Chesterfield: Ian Evatt on way back after Blackpool injury

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Club captain Ian Evatt has taken his first steps to making a return to competitive football after nine months out through injury.

The 31-year-old was sidelined after he suffered a knee injury sustained while playing for Blackpool in November last year away at Watford.

But the towering defender completed 70 minutes in a behind closed doors game against Grimsby Town on Tuesday, which Chesterfield won 5-1.

Spireites manager Paul Cook revealed the defender is getting closer to making a return to first team duties.

He said: “It’s the first step on the ladder for him and hopefully we’ll arrange games weekly, so he can get time in.”

Eoin Doyle bagged a hat-trick at the Cylinders Sports Ground, while Armand Gnanduillet and Mason Coy also got themselves on the scoresheet against the Mariners.

A host of players from the first team squad featured alongside the youth team including, Aaron Chapman, Matty Brown, Liam Cooper, Sam Togwell, Jamie Devitt, Tendayi Darikwa, Eoin Doyle and Armand Gnanduillet.

Assistant manager Leam Richardson was pleased with the level of performances from the group.

“Games like this are for the lads that need minutes in their legs. It’s like a training game but it’s better than training, it gives the lads their minutes,” he told the club website.

“Performances like this put pressure on everybody at the club, we’ve got good players who need to be playing football. “