“It’s just nice to get on the pitch and get playing again. I think they did alright, seeing that they’ve not been together for six months” - John Pemberton after the Belper Town friendly.
Since my last page, boss John Pemberton has signed a 12 month contract with the club so he is officially our manager now, which I like. He's also retained his players for this seasons campaign. Cropper, Hollis, Smith, Denton, Rawson, Sharman, Hutchinson and my personal favourite, Nathan Tyson have all signed.
Since the friendlies it's quite obvious following the Trusts takeover of our club that money is tight, especially as fans at the time of writing are restricted from attending the games which is crippling some clubs. On the field, we must concentrate on building new foundations with limited resources. In my opinion, this will take time as the team needs time to gel and to improve from this month’s poor results. So, how did we do in the friendlies?
Chesterfield kicked off their return to live football after a 6 month break! The first was away to Belper Town which ended with a 3-2 victory. A limited number of fans witnessed new signing Milan Butterfield's first CFC goal on his debut for the club – CFCs first competitive goal since March 2020. Jonathan Smith also scored twice making it 3 for the Spireites.
The next match should have been Matlock Town FC away at Causeway Lane, but due to a back-room staff member testing positive for Covid-19, it was called off.
Luckily the 3rd scheduled friendly went ahead, but without Pemberton being present. Assistant manager John Dungworth took charge for a second away game at Alfreton Town. This tie was held behind closed doors and we lost 2-0, so we'll gloss over this result and move on.
The next and final friendly came against Guiseley on 26th September, just 7 days before the start of the National League. This also ended without a win, 0-1 to the visitors. Our new goalkeeper Kyle Letheren was missing from the game due to
being suspected of having Covid, so youngster Dylan Wharton stepped up for his first 90 mins as the Spireites' keeper. This, as the boss told the media after the game, may become a repetitive issue for us.
“This is going to be the problem through the season because we’re coming into an environment now where people are going to get common colds but we have to be tested because we have to make sure it’s not Covid. It’s a nightmare.
So there we have it, room for improvement!
See you next month for a review of the first of the league games.
Until then, stay safe Spireites.
Words & images: Michael South