CHESTERFIELD put together a more than decent show in their final pre-season game.
A Derby County side, well under strength but full of decent players, were comprehensively beaten, gaining only an injury-time consolation when Steve Davies turned in from a couple of yards after ex-Chesterfield and Blades man Jamie Ward had worked well down the left.
Prior to that, Marc Richards and sub Jordan Bowery, with a brace, had given John Sheridan’s side a healthy lead.
Finnish trialist Roope Riski and midfielder Mark Allott traded shots ahead of an injury to Rams’ Jeff Hendrick. He was given lengthy treatment on the pitch, was stretchered off with a neck brace but Chesterfield’s club doctor confirmed later that he’d suffered a wrist injury and his hand had been numbed, hence the precautionary approach.
The long break led to the tempo of the game being picked up. Ben Davies just missed connecting with a cross, Riski saw Tommy Lee save a low shot and Richards headed wide.
Richards opened the scoring with his second shot of the attack, hitting home from 10 yards after Adam Legdzins had saved his initial effort. Right on half-time, he blazed wide after Drew Talbot had clipped the bar with a snap-shot.
After the break Richards went close again and Danny Whitaker saw a shot saved ahead of Bowery heading in at the far post to finish off some terrific right-sided work by Tendayi Darikwa.
Craig Clay blazed just too high as Spireites dominated and Bowery saw Legdzins save ahead of his second, converted after some sublime work by veteran Jack Lester.
Jacob Hazel had a shot blocked on the line and Bowery should have completed his hat-trick, but the keeper won the 90th minute one on one duel.
That miss allowed Derby to break out for a rare second half sortie and Davies bundled the ball home but the concession couldn’t prevent Spireites from notching up their first ever pre-season friendly win at the B2net.
Assistant manager Tommy Wright said: “I thought we played well, we played at a bit of a tempo, it was increased from the Huddersfield in midweek. We did quite well, passed the ball well and scored some very good goals and looked quite solid.”
He was very pleased with the chance count and the goals: “Marc Richards scored his first goal at the B2net and then Jordan Bowery came on, gave them all sorts of problems and scored two very good goals.”
Wright also praised the central defensive partnership of Neal Trotman and Sam Hird: “We’re trying to get a good partnership going there and we’ve also got Terrell Forbes who can play anywhere across the back line; he’s a good player and a great professional, that’s a plus.
“With Nathan Smith coming back, he did quite well saying it was his first game. He’s trained properly only once.”
Tomorrow, the competitive season starts. Chesterfield host Ronnie Moore’s Tranmere in the Capital One Cup.
Chesterfield (4-4-2): Lee (O’Donnell h-t), Forbes, Trotman (Darikwa 63), Hird, Smith (Randall 56), Talbot (Wafula 79), Togwell (Clay 63), Allott (Randall 56), Whitaker (Hazel 75), Richards (Lester 53), Westcarr (Bowery 53).
Derby (4-4-2): Legzdins, Naylor, Gjokaj (Adams 89), Hendrick (S.Davies 26), Hoganson (Lelan 26), B.Davies, Bailey (Dales 67), Doyle, Ward, Barrera (Richards 72), Riski (Bennett 61).
Goals: Richards 37, Bowery 74, 84 (Chesterfield); S.Davies (Derby).
Referee: Jock Waugh (South Yorkshire).