The Gaffer’s Notes


Dec 31, 2019
Season Preview

Back into the swing of things after the close season, and we are now officially a Sky Bet League Two side.

David Francis has gone through his expectations for the season which are as follows:
  • Avoid a relegation battle
  • Reach the second round of the FA Cup
  • Be competitive in the Carabao Cup
  • Be competitive in the Trophy
He has also committed to upgrading both training and youth facilities, with works now underway.

The bookies have us as 18-1 for the league title - slightly shorter than I was expecting in all honesty, and we are predicted to finish in 16th place. In all honesty, I would be happy with that. Whilst I have lofty ambitions, I am realistically expecting at least a season of consolidation.

I am now satisfied with the squad and I have minimal intentions of making any more deals. Coddington has taken the number 1 jersey, and Dylan Wharton has been promoted from the youth squad as his understudy. Diallo has gone on a season long loan to Slough Town, and Wakefield may be loaned out too, however for the most part I am happy that the squad is complete. With the departure of Scott Boden, Josef Yarney has taken the vice captaincy.

Squad List

1. Luke Coddington
2. Myles Welch-Hayes
3. Scott Buchanan (C)
4. Josef Yarney (VC)
5. Robbie Weir
6. Laurence Maguire
7. Joe Rowley
8. Curtis Weston
9. Anthony Spyrou
10. Liam Mandeville
11. Tre Pemberton
12. James Brown
13. Dylan Wharton
15. Charlie Wakefield
16. Darren Oldaker
17. Alassane Meite
18. Wilson Carvalho
19. Tom Harrison
20. Max Hunt
21. Jack McKay
22. Wes McDonald
23. Alex Jakubiak
26. Luke Conlan
29. Levi Amantchi
31. Mohamed Diallo
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Dec 31, 2019


Royston 0-3 Chesterfield

Maguire 7
Oldaker 16 (pen)
Jakubiak 38

Alfreton 0-2 Chesterfield
Carvalho 3
Pemberton 61

Chesterfield 0-1 Derby County

Hallam 0-5 Chesterfield

Jakubiak 9
Mandeville 19, 35
Yarney 29
Rowley 57

Matlock Town 4-0 Chesterfield
Oldaker 13 (pen)
Spyrou 23, 45+1, 51

Chesterfield 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Spyrou 56

A strong performance at Royston was to be expected. Maguire pounced on a free kick in the box to give us an early lead, before Wes McDonald was pulled over for Oldaker to double it from the spot. New man Jakubiak scored just before half time, but there were no goals from the second choice team who came out for the second half

We started well at Alfreton as well. A lovely ball by Oldaker set up Carvalho for a 3rd minute lead. Pemberton made it 2 with a typically powerful strike in the second half.

Against Derby, we put in a spirited performance but conceded early through a Jack Marriott header. We created chances but just couldn't find the net due to a fantastic goalkeeping performance.

A trip to Hallam saw us run out 5-0 winners in an excellent team performance. Jakubiak had us on our way early, and goals from Mandeville and Yarney saw us 4-0 up at the break. After the break, a wonderful 30 yard free kick from Joe Rowley found the top corner in style to make it 5.

We then travelled to Matlock, where we took another big win. DJ Oldaker sent Stewart the wrong way from the penalty spot after Jakubiak was taken down in the box, before Spyrou got a hat trick. His first came after a lovely ball from Oldaker sent him through to put it in the top corner. He was then set up by Jakubiak to slide it past the keeper for a second. His third came after the break, a powerful header from Buchanan's corner getting him the match ball. It was good to see Spyrou getting on the score sheet after he was quiet in the opening games.

Sheffield Wednesday visited the Proact to round up our preseason schedule. We gave a good performance and it was a fairly even game. Spyrou scored again to give us the lead. This time a lovely curling ball from Mandeville found him at point blank range to tuck home. We put Wednesday under real pressure all game and it was encouraging to see us better a strong side from the Championship.

I was happy overall with our preseason campaign, we won the games we should have and our only defeat was a spirited one where we played well despite not getting the result. The boys look sharp and seem to be gelling well. Jakubiak seems strong in front of goal, and Oldaker is an excellent playmaker in the centre of the park, who based on his preseason performances may get a lot more playing time than expected. Robbie Weir seems to be recovering well from his broken foot, and youth graduate Dylan Wharton has kept clean sheets in all of his game time so far. We go into the season with a fully fit squad ahead of the clash with Macclesfield.


Dec 31, 2019
August 2020

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 3-1 Macclesfield Town

Jakubiak 8
McDonald 37
Spyrou 44

Our League Two season began with the visit of Macclesfield Town to the Proact. McDonald, Jakubiak and Oldaker all started for their Spireites debuts. 6,399 Spireites fans turned out to see our return to the football league

Only 8 minutes had passed when we took the lead. A powerful corner from Mandeville found Maguire at the back post, who headed across the face of goal to find Jakubiak at the back post. Jakubiak opening his account with effectively his first touch in a Chesterfield shirt.

Minutes later, a brilliant counter attack from Spyrou set Jakubiak away again but he was denied by Kyle Letheren. From the resulting corner, Yarney could only head over.

After 37 minutes in, Wes McDonald took his turn to introduce himself to the Chesterfield faithful in style. Liam Mandeville’s pass found him in space in the box, and he unleashed a powerful effort past Letheren which went in off the far post.

On the verge of half time it was 3-0. A lovely ball from Conlan found Mandeville on the right, and his low cross was turned in by Spyrou at the near post.

Chances were at a premium in the second half. Welch-Hayes came on to replace James Brown for an appearance against his former club, and minutes later sent Spyrou through on goal, but the striker could only fire wide

With 10 minutes to go, Macclesfield pulled one back. A long ball from Elton Ngwatala found Benny Ashley-Seal, who fired beyond Coddington to make it 3-1.

However the damage was long done. We nearly made it 4 in added time when Jakubiak teed up substitute Pemberton, but he could only strike the post with his effort. A winning return to the Football League and phenomenal team performance to boot.

Sky Bet League Two
AFC Wimbledon 0-3 Chesterfield

Spyrou 13, 23, 42

3 days later we had our first away fixture at Plough Lane, home of AFC Wimbledon. The Dons had lost their opener, so I was hoping to take full advantage.

On 13 minutes we took the lead, Oldaker’s long ball forward found Jakubiak who pulled his marker out wide, before playing Spyrou into the box to slot the ball past Hudson for the opener.

7 minutes later we had almost doubled our lead. A deep free kick by Mandeville found the head of Maguire, however his effort crashed off the bar before the Dons defence cleared their lines.

On 23 minutes we made it 2-0. Wes McDonald went on a mazy run down the right wing, before picking out Spyrou who glanced a header into the far corner for his second of the game.

On 42 minutes, Spyrou completed his first competitive hat trick in a Spireites shirt. Good pressure on the edge of the box saw the ball spread to Conlan, who found Spyrou at the near post to flick the ball past Hudson and into the net. After the first came with his right foot, the second with his head and the third with his left foot, it was a perfect hat trick.

Chances were hard to come by in the second half. Yarney headed over from a corner in the 75th after Jakubiak stung the palms of Hudson and in the 86th minute, a lovely ball from McKay gave Pemberton a fantastic opportunity but his shot only rippled the side netting, however we couldn’t add to our tally.

A fantastic win from another dominating display. We can’t get ahead of ourselves but we certainly could have had worse starts.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-0 Newport County

Yarney 35

A return to the Proact saw the visit of 9th place Newport County. With the Exiles having a win and a draw from their opening two, we knew we would have to be at our best to maintain our winning start.

We had a golden opportunity to take the lead on 7 minutes. Great work by McDonald saw him work himself free of Demetriou, his cross was beyond Jakubiak, but the striker managed to pull it back to Mandeville who fired his effort straight at the keeper

3 minutes later, McDonald worked himself free again. This time he decided to go it alone, but his fierce shot was turned over by Townsend.

McDonald was causing all kinds of problems. On 11 minutes, Jakubiak brought down a long ball from the back, which he laid off to McDonald, but his strike was again pushed behind by Townsend.

Mandeville was next to be denied on 25 minutes by the fantastic Townsend. A long ball from Coddington set him free on the counter attack, and his shot was destined for the top left corner until an acrobatic save from the Newport keeper diverted the ball behind for a corner.

On 28 minutes, McDonald was forced off with pulled ankle ligaments and replaced by Tre Pemberton. A blow seeing as he was causing all kinds of problems, but we will now be without him for up to 2 weeks.

On 33 minutes, a phenomenal through ball set Jakubiak free of the defence, but his low strike was put behind by Townsend. We were knocking and knocking but the door would not budge.

However 2 minutes later, we finally blasted it open. Liam Mandeville floated a corner to the back post, where Yarney met it with a thundering header to open the scoring.

On the hour we nearly made it 2-0. Oldaker picked out Conlan’s fantastic run down the left, but the left back was denied by Townsend.

On 65 minutes, Newport nearly pulled level. Robbie Willmott found himself in space on the right hand side, but his shot for the far corner was tipped wide by a strong left hand by Coddington.

We continued to have chances, but the game would end 1-0. Townsend can take much of the credit that this remained 1-0 after a brilliant performance, but a stoic defensive performance ensured that Newport didn’t get any opportunity to cause us issues.

Carabao Cup First Round
Burton Albion 1-2 Chesterfield

Mandeville 50
Jakubiak 88

A break from league action saw us travel to the Pirelli to face recently relegated Burton in the league cup. We of course faced, and beat Burton in the FA Cup last season, and I was hoping for a repeat to uphold the board’s expectations and set up the possibility of a big tie in the second round.

We struggled to make the breakthrough, with Mandeville and Oldaker both having good chances only to be denied by Hawkins. We dominated with 66% possession but the first half would end goalless.

However, 5 minutes into the second half we took the lead. James Brown released Mandeville down the right, and he worked his way into the box before slotting the ball past Hawkins.

With 2 minutes left we doubled our lead. Carvalho released Conlan on the overlap and his cross found Jakubiak in the middle who made no mistake in securing the win.

Burton pulled one back in the first of five minutes of added time. Scott Fraser’s long ball found Sbarra who turned Brown, and his powerful effort beat Coddington to make the last four tense.

We held on though and will face Premier League Burnley at Turf Moor in the third round.

Exeter City 0-2 Chesterfield
Jakubiak 6, 90+4

A return to league football saw us travel to 3rd place Exeter, who had won two and drawn one of their opening three. The injured Wes McDonald was replaced by Tre Pemberton for the only change to the side that beat Burton in the cup two days prior.

After 6 minutes we opened the scoring. Darren Oldaker’s free kick found Yarney at the back. His header could only find the post, but the rebound fell to Jakubiak who gave Ward no chance from a matter of yards.

On 20 minutes we were given a penalty. Buchanan floated a corner into the box, and Laurence Maguire was hauled over by Sweeney at the near post to give Liam Mandeville a chance from 12 yards. He stepped up, but Ward dived to his right to make an impressive save to keep it 1-0.

We limited Exeter to only one shot on goal in the first half, and continued to test Ward, but the score would remain 1-0 going in at the break.

5 minutes into the second half we survived a real scare. Ekwah Elimby’s 25 yard free kick found the foot of the post, and fell kindly for Dean Moxey. However his shot was deflected off Maguire and hit the post again before going behind for a corner.

We had to wait until the 4th minute of added time to secure the points. A long throw from Coddington found Oldaker, he again played provider with a lovely through ball sending Jakubiak through, who struck a lovely shot past Ward into the top corner.

