh Helsby, Quinn Clarke from West Bridgford, Joe Green and Jack Hartley from Rotherham.

New Zealander Jaedyn Eade will return in November, while Harvey Bessell and Aiden Van Staden will arrive from the Tasmanian Premier League in January.

Hartley scored the opening goal and 15-year-old man-of-the-match Ryan Speed, a product of the club’s academy, made it two with a cool finish. Telford levelled by the break and edged ahead 15 minutes from time.