Updated: Oct 21, 2021
Let's not get bogged down by our first league defeat away against Woking, losing 1-3. Or our 2-2 draw against Torquay at home 4 days previous. Yes, we threw away 2 late goals in both games. Yes, we didn't take all the points as expected. But at the time of writing, we are still second in the table, remember that! Who wouldn't have taken being in this position at the start of the season? In fact, by the time this has been published, we could be top again.
Let's recap and stay focused on the master plan, our promotion back to the league two of football.
At present we have played 9, won 5, drew 3 and crucially lost only 1. We still stand second in the National League just a point behind Dagenham and Redbridge (whom we visit on 30th October). But fundamentally, this is football. I understand the frustration with the last two results and it is natural to feel disheartened with all the positivity we have experienced in the last 12 months on and off the field, with the Community Trust takeover, new gaffer and the new signings, but let's keep the faith. Things are different now. If anything, we are spoilt with the set up at the club. It's finally how it should be and is how many Spireites have dreamt it to be. That, however, may be the problem now. We expect the rewards to return which departed with Paul Cook back in 2015. let's not jump the gun and get depressed now though. I can't see us being relegated this season, can you? In fact, there's more chance of us gaining promotion than being relegated.
Remember when Dean Saunders was plonked in charge after Cookie? Then he was replaced with Danny Wilson? And then he was swapped with Gary Caldwell, then Lester, then Allen, then Sheridan? What did all these managers have in common, except that they all underperformed? The former owners of Chesterfield Football Club! The club had a different ethos and set up back then, which frankly wasn't fit for purpose for the long term. And I, like many Spireites screamed the famous words “Keep the faith!” in blind hope after each new manager was announced, as the club plummeted down the leagues to the eventual relegation to where we are now, the National League. I do however believe these 3 words feel more believable now. Seriously, what else can you ask for from the club than what we have in place now? We cannot win every single game that's for sure but we can and do seem to learn from our limited errors, hence our current league position.
Compare the differences from 2015-20 to now.
Firstly, the buzz is definitely back.
Secondly the kop has found its voice again. “We are top of the league!” has even been bellowing out again. That's not been heard for years!
Thirdly, we have some cracking players again who clearly wanna play and CAN play football.
Fourthly and the best of all, a manager who is hungry for the prospect of League 2 football next season. Sat with my camera pitch side it gives me goosebumps hearing the chants, including "James Rowes barmy army!" and “James Rowe give us a wave” and my personal favourite, "Wake me up before you go go, who needs Messi when you’ve got Kabongo." Epic!
Kabongo Tshimanga - the talisman.
We struck gold when we landed Asanti last season, now we have two goal-scoring machines.
Okay, Asanti is still out injured but imagine the line-up and the score lines when both are named on the team sheets by James Rowe. The squad will improve even further.
Having only been here since August, signed from Boreham Wood for an undisclosed but an “amazing fee”, (madness to sell him in my opinion but as a Spireite, who am I to moan!?)The 24-year-old has already made his intentions known and has already become the National League's top scorer. Bagging nine goals in nine games, including six in his last few starts. Tshimanga has been an instant crowd favourite as the chants prove. On match days though, he is a joy to watch. So, to conclude, let's keep the faith and enjoy the ride as it's showing to be one hell of a season if the first 9 games are anything to go by!
Text & Images: Micheal South