Another win means that we have again started a season with 4 successive league wins and are the only team to still have a 100% win record in League Two after Colchester could only draw at Northampton.
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Dec 31, 2019
August 2020

Sky Bet League Two
Forest Green Rovers 1-2 Chesterfield

Carvalho 45+1, 88

Two days later, we travelled to the New Lawn to face FGR who were our next opponents in a busy August schedule. FGR were predicted to finish in the playoffs, and came into this one in 6th place. However, we were hoping for a repeat of the fantastic performance that saw us winners in the FA Cup last season. A win would break a club record for consecutive league victories, with us having won 10 league games straight since losing to Stockport in April.

We appeared to start better, with Spyrou, Jakubiak and Yarney all denied by the FGR keeper early on. However, it was the hosts who took the lead against the run of play on 39 minutes. Dayle Grubb's free kick proved too hot for Coddington to handle and he could only palm it into the back of the net.

However, we finally got our breakthrough to draw level on the verge of half time. Mandeville's wide free kick from the left found the head of Wilson Carvalho, who opened his account for the season with a header past Smith.

Yarney and Maguire were denied from corners in the second 45 minutes, however it was fairly uneventful, and we had to wait until the 88th minute to take the lead. Pemberton's deep cross was too far for Spyrou, but found Carvalho at the back post who put it in the back of the net with a helping hand from the keeper.

5 added minutes set up a tense finish, however we held on for our 11th straight league win, maintaining our perfect start to the season

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 2-1 Morecambe

Jakubiak 34
Spyrou 72

Four days later we were back in action for our last home game of August. We welcomed 4th place Morecambe to the Proact for this one, hopeful of another win to keep the good times rolling. Wes McDonald returned to the side following his injury, at the expense of Liam Mandeville who was ruled out with a pulled groin

We dominated the early proceedings, but had to wait until the 34th minute to get our opening goal. Wes McDonald seized on a loose goal kick from Halstead. He put an excellently weighted ball over the top for Jakubiak to chase, and the striker calmly stroked it past the keeper for his 5th goal of the season.

We continued to cause problems throughout the second half, and it was only a matter of time until we extended the lead. Our second came on 72 minutes, with Anthony Spyrou getting on the end of Darren Oldaker's deep free kick to turn the ball in and equal his strike partner Jakubiak on 5 goals for the season.

Morecambe pulled one back with 3 minutes to go, Alex Kenyon getting on the end of Cranston's corner to make it 2-1, however it was too little too late, and we held on for all 3 points.

Carabao Cup Second Round
Burnley 3-1 Chesterfield

Jakubiak 86

For a break from league action, we travelled to Turf Moor to face Premier League side Burnley in the second round of the Carabao Cup. 1,439 Spireites fans made the trip to East Lancashire to cheer us on.

The hosts struck first after just 9 minutes, sustained pressure around the edge of the box saw Will Hughes find Nahki Wells, who buried it in the top corner.

We then had a few chances, first Jakubiak's powerful shot forcing an acrobatic save by Pope, before he again thwarted the striker by turning his header behind.

However, Burnley doubled their lead on the 34th minute. We were caught on the counter attack, and Dwight McNeil made his way into the area before slipping the ball under Coddington for 2-0.

20 seconds into the second half it was 3-0. A long ball forward found McNeil in space. His first shot was saved by Coddington, but the rebound fell straight back to McNeil who had the simplest of finishes into an empty net.

Jakubiak nearly pulled one back a minute later. He outpaced the defence, however his shot was parried back to him by Pope, before Matt Miazga blocked his second attempt

On 86 minutes, Jakubiak did finally beat Pope to pull one back. A long ball over the top by Oldaker set him free, and this time he gave Pope no chance with a cool finish into the back of the net.

That was the last action of the game. I am not too disappointed, I never expected anything more than a defeat and was happy with the performance. Jakubiak could have had 3 or 4 if it wasn't for Pope, and we were simply undone by a much better side.

Sky Bet League Two
Crewe Alexandra 1-0 Chesterfield

Our last league game of August saw us travel to Gresty Road to face 15th place Crewe Alexandra, hoping to bounce back from the Carabao Cup defeat to continue our 100% winning record in the league.

The nine game month had taken its toll though and tired legs stopped us from getting going. Jakubiak had multiple opportunities in front of goal but seemed to have developed a habit of placing his shots straight at the keeper.

Just before half time, Laurence Maguire's powerful volley after a corner was brilliantly tipped over, but we would struggle to threaten after that.

However, it was Crewe who took the lead in the 89th minute with their first real chance of the game. Wintle's through ball set Finney through, his shot was parried by Coddington to Maguire, who took a touch, and Callum Ainley took it off his toes to poke it into the net from a few yards out.

A disappointing end to the month, as had Jakubiak in particular been more ruthless, we would have won by 5 or 6.

End of month position: 2nd

Month review:

Well, we could have had a much worse opening month. A truly fantastic start with 18 points taken of a possible 21. Jakubiak and Spyrou have both been on good form, and Oldaker has been fantastic in the centre of midfield. Spyrou took both the awards for player of the month and young player of the month, with Jakubiak the runner up for the former. August was a tiring month, with 9 games played all in all, and that showed in the defeat to Crewe, however it will remain to be seen how we pick ourselves up in September. Off the field, Charlie Oatway has joined the coaching team from Eastleigh to allow some increased specialisation. The Trophy draw has taken place, putting us in Group B with Newcastle United's U23s, Fleetwood Town and Oldham Athletic.
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Dec 31, 2019
September 2020 Trophy Northern Section Group B
Chesterfield 1-2 Newcastle United U23

Oldaker 66 (pen)

We started September with the visit of Newcastle's U23 side to the Proact for our opener in the Trophy. The squad was much rotated in this one, with Dylan Wharton making his professional debut between the sticks, and Max Hunt and Tom Harrison coming in to rest Yarney and Maguire.

The game started scrappily, and on 25 minutes Newcastle took the lead. We failed to deal with a corner from the left hand side, and the ball eventually fell to Ludwig Francillette who finished past Wharton.

That was the only talking point of a drab first half, and we had to wait until the 66th minute until any further action. A free kick delivered by Oldaker was towards Jack McKay who was pulled down in the box, and the referee gave a penalty. Darren Oldaker stepped up and his low drive beat Freddie Woodman, marking his first goal for the club.

However, Newcastle took the points in the 90th minute. Again we failed to deal with a set piece, and could only clear the ball as far as Kelland Watts who slotted his effort past Wharton into the far corner

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 4-0 Plymouth Argyle

Mandeville 21
Spyrou 25
Jakubiak 75, 90+4

We then had a welcome 10 day break before welcoming 9th place Plymouth Argyle to the Proact. After 3 defeats on the bounce, we were keen to return to winning ways to see a return of our early season form in the league.

We started brightly, and took the lead on 21 minutes. Josef Yarney found himself with the ball out wide following a throw in, and played a fantastic ball to the far post where Liam Mandeville nodded home the opener.

4 minutes later we were 2 goals to the good. Wes McDonald's long ball released Spyrou, and August's player of the month powered the ball into the bottom left corner.

We had to wait until the 75th minute for the third. Mandeville played a teasing ball across goal from the right wing, onto the head of Jakubiak who restored his place atop the club's goalscoring charts.

And we weren't done there. 4 minutes later, Jakubiak picked up a clearance from Pemberton on the halfway line, turned his marker and took the ball all the way to the edge of the box where he fired a low effort past Cooper to round off the scoring with an early goal of the season contender.

A brilliant result and team performance to end our run of three defeats.

Sky Bet League Two
Stevenage 2-0 Chesterfield

Next up in September was a visit to the Lamex to face 14th place Stevenage.

On 5 minutes though, Stevenage took the lead. The ball was cleared to the edge of the box where Elliott List unleashed a phenomenal volley to find the top corner.

On 18 minutes they had made it 2. A cross from Terence Vancooten found Kurtis Guthrie in the middle who headed past Coddington to make it 2-0

We missed numerous chances throughout the game, however it was a really poor attacking display and we came away with nothing, seeing ourselves drop down to 3rd

Sky Bet League Two
Aldershot Town 3-3 Chesterfield

Maguire 24
Spyrou 66
Walker 80 (OG)

Next up was a trip to Aldershot to face the side that we were promoted alongside last season. The Shots have also had a fair start to the league, and are currently occupying 12th place. Having lost to Aldershot in both of our fixtures last season, I was keen for us to get a win in this one.

The game started brightly for both sides. Conlon got free for Aldershot in the opening minutes, only to be denied by Coddington, and up the other end, Spyrou's fierce shot was parried by Walker, and Jakubiak couldn't quite reach the rebound before it was cleared away.

On 24 minutes we took the lead. A corner by Liam Mandeville was met at the back post by Laurence Maguire whose powerful header found the back of the net.

We had to wait until the 66th minute to make it 2-0. Good sustained pressure around the Aldershot box saw Liam Mandeville put through one on one with Walker. His shot was saved, but the rebound fell to Anthony Spyrou who had the simple task of finding the open net from point blank range.

3 minutes later, Aldershot pulled one back. Nathan Tella's deep cross finding Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong who netted at the back post. His third goal against us in as many matches.

On 76 minutes the Shots drew level. Ryan Taylor found space on the edge of the box and Coddington could only palm his fierce effort into the back of the net.

However with 10 minutes to go we restored our lead. A long ball from Spyrou set Jakubiak free, and he worked his way into the box before trying a shot from an impossible angle, which hit Shots keeper Mitch Walker and rebounded into the back of the net.

2 minutes later we were level again. A catastrophic back pass from Josef Yarney giving Joe Hardy the simple task of touching the ball past the stranded Coddington.

We nearly lost the game in injury time, an uncharacteristically careless pass from Joe Rowley across the back 4 easily intercepted by Hardy, who was denied by an excellent save from Coddington

A really disappointing point. Having led twice, initially by 2 goals, we can definitely consider this as points dropped rather than a point gained, and the final equaliser was very much avoidable. We are now 3 points off Colchester on top with a game in hand.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 3-0 Scunthorpe United

Yarney 13, 27
Jakubiak 59

Our penultimate game of September was the visit of 21st place Scunthorpe to the Proact. This being our game in hand, we knew a win would see us top of the league, albeit on goal difference, and would open up the gap between us and Walsall in 3rd place, which is currently a single point.

We applied pressure early on, with Carvalho working Spyrou an opportunity in the box, however his shot was tipped over by Watson. From the resulting corner, Oldaker found Maguire at the near post, whose flick on to the back gave Yarney an unmissable chance inside the 6 yard box to put us in front.

We kept the pressure up and on 27 minutes it told. Another corner from Oldaker this time didn't need any help from Maguire. It went direct to the back post where Yarney buried his second of the game.

We took the 2 goal lead into half time, but I was keen to get another one, having thrown away a 2 goal lead in the last game.

Just before the hour we got it. A long ball forward by Oldaker was well beyond Jakubiak, however neither Burgess nor McGahey at the back for the Irons could decide what to do with it. Jakubiak made the decision for them, and buried the ball in the back of the net.

The game would finish 3-0. We are 4 points clear of Oldham in 3rd and back on top of the league, on the same points tally as Colchester, but with a 9 goal advantage over them.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-0 Grimsby Town

Jakubiak 2

Our last game of the September schedule was at home against league bottom side Grimsby. A win in this one would mean that we would end the month top of the league, a quarter of the way through the season.

It took less than 90 seconds for us to take the lead. Jakubiak looked second best, but just beat Waterfall to Oldaker's long ball, before slotting it past James McKeown at his near post for his 10th of the season.

