The beginning of a new age

A new era dawns for Chesterfield FC on Saturday when they play their first match at the b2net stadium.

Derby County are the visitors at the 13m Whittington Moor ground for the friendly game which kicks off at 3pm.

And Spireites manager John Sheridan will be looking for his troops to extend their unbeaten pre-season run to three games after a 1-1 draw at Alfreton on Saturday and a 3-2 victory over Matlock Town on Tuesday.

In both matches, Chesterfield had to come from behind and at Alfreton it was master marksman Jack Lester who netted in the second half after the Reds had led 1-0 at half time.

Matlock were 2-0 up at the turnaround - with the opening strike coming from former Blues player Ben Algar - before Sheidan made nine changes for the second half which saw him bring on his more experienced players including four summer signings.

And a quick-fire double from midfielder Wayne Mattis pulled Chesterfield level before Danny Whitaker made it 3-2. Mattis had a penalty saved near the end as the Spireites retained the Banner Jones Cup.

Sheridan has given first half exposure to Nottingham Forest keeper Shane Redmond in both games but it is unclear if the Dublin-born stopper will start on Saturday when Nigel Cough brings the Rams to 1866 Sheffield Road.

For the Blues chief will be keen to keep the game as tight as possible and Sheridan may kick off with his strongest team, rather than placing his more experienced players on the bench and then bringing them on at a later stage.

Meanwhile, fans are reminded that they will have to buy tickets in advance as cash will not be accepted at the b2net turnstiles.

Tickets are on sale for the friendlies against Derby on Saturday and Barnsley a week later.

Due to current safety regulations, ground capacity has been temporarily reduced from just over 10,000 to around 8,000, so it will be unreserved seating for the two friendly games against the Rams and the Tykes.

Tickets for the first league game against Barnet are expected to go on sale later next week. Admission details for the Carling Cup game against Middlesbrough are also expected to be announced next week.

And the club has arranged shuttle buses to transport supporters from the town centre to the new stadium.

The shuttle service kicks off on Saturday afternoon, starting at Goldwell Hill car park at 1.30pm. Buses will depart every ten minutes until 2.40pm, and they will run in addition to normal services and will stop at all request bus stops, except on Cavendish Street.

Buses will go the other way - from the b2net into town - starting at 4.50pm until 5.45pm. Initially, the service will be free before a cost of 1 per journey is introduced.

Car parking at the stadium is by permit only and it has been stipulated that the car park will close 30 minutes before kick off and open half-an-hour after the final whistle.

For the two pre-season friendly games, 40 spaces will be available at Door Distributor on Pottery Lane while there will be 30 places at R. Hicks and Son, Brimington Road North.

Finally, Sheridan has said that he is still looking for another two players before the season kicks off in a fortnight.

He is looking for another defender and a winger who is capable of operating on either flank.

ON THE BALL: Matlock Town's Ben Algar, who opened the scoring at Causeway Lane, is tracked closely by Chesterfield's Derek Niven. Match reports, pages 90 and 91.

Photograph by Paul Robinson.