SPIREITES: Derby County striker Bennett ‘buzzing’ after Chesterfield loan switch

Mason Bennett is unveiled as Chesterfield's new loan signing. Pic: Tina Jenner
Mason Bennett is unveiled as Chesterfield's new loan signing. Pic: Tina Jenner
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Spireites have signed 17- year-old striker Mason Bennett from Derby County on a month’s loan. Manager Paul Cook has indicated he’s likely to be on the bench for Saturday’s home match with play-off positioned Oxford United.

Langwith-born Bennett, who attended nearby Shirebrook Academy, holds the record as the Ram’s youngest-ever player when he made his debut at the age of 15 years and 99 days. He’s made 14 appearances this season, mainly off the bench, scoring one goal.

Bennett had no hesitation in joining the Spireites. He said: “I pounced on the opportunity when my agent asked me if I wanted to join Chesterfield, saying ‘yes’ straight away. I’m buzzing because I want to get in front of a crowd again and show what I can do. I’ve been in and out of the team this season and I need to start playing regularly.”

Cook said of the England U19 International: “My job is to bring good players to the club and Mason is certainly a very exciting young player. We can offer him an opportunity to come in and hopefully forge a relationship which might last longer than a month.”

Top of the table Spireites picked up no fresh injuries as a result of the 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night and they’ve received a boost after a scan on Dan Gardner’s ankle indicated that the injury wasn’t as bad as feared. Gardner could be back in a couple of weeks, as could Drew Talbot, the only other injured man, though keeper Tommy Lee is carrying a minor thigh strain but nothing bad enough to exclude him from the weekend action.

An unchanged 11 seems Chesterfield’s most likely route for the match with Mickey Lewis’s side, who are without a win in five. Oxford have plenty of firepower with James Constable, David Connolly, Dave Kitson and former Spireites Championship-winner Deane Smalley in their ranks. Smalley, 25, has bagged nine goals this season, his best tally since hitting a dozen for Chesterfield in their League Two title season of 2010-11.

Cook rubbished recent speculation that striker Marc Richards was set to move to Coventry City on loan, though he did indicate that another member of his squad could be set to move out on loan ahead of the weekend.

But the boss refused to be drawn into the player’s identity.

Sam Togwell, who’s had minimal game time this year, would be the most likely man to move out.