We looked unsurprisingly the better team throughout the half, however James McKeown was putting in a strong performance between the sticks for the Mariners. First he denied an effort from Spyrou that looked destined for the bottom corner, and minutes later denied him again, before getting up to save Mandeville's effort from the rebound. A last ditch block from Waterfall just before the break was the only thing preventing Jakubiak making it 2-0.

After the break, Yarney headed narrowly wide from a free kick, and on a rare break for the visitors, Jake Hessenthaler put the ball just over the bar from a counter attack

In injury time, we nearly threw our lead away. A Grimsby corner was headed on target but saved by Coddington. Penalty area pinball ensued, with numerous shots blocked and saved, however the ball eventually went behind for a goal kick and the final whistle blew.

Not the prettiest win of the season, but three points nonetheless. To make matters even better, Daniel Gardner scored an 88th minute equaliser for Leyton Orient away at Colchester, so we are now 2 points clear at the top of the league.

End of month position: 1st

Month review:

For the first time in my Chesterfield career, we have managed to hold top spot to the end of a month. Not as good a month as August, with only 10 points gained from a possible 15, however the wins have been very positive. The draw to Aldershot was disappointing, and felt like a loss considering we had been 2-0 up and cruising, however I'm relieved that we haven't made a habit of throwing leads away and successfully killed off the game against Scunthorpe the following match. Our sole league defeat was also a disappointment, whilst Stevenage scored 2 very good goals, we weren't clinical enough in front of goal and were punished for it. In all honestly, I am not overly concerned about the Trophy, and I'm happy to use it as development opportunities and game time for some of the younger players. If the EFL won't take that competition seriously neither will I - but that's a subject for a whole other thread. Jakubiak has a healthy 10 goals from 15 games, double the 5 he managed in 35 at Gillingham last year, and is the league's top scorer. Off the field, Alassane Meite has gone out on a season long loan to Vanarama National League side Yeovil to get some more experience, and youngsters Sam Fearn (GK) and Brandon Bradbury (MC) have been promoted to the senior squad to continue their development.
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Dec 31, 2019
October 2020

Sky Bet League Two
Bristol Rovers 1-2 Chesterfield

Spyrou 56
Jakubiak 63

October began with a visit to the Memorial Stadium to face 4th place Bristol Rovers. We are currently 5 points clear of the Gas, and even at this early stage of the season, 3 points could be huge down the line in keeping us in the automatic promotion places. Charlie Wakefield came into the side to replace the injured Joe Rowley.

The Gas appeared to start the brighter, with Zamburek going close and Mark Little hitting the bar before the 20 minute mark.

On 28 minutes, Josh Bowler burst into the box, only to be felled by Welch-Hayes at the expense of a penalty kick. Joe Garner stepped up and sent Coddington the wrong way to open the scoring.

On 56 minutes we were level, Darren Oldaker played a long ball into the Gas area which Alfie Kilgour beat Spyrou to. However, his backless sold Jaakola short and Spyrou pounced to level the scoreline.

6 minutes later the turnaround was complete. Mandeville’s corner was cleared back to him. He found Wes McDonald who crossed for Alex Jakubiak who turned the ball home to score against a club that once had him on loan.

We managed to hold on until full time. We worked hard and it is without a doubt 3 huge points gained against a very strong Bristol Rovers side. Trophy North Group B
Oldham Athletic 3-0 Chesterfield

On the road again, this time in the Trophy for a visit to Boundary Park, home of fellow League Two side Oldham Athletic. We made wholesale changes again for this one, with Wharton getting another go in the sticks and new graduate Brandon Bradbury making the bench. Bradbury has been given the number 32 shirt.

On 26 minutes Oldham took the lead. A free kick was cleared out to Kieran Hayes on the right, and he unleashed a powerful shot into the top corner that gave Wharton no chance.

2 minutes into the second half, Hayes made it 2-0. Amantchi cheaply gave possession away to Oseh. His through ball found Hayes who placed his effort past Wharton and into the far corner.

A minute later it was 3-0. Hayes free kick found George Nurse who put his header in the top corner.

Bradbury then came on to replace Weston for his professional debut, alongside Spyrou who replaced Amantchi to give us at least some bite up front, however it would finish 3-0. Our last group game against Fleetwood will be a total dead rubber and an opportunity to give some experience to our younger players.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 2-0 Port Vale

McDonald 11
Yarney 90+4

Back to games that matter, and the visit of 23rd placed Port Vale to the Proact. With Vale struggling, I was hoping to take a win to add to our growing promotion credentials.

On 11 minutes we took the lead. Luke Conlan made a surging run down the left, before delivering a whipped cross which found Wes McDonald at the back post to head the Spireites in front.

We dominated the rest of the half without reward, putting 18 shots on goal with a combination of luck and Scott Brown denying us, however we could smell blood in the water.

However, we had to wait until the 4th minute of added time to get our goal. Charlie Wakefield played a deep corner to Yarney who powered a header home to seal the points.

I’m not quite sure how we didn’t win this by more. We put 37 shots on goal, 15 of which being on target and limited Port Vale to just 1 shot in the whole game. However, it is a good 2-0 win and extends our unbeaten run to 5 games.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 2-0 Cambridge United

Jakubiak 39, 90

Next up to visit the Proact were 12th placed Cambridge United. We were missing Charlie Wakefield who is out for 2-3 weeks after pulling his ankle ligaments in training, so he was replaced by the fit again Joe Rowley.

We started brightly in this one, but struggled to convert our chances into goals

Alex Jakubiak however gave us the lead 39 minutes in. He managed to run clear of the defence and saw his first effort strike the post. However he made it first to the rebound to give himself an open net to open the scoring.

The second half continued much in a similar vein. We had the better of the play, but just couldn’t find another goal.

However, we finally sealed the points in the 90th minute. Conlan picked the ball up on the left wing and his cross found Jakubiak at the near post who nodded home to secure the points. Colchester lost 1-0 at home to Oldham, so we are now 5 points clear at the top

Sky Bet League Two
Oldham Athletic 1-0 Chesterfield

Next up was our second trip of the month to Boundary Park, this time in a league fixture. Oldham were sitting 5th in the table having lost 3-1 to Colchester on the weekend, so a win was key to open those point gaps and keep morale high.

It was Oldham who opened the scoring on the 31st minute, George Nurse getting on the end of Ryan Paczkowski’s free kick to head home.

We created numerous chances through the second half but just couldn’t find that bit of quality in the final third to beat Woods.

It would end 1-0. A disappointing result, however we remain on top by 2 points.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 2-0 Northampton Town

McDonald 56
Pemberton 80

Looking to return to winning ways, we welcomed 20th place Northampton to the Proact. Darren Oldaker was rested and Curtis Weston was given the opportunity to replace him.

The first half was fairly even. Both sides had chances, however we probably edged it, without any reward for our efforts.

We started strongly in the second half, and 10 minutes in we took the lead. From a throw in, the ball fell to Luke Conlan on the left hand side, and his cross found Wes McDonald who blasted it past Barnes into the bottom corner.

On 80 minutes we sealed the points. The ball was spread wide to McDonald who this time turned provider, sending an excellent cross to substitute Tre Pemberton whose first time volley found the top corner for his first of the season.

An excellent win, and with Colchester losing at AFC Wimbledon and Oldham only managing a draw at Bristol Rovers, we restored our 5 point lead at the top of the table.

Sky Bet League Two
Crawley Town 1-0 Chesterfield

We ended our October schedule on Halloween, with a fitting visit to creepy Crawley Town who currently occupy 7th place in the league. We knew that it would be a tough game and that we would have to be at our best for a winning end to the month. With the 5 point cushion between us and 2nd place, we knew that whatever the result, we would end the month in pole position, however I was keen to keep that gap and add to it if possible.

It was the hosts who had the better of the opening stages, Van Velzen twice denied in the first 10 minutes by Coddington.

They took the lead on 26 minutes with the stuff of nightmares. Panutche Camara found Jacob Maddox, who beat the defence before slotting the ball inside Coddington's near post.

Just before half time, we almost went level with a touch of fortune. As Mandeville floated a cross in, Van Velzen looked like a man possessed as he headed towards his own goal, however the ball struck the post and went out for a corner.

However, we went into the break 1-0 down. The only saving grace being that Colchester had conceded an equaliser against Morecambe and Oldham were trailing to Carlisle.

We started positively in the second half, Jakubiak denied by Okonkwo in the opening minutes.

We continued to knock on the door through the second half but couldn't find a way past the Crawley keeper. Pemberton, Jakubiak and Yarney all having good efforts saved in the closing minutes.

However we couldn't find the breakthrough and it was ultimately a Halloween of horrors. Fortunately, Colchester drew 2-2 with Morecambe, and Oldham drew 1-1 with Carlisle, so the gap remains at 4 points going into November.

End of month position: 1st

Month review:

We ended the month as we started it, on top of the pile. However, the 4 point cushion does give me some confidence to build on. We put in a fantastic performance against Bristol Rovers to take a very good 3 points, and were unlucky not to take anything from the league fixtures with Crawley and Oldham. 12 from a possible 18 points could have been better, but we are still very much over performing and I am confident as we approach the half way mark that we will at the very least be in the promotion picture come April.
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Dec 31, 2019
November 2020

FA Cup First Round
Chesterfield 3-0 Chorley

Spyrou 2
Jakubiak 21
Oldaker 76

November started with a FA Cup first round tie at home to Vanarama National League side Chorley. The board were expecting at least passage to the second round, as was I. I'm hoping for another cup run this year to match last years successes. I put out a full strength side for this one, taking nothing for granted in the knowledge that our fringe players and youth prospects would have a chance to perform in our midweek Trophy fixture against Fleetwood.

We started predictably the better side, and had the lead after 90 seconds. From a throw on the left hand side, the ball fell to Mandeville and his cross was turned in by Anthony Spyrou at the near post.

On 21 minutes we had a second. A Chorley throw was cleared to Spyrou, and on the counter he ran the length of the pitch before picking out Jakubiak in the middle, who had enough time to take a touch before calmly placing it in the far corner.

We started the second half strongly, Urwin first denying Jakubiak from close range before tipping Maguire's header over the bar from the resulting corner.

On the hour, Chorley were down to 10 men. McDonald was clattered by Morley on the right wing who saw his second yellow card and was duly dismissed.

With quarter of an hour remaining, we killed off any doubts. Charlie Wakefield's corner found his central midfield partner Oldaker in the middle who volleyed home his second of the season.

We will host League One side Wycombe Wanderers in the second round. Trophy Northern Section Group B
Chesterfield 0-0P Fleetwood Town

Our final fixture in the Trophy saw the visit of League One playoff hopefuls Fleetwood to the Proact. I planned wholesale changes and fully anticipated a loss in order to rotate game time and give some youngsters first team experience. Josef Yarney was the only person to retain his place from the FA Cup victory.

The first half was surprisingly equal. Levi Amantchi went close with a header from a corner, and Wakefield's fierce long range strike looked destined for the top corner, denied only by the face of offside Spireites striker Jack McKay.

Just after the half time break, Ashley Hunter found himself through one on one with Dylan Wharton, but the young keeper stood firm to put the ball behind for a corner.

At the other end, Amantchi did well to break free of the defence but saw his effort tipped over by Crellin.

Jack Sowerby had the best chance of the game on 70 minutes. He ran half the length of the field on the counter attack, beating Wharton but putting his effort just the wrong side of the post.

However, the game would end goalless, and we went to penalties.

Things started poorly when Carvalho's penalty was saved after Morris beat Wharton easily. They got worse when McKay's effort was also saved after Sowerby scored. Clarke was third to beat Wharton, meaning a miss from Anthony Spyrou would end the game. He sent Crellin the wrong way to put us on the scoresheet. However, McAleny stepped up and slotted past Wharton to give the game to the visitors.

A surprisingly spirited effort and we were unlucky with the lottery of penalties, however our ordeal in the Trophy is over. A full strength side probably would have won, however with it being a dead rubber it is valuable game time for the rotated squad.

Sky Bet League Two
Walsall 0-5 Chesterfield

Yarney 53
Jakubiak 63, 90+3
Spyrou 90, 90+1

A return to league football saw us travel to the Bescot for our first of two league games in November, to face 5th place Walsall. With Walsall unbeaten in their last 5, I knew this was going to be a difficult game but was hoping for 3 points to build some consistent form going into December. With a fully fit squad to pick from, we returned to a full strength side with Wes McDonald lining up against his former employers.

We started the brighter. 20 seconds in, Anthony Spyrou was denied by the bar with a shot from an impossible angle, and minutes later McDonald went on a mazy run to the edge of the box but his shot was tipped wide by Roberts. From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Mandeville but his shot was held by Roberts.

In the 53rd minute we finally took the lead. Yarney got on the end of Mandeville's corner to fire a typically powerful header into the back of the net.

We should have been 2-0 up before the hour. A brilliant ball from Conlan found Jakubiak one on one, but he was denied by Roberts.

However, in the 63rd minute we did double our lead. A long ball by Oldaker found Jakubiak in behind, and this time he made no mistake, slotting the ball in the bottom right corner for his 15th of the season.

In the 90th minute we made it 3-0. Walsall defender Kory Roberts looked to have dealt with McDonald's long ball, but his touch in the box gave the ball to Anthony Spyrou who found the top corner for his 10th goal of the season.

A minute later it was 4-0. Conlan played in Carvalho on the left, who had all the time in the world to square the ball to Spyrou who scored his second in as many minutes.

The floodgates had well and truly opened and we made it 5 a minute later. Carvalho again the provider, this time played a long ball over the top for Jakubiak to run onto, and he nicked it past Roberts.

I had expected a close game in this one, but it is probably the best result and performance I have seen as Spireites manager. We were more dominant than I expected in the first half, but struggled with quality in the final third, however full credit to the boys for the second half performance for a really strong win against a side doing well. To make matters better, Oldham lost at Leyton Orient and Colchester's FA Cup exit means they don’t play until the final weekend of the month. Exeter's win at Carlisle has seen them move up to second, however we are now 6 points clear at the top.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-1 Carlisle United

McDonald 45+4

Our second and final league fixture of the month saw us host 13th place Carlisle United. We named an unchanged side from the 5-0 thumping of Walsall.

We nearly took the lead 9 minutes in. A fantastic long ball by Oldaker found Jakubiak clear of the defence. His effort went under Collin and looked to be trickling across the line, but Jones got back to clear. McDonald got to the loose ball first and looked to keep the attack alive, but his cross was blocked by Mellish for a corner. However, we couldn't make anything of the set piece.

However it was the visitors who took the lead on 32 minutes. An excellent free kick from Larnell Cole finding the top corner via the post from 25 yards.

Deep into injury time in the first half we were level. Tre Pemberton's cross found Wes McDonald at the back post who tucked the ball into the far corner to restore parity.

We played out of our skin in the second half, but without reward. The game would finish 1-1, however with Colchester, Oldham and Exeter all losing their games, second place is now occupied by Bristol Rovers, with us 7 points clear at the top to finish November.

FA Cup Second Round
Chesterfield 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers

McDonald 37
Jakubiak 71

Our final fixture of the November schedule saw us host League One side Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup. A win would see us potentially facing the Premier League giants in the third round. Josef Yarney was rested for this one and was replaced by Myles Welch-Hayes in the starting lineup. Our other eye was on Colchester's game in hand at home to Newport County

We started the stronger, James Brown's volley after 9 minutes saved well by Allsop.

From there however, the Chairboys came into the game. Coddington first denied Wheeler from close range, before producing a great reflex save to turn Delfouneso's effort over the bar.

On 37 minutes though we did take the lead. Darren Oldaker's long ball found Jakubiak, whose shot was tipped wide by Allsop. From the resulting corner, Mandeville's delivery found McDonald who glanced a header into the far corner.

We were nearly 2 up at the start of the second half. McDonald worked himself clear of the defence but his shot was well saved by Allsop.

However on 67 minutes it was 1-1. A long ball over the top found Delfouneso, who this time slotted the ball past Coddington for the leveller.

We retook the lead less than 5 minutes later. After sustained pressure, Mandeville played in Jakubiak who swept the ball into the far corner.

Wycombe piled on the pressure, however we held on for a big win that sees us into the third round again, where we will face fellow League Two side Carlisle United at Brunton Park. To make matters better, Newport came from 2-0 down to beat Colchester 3-2, so we have maintained our 7 point lead into December.

End of month position: 1st

Month review:

A short month with only 2 games in the league that saw us pick up 4 points of a possible 6. Results elsewhere went in our favour though, and we find ourselves 7 points clear at the top of the division as we approach the halfway point. The FA Cup wins were impressive, with a job well done against Chorley followed by a fantastically strong performance and victory against a side from a higher league. The result of the month though was undoubtedly the 5-0 win against Walsall, where we totally outplayed a side in good form and came away with a phenomenal result. December will be a big month, with us kicking off against bottom of the league Burton, before our remaining 4 fixtures are all against sides in the promotion picture - Bristol Rovers, Oldham, Leyton Orient and Colchester. Off the field, Brandon Bradbury has joined Alfreton on loan for the rest of the season, whilst Max Hunt has been loaned out to Southport. Anthony Spyrou picked up the Young Player of the Month award after some impressive performances.
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Dec 31, 2019
December 2020

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 2-1 Burton

Jakubiak 19, 73

Our big December started with the visit of 24th place Burton Albion to the Proact. With Burton bottom of the league and us having won our last 2 meetings with them, this was arguably our easiest fixture on paper, however we would have to put in a professional performance to ensure maximum points. Charlie Wakefield replaced Joe Rowley, who is suspended after picking up 10 yellow cards. Elsewhere, Colchester visit Crawley, whilst Exeter host FGR and Oldham host Macclesfield.

On 19 minutes we took the lead. John-Joe O'Toole dallied on the ball in the middle of the park and it was stolen by Wakefield, who played an excellent through ball setting Jakubiak free to curl the ball into the far corner from just outside the box.

We continued to dominate in the second half, with Jakubiak and Spyrou both unlucky not to beat Garratt on multiple occasions.

However on 73 minutes we did finally double our lead. Jakubiak kept the ball alive after Wakefield's corner beat everyone. His cross found Laurence Maguire, who returned it to the striker for him to find the far corner.

A minute later though Burton pulled one back, Oliver Sarkic getting on the end of Akins' cross to set up an uncomfortable last 15 minutes.

However we held on to secure a good result to kick the month off. Elsewhere, Bristol Rovers beat Carlisle 2-0, keeping them 7 points behind us. However, Oldham could only draw with Macclesfield, Colchester lost 4-3 to Crawley and Exeter were smashed 3-0 by FGR, which opens up at 10 point gap between us and the playoff places.

Sky Bet League Two
Colchester United 3-1 Chesterfield

Maguire 75

Next up was the first of our promotion 6 pointers, away at Colchester United. The U's have fallen as far as 7th and have lost their last 3 in the league. They haven't won their last 6, so whilst this is no longer the top of the table clash that it looked to be a few weeks ago, it will be good to capitalise against a team in poor form. Joe Rowley returns to the side at the expense of Charlie Wakefield following his suspension.

It was the hosts who took the lead just 13 seconds after kick off. Joe Rowley lost possession in his own half to Luke Norris, who played in Brandon Comley to finish past Coddington.

We had chances through the rest of the half, Spyrou and Jakubiak both denied by Dean Gerken, before the latter sliced wide after a brilliant ball from Conlan sent him through.

However, it was the U's who doubled their lead on 64 minutes. A long free kick from Ryan Jackson sent Luke Norris in behind, and he found the top corner to put us in real trouble.

With 15 minutes to go we pulled one back. From a corner on the left, the ball fell back to Mandeville who played a low cross to the near post, turned in by Laurence Maguire to give us some hope of mounting a comeback.

However Colchester secured the points in the third minute of added time. A poor pass by Oldaker deep in the U's half gave the ball away to Harry Pell, who ran most of the length of the pitch before sliding the ball past Coddington.

A disappointing result on a day where we could not find the end product in the spells where we were the better side and were punished for it. However, we got a helping hand from Burton, who beat Oldham 7-4 and Newport, who beat Bristol Rovers 2-1 to maintain our 7 point gap. A let off, but if we were more clinical we could have been 10 points clear.

Sky Bet League Two
Leyton Orient 3-2 Chesterfield

Oldaker 26
Mandeville 33

Next up was a visit to East London to face Leyton Orient, whose dip in form has seen them drop to 12th place in the league. With this being match day 23, it marked the halfway point in the season, and I was hoping for a win to tie up our excellent first half of the season and make a statement about our intentions in the second.

The game started slowly, with no real chances of note. However, we took the lead in style in the 26th minute. Mandeville's corner found its way to Joe Rowley, who laid the ball off to Darren Oldaker just outside the box, and he smashed it into the top left corner from distance.

A minute later, Luke Conlan picked up a twisted ankle which saw him replaced by Scott Buchanan, and will see him out of action for up to 4 weeks.

We didn't hold our lead for long, and Orient were level on the half hour. Dan Gardner picked up the ball on the edge of the area, and found Conor Wilkinson who fired his shot inside the near post.

However, 3 minutes later we were back in front. A free kick from James Brown found McDonald on the right, and his cross found the head of Mandeville who put a looping header in the far corner.

On 72 minutes the game was levelled again. Buchanan lost Myles Judd on the left and his cross found Ali Coote in too much space and he had all the time in the world to place his effort in the top corner.

2 minutes later it was 3-2. Buchanan again allowed Maguire-Drew way too much time on the left, and his cross found Lee Angol in the middle who headed past Coddington.

Another disappointing defeat, with a 2 minute collapse meaning we came away with nothing. Luke Conlan's injury is a concern, with Scott Buchanan's lack of match fitness very much evident with his involvement (or lack of) in the 2 goals we conceded in the second half

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 2-0 Bristol Rovers

Carvalho 12
Pemberton 86

Boxing Day saw us return to the Proact to face 5th place Bristol Rovers. After suffering consecutive league defeats for the first time this season, I was really hoping that we would pick ourselves up for a repeat of our brilliant performance earlier in the season in the reverse fixture. Myles Welch-Hayes started as replacement for the injured Conlan. Darren Oldaker also pulled a groin in the buildup to this one, meaning he was replaced by Charlie Wakefield.

We had the perfect start. Just 12 minutes were on the clock when James Brown's deep cross found Carvalho in the middle, and his shot found its way into the back of the net via the post.

The game was fairly even from then on, Josh Bowler had the ball in the net from a free kick with 18 minutes to go but the Rovers man saw his strike chalked off for offside.

However on 86 minutes we secured all 3 points. Jakubiak's searching long ball found substitute Tre Pemberton on the right, and he ran clear to beat Jaakola to double the lead.

A strong return to winning ways and 6 points taken off of our fellow promotion contenders.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 3-1 Oldham Athletic

Hilton 5 (OG)
Spyrou 48
Mandeville 75

Two days later we were back in action for our final fixture of 2020 at home to 7th place Oldham Athletic. James Brown's yellow card against Bristol Rovers means that he has a 2 game suspension, and was replaced in the starting lineup by Buchanan. Having suffered defeat twice to Oldham this season, I was hoping to take maximum points for a positive end to 2020.

Another perfect start. After 5 minutes, Buchanan's left sided corner found Maguire in the middle. His header crashed back off the bar, causing havoc in the 6 yard box, before an Oldham clearance hit Lewis Hilton and rebounded into the back of the net.

However on 12 minutes Oldham were level. Starting with a Spireites corner, the clearance worked its way to Mampala. His pass released George Nurse who levelled the score.

3 minutes into the second half we were back in front. Mandeville's long ball found McDonald on the right, and he made his way to the byline before pulling the ball back to Anthony Spyrou who tapped in from close range.

Oldham looked to have an instant reply. On 53 minutes, Sylla's long ball found Mampala who beat Coddington, however the flag went up for a marginal offside giving us a lucky escape.

That appeared to give us a boost, and Jakubiak and Spyrou were then denied by Woods, before Yarney hit the bar when he got his head on the end of Darren Oldaker's free kick.

Anthony Spyrou looked to have wrapped up the win on 67 minutes. He met Oldaker's free kick to turn it into the back of the net but saw the linesman's flag rule it out.

We weren't allowing Oldham to get the ball out of their half, and on 75 minutes the pressure told. Spyrou released Jakubiak, who saw his shot saved. The rebound fell to Liam Mandeville who made no mistake in making it 3-1.

A very good 3 points against a strong side in the division which sees us into 2021 with a win.

End of month position: 1st

Month review:

We have had better months, however we can take positives with 9 points taken from a possible 15. The defeats to Colchester and Leyton Orient were disappointing, with our goalscorer looking off colour and a total lapse of concentration costing us the points at Orient. However, the 3 wins were very good performances and crucial points to collect. Darren Oldaker was named on the honours list for Goal of the Month with his strike against Leyton Orient. We end 2020 top of League Two, with a 7 point gap between us and Crawley in 2nd, and that is something that we will hope to build upon in the second half of the season. We are now in a very strong position in the automatic promotion race, and have set the bar for the title race, having picked up an impressive 53 points in the first half of the season. Jakubiak tops the league scoring charts with 15 and Spyrou is close behind him with 11.
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Dec 31, 2019
January Recruitment

David Buchanan has left the club on a free transfer to Cliftonville. At 34 years old, the club captain wasn't really featuring much behind Luke Conlan and was earning much too high a wage to justify him staying at the club.

Levi Amantchi has also left the club, albeit on a loan basis to Boston United for the remainder of the season.


Brandon Haunstrup


The first January arrival was 24 year old left back Brandon Haunstrup on a £76k deal from League One side Portsmouth. A product of the Pompey academy, Brandon struggled to break into the first team squad at Fratton Park, but comes highly recommended and boasts great pace. Brandon arrives as a direct replacement for Buchanan and will challenge for the first choice at left back. Haunstrup will wear the number 3 shirt.

Nick Tsaroulla


The next arrival was another left back, this time 21 year old Cypriot Nick Tsaroulla who arrives from Championship side Brentford for £42k. Nick was scouted alongside Haunstrup as direct recommendation from Ian Hendon. Likely to be more of a future prospect, Nick's potential seemed too good to turn down and he will be in and around the first team squad behind Haunstrup. Tsaroulla will wear the number 24 shirt.

Dylan Parker


The final signing of the January window was 20 year old striker Dylan Parker on a free transfer from semi professional outfit Stratford Town. Dylan was at Stratford on a non contract basis, having started his career there at 15, before catching the attention of then League One side Walsall. Since returning to Stratford after failing to break into the team at the Bescot, Dylan has scored 29 goals in 50 appearances, and has bags of potential to act as a backup striker option. Parker will wear the number 28 shirt.
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Dec 31, 2019
January 2021

FA Cup Third Round
Carlisle United 3-4 Chesterfield

Jakubiak 15
McDonald 24
Mandeville 32
Oldaker 45+2

We started 2021 with a visit to Brunton Park, where we faced fellow League Two side Carlisle for a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup. I was hoping for a win to put us in the hat for a bumper tie in the fourth round.

After 15 minutes we took the lead Myles Welch-Hayes long ball over the top found Jakubiak in space, and he slid the ball past Collin to finally get his 20th competitive goal of the season.

We have recently been vulnerable after scoring, and this one was no different. Straight from kick off, a long ball caught Tom Harrison out of position, and allowed Hallam Hope to round Coddington and finish in the back of the net.

On 24 minutes we were back in front though. Darren Oldaker's free kick into the area found Mandeville, his header was blocked, leading to a scrappy affair in the 6 yard box where we just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. It was cleared as far as Wes McDonald, and there was nothing scrappy about his effort, as he found the top right corner with an unstoppable effort from 30 yards.

On 32 minutes we made it 3-1. Good work from Welch-Hayes found Jakubiak. He held the ball up on the left wing before finding Mandeville's run inside, and the left winger curled the ball into the far corner to double our advantage.

In the second minute of added time in the first half we made it 4-1. Darren Oldaker curling a fantastic free kick into the top corner from 25 yards.

On 57 minutes, Carlisle pulled one back in bizarre fashion. The ball was played through to Hallam Hope, who pulled up with an injury, and miscommunication between the usually reliable Yarney and Coddington saw the ball bounce to Mohammed Sagaf, who passed into the open goal.

On 75 minutes, Carlisle made it 4-3, and looked to be mounting an unlikely comeback. Lloyd James found the top corner with a free kick from 27 yards out.

We did hold on to see out the win, but having been 4-1 up we didn't make it easy for ourselves. We will host Premier League giants Chelsea at the Proact in the fourth round.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-1 Aldershot Town

Jakubiak 14

After our midweek game at Port Vale was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Vale Park, our first league fixture of 2021 was at home to 12th place Aldershot Town. I was hoping for a win to break our winless run against the Shots and get our promotion push rolling. With the departure of Scott Buchanan and Conlan still injured, Charlie Wakefield slotted in at left back.

On 14 minutes we took the lead. Mandeville's wide free kick was headed back across goal by Anthony Spyrou to give his strike partner Jakubiak a tap in from close range.

On 57 minutes Aldershot drew level. Coddington got a hand to Conlon's free kick but could only divert it into the back of the net.

We piled on pressure throughout the second half but just couldn't beat Mitch Walker.

In the third minute of added time, Aldershot went down to 10 men. Liam Hegarty dismissed when he pulled Jakubiak down one on one with the keeper. Oldaker played in the resulting free kick and after Tom Harrison's effort was parried, Alex Jakubiak tucked home but was adjudged to be offside.

We didn't have enough time to make the man advantage count though, and had to settle for a disappointing point.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-0 AFC Wimbledon

Jakubiak 72 (pen)

Our postponed fixture against Port Vale was postponed again, the drainage at Vale Park apparently isn't too great. Instead we got a rest and were next in action at home to 18th place AFC Wimbledon. Brandon Haunstrup started at left back for his Spireites debut, and new signings Nick Tsaroulla and Dylan Parker made the bench.

The first half was fairly uneventful. We had the better of the possession and half chances came and went however we couldn't find the breakthrough.

On 61 minutes came the first real talking point of the game. Jakubiak got goal side of Dons defender Reuben Collins, but was pulled down. Collins had already seen a yellow card, so the referee showed him another one, swiftly followed by a red to give us a man advantage for the last half an hour.

On the 70th minute, we had a brilliant chance to go in front from 12 yards. Wakefield's free kick was towards Yarney, and he was dragged down in the 6 yard box to give Alex Jakubiak the chance from the spot. He made no mistake, slotting the ball out of the reach of Hudson.

The game would end that way. Not the prettiest of performances but we got the points and have made it 5 unbeaten. Brandon Haunstrup picked up a bruised shin which saw him withdrawn early for fellow debutant Nick Tsaroulla, and Dylan Parker replaced Spyrou in the last 20 minutes. Both gave solid performances.

FA Cup Fourth Round
Chesterfield 0-1 Chelsea

Next up in the January schedule was the FA Cup tie at home to Premier League giants Chelsea. I wasn't expecting a win from this one, however I was hoping for a spirited performance to impress the sold out Proact.

On 26 minutes Chelsea took the lead, Reece James' pass playing in Christian Pulisic who beat Coddington to put the visitors in front.

We weathered the storm throughout the game, and even managed to get some half decent chances on the counter, but Zlobin was equal to all that we could throw at him.

On 82 minutes, it looked like we might have had an unlikely equaliser. Anthony Spyrou's long ball set Jakubiak free, he slid the ball into the far corner but his celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.

We threw everything we had in the last 10 minutes but the game would finish 1-0. I'm proud of the boys for their performance, with every single member of the team giving 100% and giving a Premier League side an even game. We did not expect to progress and now we can give 100% focus to the title challenge.

Sky Bet League Two
Macclesfield Town 0-2 Chesterfield

Mandeville 44 (pen)
Spyrou 67

A return to league action saw us travel to 18th place Macclesfield Town. We are now 2 points clear of 2nd place Crawley, with 2 games in hand, so I am keen to start opening that gap up again.

The first half was fairly uneventful, with little more than half chances. Mandeville went close from range, before Jakubiak could only find the side netting after a corner. Jakubiak was then denied by Letheren shortly before the break when he went through one on one.

However on 43 minutes, we had a penalty. Wes McDonald looked to have teed up Jakubiak with a low cross from the right but the striker was felled in the box. Liam Mandeville stepped up and fired his effort into the bottom left corner, giving Letheren no chance.

On 67 minutes we made it 2-0. Good work from Carvalho saw him play in Jakubiak. He laid the ball off to Wakefield, whose initial shot was going wide, but Anthony Spyrou managed to get a toe to it to divert it into the back of the net.

We nearly made it 3-0 minutes later. Carvalho's cross was laid back to Wakefield by second half substitute Dylan Parker, but his shot could only rattle the crossbar.

Another strong win that sees us hit the 60 point mark for the season and makes it 5 games unbeaten in the league.

Sky Bet League Two
Newport County 2-1 Chesterfield

Mandeville 23

The last January fixture saw us travel to Rodney Parade to face 5th place Newport. We beat the Exiles in the early season, however they have since put together a strong run of form that has seen them beat a number of our promotion rivals to help us out. I was hoping for 3 points to give us a real edge in the race.

After good pressure, it was the hosts who took the lead on 22 minutes. Josh Sheehan seized on Wakefield's loose pass and found himself in on goal to slide Newport in front.

However a minute later we pegged the Exiles back. Yarney's deep cross found the head of Mandeville at the back post who found the far corner to make it 1-1.

On 76 minutes Newport retook their lead. An awful header back to Coddington by Haunstrup allowed Touray in to make it 2-1.

We tried to get forward, and in the first minute of added time, Dylan Parker looked to have been pulled back to prevent him getting on the end of Spyrou's cross, but the ref wasn't interested in any penalty appeals. A defeat sees us fall to second place with Crawley taking the top spot. We do have 2 games in hand, but it is crucial that we put in strong performances to open the gap again.

End of month position: 2nd

Month review:

An average to disappointing start to the year in all honesty. We gained 7 points from a possible 12, however the performances are giving me cause for concern. Jakubiak and Spyrou have certainly dipped in form, and both goals conceded against Newport were really of our own making. On a positive note, Nick Tsaroulla and Dylan Parker have both had positive starts to life at Chesterfield, putting in positive performances with Parker unlucky not to score against Macclesfield. That being said, he is getting in the right positions and the goals will soon come. We play both of our games in hand against Cambridge and Port Vale in February, and those games are huge to get us back on top
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Dec 31, 2019
February 2021

Sky Bet League Two
Cambridge United 2-2 Chesterfield

Jakubiak 59
Spyrou 61

We looked to return to winning ways with the first of our games in hand, travelling to 8th place Cambridge United. With both Yarney and Mandeville looking jaded, they were replaced by Myles Welch-Hayes and Wilson Carvalho.

We had an awful start. Just 3 minutes in, Samir Carruthers through ball found Harvey Knibbs who beat Coddington to open the scoring.

However just before the hour we were level. An excellent ball from the returning Luke Conlan found Alex Jakubiak, who curled the ball into the far corner for his 23rd of the season.

2 minutes later we were in front. Conlan again played in Jakubiak, who this time squared the ball to the unmarked Anthony Spyrou, who found the top left corner.

However we didn't hold our lead for long. 2 minutes later, Kyle Knoyle found space on the left to drive a low cross into the path of Knibbs who converted to level the scores.

The game ended 2-2. We are back on top on goal difference, but a real missed opportunity, especially after going in front.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 4-2 Forest Green Rovers

Jakubiak 4, 15, 21
Pemberton 80

Our next game in the February schedule was the visit of 13th place FGR to the Proact. With us having won our last 2 against FGR, I was confident of a win with the home advantage if we played to our ability. Elsewhere, Crawley visited Bristol Rovers.

We had the perfect start, taking the lead after just 4 minutes. An excellent counter attack by Spyrou and James Brown down the right hand side saw the latter whip a cross to the near post where Jakubiak could turn it into the back of the net

10 minutes later we made it 2-0. Excellent build up play from the back saw us hold onto possession, before Liam Mandeville swept a cross towards Jakubiak whose flicked header earned his 2nd of the game and 25th of the season.

On 21 minutes it was 3-0, and Alex Jakubiak had completed his first hat trick for the club. He seized on a wayward pass from Kieran Wallace, and slotted the ball past Smith to triple his tally

On 37 minutes FGR pulled one back. Elliott Frear managed to work himself free of James Brown on the left, and his teasing cross was met by Aaron Collins who headed past Coddington.

With 18 minutes to go, we set up a tense finish for ourselves. Frear's corner found Kitching in the middle, whose header was parried by Coddington into the path of James Brown who helplessly diverted the ball into his own net.

However, we sealed the points in the 80th minute, Joe Rowley's wonderful cross turned in by the unmarked substitute Tre Pemberton at the back post.

A very good win, made even better by the fact that Crawley were held to a 1-1 draw in the West Country, giving us a 2 point lead at the top with a game in hand against strugglers Port Vale.

Sky Bet League Two
Morecambe 0-3 Chesterfield

Spyrou 3, 53
Oldaker 57

3 days later we were back in action, with a trip to the West Lancashire coast to face 20th place Morecambe on the agenda. I was hope for a repeat of the performance against FGR to keep the onus on Crawley to catch up with us and build some consistent form. Luke Conlan started against his former employers.

We had another raring start. There were just 3 minutes on the clock when ex Shrimper Conlan fired a long ball over the top. Curry looked to have beaten Spyrou to it, but the striker seized on his poor pass back to the keeper to slide the Spireites in front with his 15th of the season.

On 53 minutes we were 2-0 up. A lovely cross from Liam Mandeville found Spyrou at the near post who cushioned a header past Halstead to give us some breathing space.

And 4 minutes later we secured the points. Mandeville picked out Oldaker, who took a touch before blasting a shot from 30 yards which gave Halstead no chance as it sailed into the top left corner. Oldaker's 5th of the campaign and a strong contender for Goal of the Season.

A fantastic team performance sees us take 3 points and record consecutive wins for the first time in 2021. To make matters even better, Scunthorpe scored a 93rd minute winner to take all 3 points from Crawley, so we are now 5 points clear at the top.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 4-1 Exeter City

Jakubiak 13, 55
Brown 32
Welch-Hayes 45+1

Our weekend fixture saw us return to the Proact to face 11th place Exeter City. Yarney was rested for this one and replaced by Myles Welch-Hayes in the starting lineup. With Exeter having lost their last 3, I was hoping for another strong performance to take 3 points. Elsewhere, Crawley travelled to bottom of the league Port Vale, who we will face in 3 days time (assuming the game is not postponed again).

We were in front on 13 minutes. Liam Mandeville won possession back after a goal kick, and pumped a long ball over the top, which Alex Jakubiak met before firing the ball into the far corner.

On 32 minutes we doubled our lead. Brown looked to have played in Wes McDonald, but he was closed down by Alex Lacey, and opted to return the ball to the Spireites right back who thundered his effort into the far corner for his first goal in a Chesterfield shirt.

Just before half time we made it 3-0. Oldaker's wide free kick was headed back across goal by Jakubiak into the path of Myles Welch-Hayes who tucked the ball home for his first Spireites goal.

We continued in similar vein in the second half. 10 minutes after the break, Oldaker's long ball found the run of Jakubiak, who slotted it past Ward for 4-0.

On 73 minutes, Exeter did pull one back. Michael Saunders through ball played in Tyrese Campbell who finished past Coddington

Another fantastic team performance which means we remain unbeaten in league games at the Proact this season. To make matters better, Crawley conceded late again, with Harry Bunn's 91st minute effort limiting them to a point at Vale Park, which sees the gap open to 7 points ahead of our game in hand.

Sky Bet League Two
Port Vale 1-1 Chesterfield

Jakubiak 13

I never thought we would get to play this fixture, however it was finally time for our game in hand with 23rd place Port Vale. I was confident of a win with our recent form, however I knew we would have to be at our best, with Vale fighting against relegation.

Vale started the brighter, however on 13 minutes we took the lead. Charlie Wakefield got onto the end of Spyrou's cross, but his header rebounded off the bar to the feet of Jakubiak who poked the Spireites in front.

On the half hour, Vale had a perfect opportunity to pull level. Harry Bunn got clear only to be denied by Coddington, but as the rebound fell to Tarik Kurt, he was bundled over by Yarney for a penalty, who was lucky to only see a yellow card. Tom Pope stepped up and sent Coddington the wrong way to put Vale back on terms.

We pushed hard throughout the rest of the game, however Scott Brown produced fantastic saves against Spyrou, Jakubiak and Maguire to keep the scoreline level. A draw is less than we could have hoped for, but it at least extends the gap to 8 points.
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Dec 31, 2019
February 2021

Sky Bet League Two
Burton Albion 0-3 Chesterfield

Jakubiak 1
Spyrou 18
Rowley 48

Next up we were on the road again, this time to the Pirelli Stadium to face bottom of the league Burton. Having won in our last 3 games against the Brewers, I was hoping for a repeat to continue our good form. Elsewhere, Crawley were in action away at fellow promotion contenders Colchester. 1,328 Spireite's fans made the 80 mile round trip for this one.

It took less than a minute to get going in this one. Alex Jakubiak got on the end of Josef Yarney's cross and tucked the ball inside the near post for his 30th goal of the season.

On 18 minutes it was 2-0. McDonald took the ball to the byline on the right, before sending a low cross towards Jakubiak. His shot rebounded off the post, but fell nicely to Anthony Spyrou who turned the ball into the back of the net.

Burton thought they'd pulled one back before the break when Ben Sheaf had the ball in the net, but he was adjudged offside by the officials.

On 48 minutes we were 3 goals to the good. Yarney kept the ball alive after Mandeville's free kick was cleared, and found Joe Rowley in the middle who pumped the ball into the bottom corner for his first of the season.

The game finished 3-0. Another fantastic win on the road, and Crawley's 1-1 draw at Colchester means that we have opened the gap at the top to 10 points.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 3-0 Colchester United

McDonald 7
Mandeville 18 (pen)
Spyrou 60

For our final fixture in the February schedule, we hosted 7th place Colchester at the Proact, looking to seal a win to continue our unbeaten run. Elsewhere, Crawley hosted Leyton Orient.

On 7 minutes we took the lead. James Brown's cross went all the way across the face of goal, before Mandeville took control of the loose ball and put it to the far post where Wes McDonald could tap it in to give the Spireites a lead.

On 18 minutes we had a fantastic opportunity to make it 2-0. Alex Jakubiak was felled in the box by Kensdale and the referee gave a penalty. Liam Mandeville stepped up from 12 yards and slotted the ball past Gerken into the bottom right corner to double our lead.

On the hour we made it 3-0. James Brown's cross was cleared, only as far as Mandeville who knocked the ball to Anthony Spyrou in the middle. On the half volley, he found the top corner.

On 79 minutes things got worse for the visitors. Dylan Parker was hauled over by Oliver Kensdale, and already on a booking after the penalty, the U's man saw a second yellow and was duly dismissed.

An excellent win to round off a near perfect February. To make matters even better, Crawley lost 2-0 at home to Leyton Orient.

End of month position: 1st

Month review:

I suppose a perfect month would involve a 100% win rate, however, this month was as good as any I have had as Chesterfield boss. We were unbeaten all month, taking 17 points from a possible 21, scoring 20 goals over 7 games. With 10 games left, we are not only in a strong position for automatic promotion, being 17 points clear of 4th place Bristol Rovers, but also in an incredibly strong position with regards the title race, with Crawley's last day defeat meaning that we are now 13 points clear at the top. We play Crawley at home in March, and a win there would effectively secure us the title. We are one win away from the 80 point mark, which was good enough for Salford to win the league last season, so I am incredibly confident that we have almost wrapped the league title up. It has been an incredible season but there is still work to do. Alex Jakubiak won the Player of the Month gong for February, with Anthony Spyrou taking 3rd place, whilst Darren Oldaker's belter against Morecambe took Goal of the Month, and I was awarded Manager of the Month. Not too bad I suppose.
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Dec 31, 2019
March 2021

Sky Bet League Two
Northampton Town 0-0 Chesterfield

March opened with a visit to Sixfields Stadium to take on 18th placed Northampton Town. Despite them being in the bottom half of the table, the Cobblers have won 4 of their last 5 and so we had to ensure a professional performance. Charlie Wakefield came into the starting lineup to replace the suspended Joe Rowley. Elsewhere, title rivals Crawley host bottom of the league Burton.

On 22 minutes we were unlucky not to go in front. Wakefield's long ball found Jakubiak, who rounded the keeper before seeing his effort blocked on the line by Michael Harriman.

The game would end goalless though. We created the more chances, but a really strong defensive display by Northampton meant that we had to accept a point as a fair result. Crawley could only manage a draw at home to Burton, so the gap remains at 13 points ahead of our meeting next week.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 3-2 Crawley Town

Jakubiak 8
Parker 29
Yarney 68

This was the big one. A top of the table clash at the Proact against Crawley. With Crawley out of sorts, I was hoping to have the edge in this 6 pointer and in my head, a win here would effectively see us seal the title, as well as getting some sweet revenge for the defeat on Halloween. 3rd place Walsall have however crept up a point behind Crawley and travelled to Stevenage on this match day, before we play them in midweek. Anthony Spyrou was ruled out after pulling a thigh in training, and he was replaced by Dylan Parker for his first start. We were nearly at capacity for this one, with 9,856 fans turning out, only 71 of whom travelled up from Crawley.

It was the visitors who struck first. After 3 minutes, Panutche Camara's long ball played in Ollie Palmer who slipped the ball past Coddington to give Crawley the lead.

However we were level on 8 minutes. Dylan Parker broke free but saw his shot deflected to Wes McDonald, who set the ball up on a plate for Jakubiak to tap it in at the far post.

On 29 minutes we had a fantastic opportunity to go 2-1 up. Alex Jakubiak played Wes McDonald into the box, and his ankles were taken away from underneath him by Dominic Thompson. January signing Dylan Parker stepped up for the penalty and found the bottom corner for hhis 20th goal of the season, but first in a Spireites shirt.

5 minutes into the second half, Crawley were level. Lewis Young found Ollie Palmer on the edge of the box, who belted the ball past Coddington for his second of the game.

On 68 minutes though we retook our lead. Josef Yarney got on the end of Mandeville's corner to head into the far corner.

In the closing stages, Jakubiak looked to have picked up a calf strain which will keep him out of action for up to 6 weeks, however we held on for all 3 points. A massive win in the title race, which sees us now 16 points ahead at the top, with Walsall only managing a draw against Stevenage.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-1 Walsall

Brown 80

Another big game coming up, we faced 3rd place Walsall at home, hoping for a repeat of the 5-0 win in the reverse fixture. With Jakubiak ruled out through injury Parker retained his place in the starting XI, whilst Spyrou was deemed capable by the medical team and returned to partner Parker. Charlie Wakefield also picked up a knock in midweek but was deemed fit enough to start.

We started the stronger, Charlie Wakefield's fierce volley cannoning off the post before Roberts was forced into making a good save to deny James Brown from range.

However it was the visitors who took the lead in the 53rd minute. Javi Bueno's long ball over the top found Alex McSkeane one on one, and he slotted the ball into the far corner against the run of play to give the Saddlers the lead.

On the 80th minute we finally got the goal we deserved. Oldaker teed up James Brown and he slammed the ball from 20 yards into the top left corner.

The game ended 1-1. We deserved the win on the balance of play but just couldn't find the winner. Crawley's 3-1 defeat to Macclesfield means that they have dropped to third, with us staying 16 points clear of Walsall who have moved up to second.

Sky Bet League Two
Carlisle United 1-2 Chesterfield

Tsaroulla 38
Parker 58

Our penultimate game of the March schedule saw us travel to 19th place Carlisle United. Elsewhere, Walsall hosted Exeter City whilst 3rd place Crawley hosted 4th place Newport County.

With us 16 points clear of Walsall and 17 points clear of Crawley and Newport, we knew a win would see us promoted to League One. If there was a draw in the game at the Broadfield Stadium, and Walsall lost, a win would also see us confirmed as champions. 450 Spireites fans made the 346 mile round trip to Brunton Park hoping for a party.

However it was the hosts who took the lead on 15 minutes. Tsaroulla dallied on the ball on the left hand side and lost out to Harry McKirdy. His cross found Hallam Hope at the back post who powered a header home to put Carlisle in front.

He did make amends though, getting on the end of Liam Mandeville's cross to head the Spireites level on 38 minutes with his first goal for the club.

On 58 minutes we were in front. Excellent play between Mandeville and McDonald saw the latter put a wonderful cross to the far post where Dylan Parker buried it in the back of the net. His 21st of the season and undoubtedly the most important yet. With Crawley 5-1 up against Newport and Walsall drawing 1-1 with Exeter, it looked like we would have to wait for the title, but promotion was still very much on the cards.

We couldn't count our chickens though with half an hour left to play, and we were reminded of that when Carlisle hit the post from close range with 10 minutes left to go. However we held on, meaning the final three blasts of the whistle signified promotion back to League One!!

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-1 Crewe Alexandra

Spyrou 35

Our final fixture of March was a return to the Proact to face 12th place Crewe Alexandra. With us 17 points clear of Crawley in second, we came into this one knowing that a win would see us seal the title, although we could drop points and still confirm our seemingly inevitable champion status if we equalled Crawley's result away at Aldershot. With Luke Conlan having eaten something dodgy and Tsaroulla away on international duty with Cyprus, Brandon Haunstrup came into the starting lineup at left back.

We took a while to get going, but took the lead on 35 minutes. Anthony Spyrou got on the end of Wes McDonald's cross to glance a header into the far corner past Will Jaaskelainen.

However, Crewe were level on the verge of half time. Delphin Tshiembe played in Kelsey Mooney who rounded Coddington before finishing into the empty net.

Disappointingly we couldn't find a way through for the rest of the game, and Crawley's 2-0 win at Aldershot means that they are still mathematically able to catch us. However, a draw on Good Friday away at Plymouth will see us confirmed as champions.

End of month position: 1st

Month review:

Well, that was a draining month, however another very positive one. We are now 12 games unbeaten and picked up 9 points of a possible 15, but more importantly, we have confirmed our second successive promotion back to League One. I am unbelievably proud of this group of lads and all they have achieved this season, and although we couldn't confirm our champion status at home to Crewe, it's looking more and more inevitable. To achieve promotion and to be this close to the title with still a month of football left to play is a fantastic achievement and is testament to the boys' efforts to keep consistently performing well throughout the last 41 games. Especially in the past month, a lot of the boys have been absolutely knackered, and we have picked up a few injuries to key players which has led to some excellent performances from their understudies.
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Dec 31, 2019
April 2021

Sky Bet League Two
Plymouth Argyle 2-1 Chesterfield

Parker 73

First up in the April schedule was the long trip to 17th place Plymouth Argyle, in the knowledge that a point would be enough to see us confirmed as champions. 154 Spireites fans made the 554 mile round trip to Home Park, hoping to see us clinch the League Two title.

On 53 minutes, Yarney handled a long Plymouth free kick in the box and the referee pointed for a penalty to the hosts. Antoni Sarcevic stepped up against Coddington and fired it just beyond the keeper's reach to put Plymouth in front.

Not even 2 minutes had passed when Plymouth got the ball back on the right hand side with Baxter, and he was flattened by Yarney who received his second yellow card in quick succession before being sent off.

On 73 minutes we pulled level. Jack McKay stole the ball off the toes of Stojsavljevic and made his way in on goal, before squaring the ball for Dylan Parker who found the corner to pull us level.

However, less than a minute after the restart, Aaron Nemane unleashed a fierce strike from distance beating Coddington at his near post to restore the Argyle lead.

The game would end with a 2-1 defeat, however Crawley lost 2-1 at home to Cambridge, meaning that we confirmed our 3rd League Two title in 10 years! I would have rather won it with a winning performance, however I am glad that it's finally confirmed.

Sky Bet League Two
Scunthorpe United 3-3 Chesterfield

Spyrou 56, 66, 88

Easter Monday saw us on the road, this time to Glanford Park to take on 9th place Scunthorpe. With the title secured, I now had sights set on beating the record points tally in a season for a Chesterfield team, which was 91. Currently on 86 points, 2 wins from our last 4 games would see us break the record. We knew we would have to be at our best here, with Scunthorpe having won 3 of their last 5 and looking to make a late push for the playoffs.

There wasn't;'t much to the first half. Scunthorpe were probably the better side, but neither side carved any real opportunities. Spyrou forced Watson to tip the ball behind from a half chance just before the break, but neither side really created any serious threats.

The hosts did have the ball in the net in added time to the first half. Jerry Yates got on the end of McGregor's free kick to head past Coddington, but saw the goal disallowed for offside. Arguably, it should have stood.

We looked more creative after the break, and took the lead in the 56th minute. James Brown's long ball over the top found Spyrou's run, and the striker dinked the ball past Watson and into the far corner for his 20th of the season.

10 minutes later the hosts were level. Jordan Clarke's deep cross found Abobaker Eisa unmarked at the back post, and he slotted past Coddington to equalise.

However straight from the kick off we took the lead again. Dylan Parker's through ball looked to have been dealt with by Rory McArdle, but Spyrou took it off him and one on one with the keeper, found the bottom right corner.

In the 88th minute we secured all 3 points. On the counter, Dylan Parker set Spyrou free, and he tucked the ball past Watson from a tight angle to complete his second hat trick of the season.

Scunthorpe did pull one back in the 2nd minute of added time. Clarke again the provider, finding Ryan Colclough in space to beat Coddington, but with only 2 minutes left it looked to be too little too late.

However in the fourth and final minute of added time, the hosts did steal a point. Giovanni McGregor seized on Parker's misplaced pass in the centre of the park, before making a mazy run into the box where he slid the ball past Coddington and into the far corner.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-1 Stevenage

Parker 60

Our penultimate home game of the season saw us welcome 12th place Stevenage to the Proact. I was hoping for another win to keep our unbeaten record at the Proact, and get some revenge for the 2-0 defeat at the Lamex earlier in the season.

We had an encouraging start. Dylan Parker and Anthony Spyrou were both denied by Farman early on, before Darren Oldaker's header from outside the box had the keeper beaten but bounced off the bar on its way over.

However it was the visitors who took the lead on 38 minutes. Kurtis Guthrie found himself on the end of Dean Parrett's ball in the box, and knocked the ball past Coddington for the opener.

On the hour though we drew level. Oldaker's long ball forward was picked up by Spyrou at the byline, and he pulled the ball square for Dylan Parker who buried the ball in the net from point blank range.

We pushed forward for a winner after that, however an inspired performance from Paul Farman meant we were limited to only a point.

Sky Bet League Two
Grimsby Town - Chesterfield

McDonald 24, 55
Spyrou 28

Our final away fixture of the 2020/21 campaign came in the shape of a visit to Blundell Park to face 22nd place Grimsby. The Mariners came in to this one with 1 loss in their last 5, and knowing that a point would secure their survival in League Two, so we knew they were going to be up for a game. 451 Spireites fans made the 166 mile round trip along the M180 for their final away day of a very successful season.

We took the lead on 24 minutes. A deep cross from Nick Tsaroulla finding Wes McDonald on the far side, who sent a looping header over McKeown into the far corner.

And on 28 minutes it was 2-0. Anthony Spyrou beat Hendrie to a long ball at the edge of the box, and slid his shot inside the near post to double our tally.

On 55 minutes it was 3-0. Spyrou got away down the left and crossed for McDonald, who headed his second of the game past the helpless James McKeown.

Grimsby did pull one back with 4 minutes to go. Da Silva's corner was headed to the far post by Ramello Mitchell, where Luke Waterfall could nod in the consolation goal, but it was no more than that.

That result leaves us a point away from beating the 91 point record, and a win from breaking the Spireites record for most wins in a season, but also leaves Grimsby in real trouble. With Burton and Port Vale drawing at Aldershot and Plymouth, a win for either side and a loss for Grimsby on the final day will find the Mariners relegated from the Football League.

Sky Bet League Two
Chesterfield 1-0 Leyton Orient

Parker 44

Our final fixture of the season was a party at a sold out Proact against 9th place Leyton Orient. However there was still work to be done. A win would be our 28th of the season, breaking the club record for most wins in a season and most points in a season. Orient were still mathematically able to get a playoff place, however they would need some serious defeats elsewhere and a big win to find themselves in 7th place on goal difference, so it was very unlikely. Top scorer Alex Jakubiak returned from injury to replace Anthony Spyrou who picked up a bruised thigh in midweek.

On the verge of half time we took the lead. Wes McDonald broke away down the right and drove a low cross to the near post where Dylan Parker flicked the ball beyond Campbell to make it 1-0.

That would be enough to win in a game that we dominated. A fine win to end a brilliant season, and to see us lift the League Two title in front of 10,000 Spireites at the Proact.

End of season position: 1st

Month review:

Well, that's it for another few months. We picked up 8 of a possible 15 points in the final month, which in the grand scheme of things is fairly average, but I'm pleased that the boys came through to seal the title with a win on the final day. Whilst the defeat at Plymouth was very disappointing, we were unfortunate to concede two very good late goals at Scunthorpe and put in good wins against Grimsby and Leyton Orient on the final day. Anthony Spyrou picked up the Young Player of the Month award.
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Dec 31, 2019
Season Review - 2020/21

Golden Boot: Alex Jakubiak (31 goals)
Most Assists: Liam Mandeville (18 assists)
Goal of the Season: Wes McDonald vs Carlisle United (A)
Signing of the Season: Darren Oldaker
Fans Player of the Season: Darren Oldaker
Young Player of the Season: Darren Oldaker
Manager's Player of the Season: Darren Oldaker

The Papers said

'All of Chesterfield's dreams came true this season as they defied expectations suggesting that they would be relegation certainties and instead mounted an almost unbelievable title-winning campaign. It was a superb season for The Spireites who, aside from a brief dip to 4th in the table, consistently performed above expectations and were able to become most unlikely title winners' - Sky Sports News

The Gaffer said

A truly phenomenal season where we defied all expectations.

In all honesty, I was expecting a season of consolidation. However, the boys have completely surpassed all expectations. Not only have we won the title and been promoted, but we have won it well, finishing 11 points ahead of Newport. We have been consistently fantastic, having held top spot for the vast majority of the season, and never falling further than 4th place in the table, and to have sealed the title with effectively a month to play is no mean feat. It has also been a season of record breaking. We of course gained the highest point tally of a Chesterfield team in one season, finishing on 94 points, as well as notching up 28 wins, breaking the previous club record of 27 in a season. Alex Jakubiak's 31 goals sees him break Spyrou's record of 26 in a season, and Liam Mandeville's 18 assists sees him break the club record of 15, as well as the league record of 13. The club has now won 5 League Two titles, which is 5 more than Real Madrid or Barcelona have been able to win. In cup competitions, we lived up to expectations in the Carabao Cup, making the Second Round before being knocked out away at Premier League Burnley, and were named as the FA Cup overachievers of the competition, making it to the Fourth Round for the second year in a row where we gave Premier League giants Chelsea a run for their money at the Proact.

Off the field, David Francis' first year as owner has been very successful and I have full faith in him as chairman. The bank coffers are currently sitting on £1.1m. Ahead of the coming season, David has set the transfer budget at £550k and the wage budget at £80k. However I am mostly happy with the squad bar and will only make a few additions in the summer window.

In terms of the awards, Darren Oldaker cleaned up, taking not only Signing of the Season, Fans' Player, Young Player and Manager's Player but also the League Player of the Year award, with Alex Jakubiak and Josef Yarney having honourable mention in the Fan's Player award. Darren has been quietly monumental to our campaign, providing some wonderful goals and assists and has generally been a lynch pin in the middle. I was surprised that Jakubiak didn't get the Signing of the Season award, having scored 31 goals after arriving on a free transfer, however DJ is more than deserving. Jakubiak did pick up the club and league Golden Boot awards though, with Anthony Spyrou coming in at third place in the league scoring charts. I was awarded the Manager of the Year award, which is incredibly humbling, however our success is testament to the boys, with Spireites players making up 10 out of the 11 spots in the league Team of the Year.

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Dec 31, 2019

Contract Renewals

Joe Rowley (1 year)
Luke Coddington (1 year)
Luke Conlan (1 year)
Sam Fearn (1 year)
Tom Harrison (1 year)
Max Hunt (1 year)
Liam Mandeville (2 years)
Jack McKay (1 year)
Charlie Wakefield (1 year)
Dylan Wharton (1 year)
Brandon Bradbury (1 year)
Wilson Carvalho (1 year)

End of Contract

Curtis Weston
Alassane Meite
Levi Amantchi
Mohamed Diallo
Jordan Bodkin
Thabo Mabizela


Aside from the players released, Robbie Weir was the only player to leave for Crusaders on a free transfer. Robbie has struggled to play this season, especially since Charlie Wakefield pushed his way into the first team, and so for the best of his career it seemed fairest to let him leave.

Dylan Wharton and Sam Hearn have gone out on season long loans to Spennymoor and Guiseley respectively, whilst Brandon Bradbury and Neil Storer have renewed their loan deals for another season at Alfreton and Gateshead respectively. Academy prospects James Turnbull, Paul Simpson and Jared Gowing have also left for work experience placements at Bradford Park Avenue, Hornchurch and Merthyr

Alex Jakubiak drew a lot of interest after his 31 goals last season, including bids from Hull City and MK Dons, but has signed a 3 year contract to commit his future to the Spireites.


Keelan O'Connell


First to arrive at the Proact in the close season was 22 year old left winger Keelan O'Connell from Forest Green Rovers for a £75k fee. Keelan is formerly of Bournemouth's academy and is highly recommended by the scouting team as one for the future. Keelan will likely act as backup around the left wing this season with potential to become a regular starter in the future.

Nikola Tavares


Next to arrive on a free transfer from Premier League side Crystal Palace was 22 year old South African Nikola Tavares. Nikola is a young centre half who we had been scouting for quite some time, and will come in as a rotational centre half who may find himself pushing for a place in the starting lineup as the season progresses.

Tom Lapslie


Next to arrive was Tom Lapslie who arrives from Colchester United on a free transfer. Tom is a defensively minded central midfielder who came through the Colchester academy, and comes in to add depth to the midfield following the departures of Curtis Weston and Robbie Weir.

Joel Coleman


With Dylan Wharton and Sam Hearn both going out on loan to continue their development, our next summer arrival was shot stopper Joel Coleman from Sheffield United on a £67k deal. JC started his career at Oldham, where he made 43 appearances in League One before earning a transfer to then Championship Huddersfield Town. JC arrives to compete with Luke Coddington for the number 1 jersey.

Bobby Kamwa


Next to arrive was 21 year old midfielder Bobby Kamwa on a £87k deal from Championship side Leeds United. Bobby is a pacey winger who can play on both wings as well as in the centre of midfield. We had to fight off interest from MK Dons and Gillingham to secure Bobby's signature, however he will likely be in and around the first team this season.

Rekeil Pyke


Our final signing of the summer was striker Rekeil Pyke from fellow League One side Lincoln City for a £275k fee. Rekeil arrives as a rotation option who can provide a serious challenge for Jakubiak and Spyrou's places in the starting lineup. Formerly of Huddersfield and Rochdale before moving to the Imps, Rekeil is a physical and pacey striker, who is equally capable at playing on either wing.
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Dec 31, 2019
Season Preview

A return from the close season sees us back in action as a League One outfit.

David Francis has set his expectations for the season, which are as follows:
  • Fight bravely against relegation in Sky Bet League One
  • Reach the second round of the FA Cup
  • Reach the second round of the Carabao Cup
He has also funded for me to work towards my Continental A Coaching licence which I will hopefully complete over the next 12 months.

The bookies have us at 35-1 to win the title, and predict a 19th placed finish. I am positive about our chances but also realistic, and am targeting a mid table finish to consolidate our first season back in the 3rd division.

I am happy with the squad. Largely, after 2 years I feel this is now my squad, and the only additions have been future prospects or backup players. I was concerned about depth in the left wing position, which led to the signings of O'Connell and Kamwa, however I do still remain confident in Liam Mandeville after some fantastic seasons. After Scott Buchanan departed the club in January, Yarney has been promoted to captain with Laurence Maguire taking the vice captaincy.

Squad List

1. Luke Coddington
2. James Brown
3. Brandon Haunstrup
4. Josef Yarney
5. Nikola Tavares
6. Laurence Maguire
7. Joe Rowley
8. Darren Oldaker
9. Anthony Spyrou
10. Liam Mandeville
11. Bobby Kamwa
12. Joel Coleman
15. Charlie Wakefield
16. Myles Welch-Hayes
17. Keelan O'Connell
18. Wilson Carvalho
19. Tom Harrison
20. Max Hunt
21. Jack McKay
22. Wes McDonald
23. Alex Jakubiak
24. Nick Tsaroulla
25. Tom Lapslie
26. Luke Conlan
28. Dylan Parker
29. Rekeil Pyke
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Dec 31, 2019


Alfreton 1-3 Chesterfield

Spyrou 10
Oldaker 31 (pen)
Jakubiak 53

Chesterfield 1-4 Derby
Mandeville 27

South Normanton Athletic 0-8 Chesterfield
Spyrou 9, 11, 20 (pen), 38, 65
McDonald 29
Wakefield 56
Hunt 80

Matlock Town 1-6 Chesterfield
Jakubiak 2
Wakefield 9, 61
Spyrou 17, 21, 29

Chesterfield 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday

A tough preseason which saw us get better as we went on. There were no major upsets, however we did struggle with 10 players picking up injuries throughout the preseason period. None were overly serious, however various knocks and scrapes kept the likes of Oldaker, Jakubiak, Haunstrup, Maguire and O'Connell ruled out for weeks of the preseason schedule, missing valuable playing time.

The opening result against Alfreton was pleasing. Spyrou gave us the lead early on with a played finish, before he was felled in the box to give Oldaker the opportunity from 12 yards which he capitalised on. Into the second half, Jakubiak found space in the box to finish well, before a lapse of concentration saw Coleman's clean sheet ruined late on. Maguire picked up a groin strain, and O'Connell strained his ankle ligaments in this one, leaving both out of action for 3 weeks

We struggled in the Derby game. They took the lead early on with a well worked effort, before Liam Mandeville produced a brilliant effort after cutting inside onto his right foot to get us level. However, Oldaker was then taken off with a twisted ankle and from there we struggled to create. Pressure told and we soon found ourselves 4-1 down with Derby well in control.

We recovered well at South Normanton, with a Spyrou hat trick having us 3-0 up after 20 minutes, before he and Wes McDonald added 2 more to make it 5-0 at the break. Another from Spyrou later on, as well as a fantastic goal from Charlie Wakefield from outside of the box, and an unofficial first Spireites goal for centre half Max Hunt made it 8-0. A strong win, missing some key players and some valuable minutes.

We continued that pressure on our travels to Matlock. We were well on our way when fit again Jakubiak slotted home after 2 minutes, and Bobby Kamwa's good work down the left wing saw him find Charlie Wakefield to make it 2-0. Spyrou continued his fantastic preseason form, scoring 3 in 12 minutes to earn his second match ball in as many games, before Wakefield found a second from range in the second half. Yet again we conceded late on, this time from a corner. However it was another good win.

With valuable minutes in the legs, I was hoping for a win at home to Sheffield Wednesday. We were the better side throughout the game, having 13 shots, 8 of which we got on target, as opposed to Wednesday's 4 shots which were all off target. That said, we could not find the breakthrough, with Joe Wildsmith equal to efforts from Spyrou, Jakubiak and Yarney. However it was new man Kamwa who had the best chance of the game, when a searching cross from James Brown found him virtually under the bar, however he managed to nod it over.

All in all a positive preseason campaign. Jack McKay made few appearances in the absences of Jakubiak and Parker, however his sub par performances mean that I am now looking for a replacement striker and he is likely to be transfer listed imminently. We head into the season opener against Charlton at the Valley with 5 remaining on the injury list. Oldaker will be ruled out with his ankle injury, and Brandon Haunstrup is a doubt with an abdominal strain. However, Maguire, Tavares and O'Connell are all due to return imminently and are possibilities for selection.
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