The Spireites return to action at the Proact for the first of three home pre-season friendlies with Sheffield United this evening, 7.30pm kick off. Here’s our match preview……
Home and away supporters are asked to note that the Tesco Extra supermarket adjacent to the Proact has informed the club that they will be enforcing their two-hour parking restrictions on match days.
Home supporters are reminded that the The Van Yard (West) Stand will only be open this evening, with away supporters being allocated the North Stand and part of the East Stand.
Tickets are available for Spireites fans at the Proact ticket office or The Van Yard Stand turnstiles right up until kick off (7.30pm) and are priced as follows: -
Visiting supporters are reminded that it's ticket only entry at the turnstiles and are advised to arrive early to purchase at the away kiosk located at the North Stand.
Spireites team news
The Spireites will be without midfielder Joe Rowley, who suffered a double fracture of his collarbone in last Saturday’s friendly with Middlesbrough.
New signing Jerome Binnom-Williams also looks set to miss the match, due to an ankle injury being sustained on the club’s tour of Spain and Portugal last week.
Manager Gary Caldwell however, will be able to call on the services of the other nine summer signings including Chris O’Grady and Jak McCourt.
It’s been a great summer for Blades supporters, following their impressive Sky Bet League One campaign last time out, which saw them crowned champions, amassing 100 points and scoring 92 goals along the way.
Manager Chris Wilder, has been adding to his squad since the end of the season, bringing in defenders Enda Stevens, Richard Stearman and George Baldock along with midfielder Nathan Thomas and former Spireites striker Ched Evans.
The Blades head into this evening’s match on the back of a 1-0 victory over Spanish La Liga side Malaga in their last friendly, thanks to a goal from midfielder, John Fleck.
Before coming a manager, Wilder enjoyed a long playing career in which he played for the likes of boyhood club Sheffield United (twice), Rotherham United, Notts County, Bradford City and Brighton & Hove Albion.
After retiring as a player, Wilder began in management at Derbyshire non-league club Alfreton Town. He then joined Halifax Town, where he spent six years before becoming Alan Knill’s assistant at Bury.
Wilder was appointed manager of Oxford United in December 2008 and they won promotion to the Football League via the play-offs at the end of his first full season in charge.
In 2014, Wilder was appointed Northampton Town manager and guided them to the League Two title in 2016 finishing with 99 points.
However, in May 2016, Wilder once again joined the Blades, where in his first season he guided them to promotion back to the Sky Bet Championship as League One champions.
Players to watch:
Jack O’Connell - Defender
O’Connell played a key role for the Blades last season, making 50 appearances and scoring six goals.
A commanding central defender, he was handed his first professional contract at Blackburn Rovers and had several spells out on loan, including a stint at Rotherham United.
O’Connell moved to Brentford in February 2015 before joining the Blades last summer for an undisclosed fee.
John Fleck – Midfielder
The 25-year-old Scot joined United last summer after coming to the end of his contract at Coventry City.
Fleck soon emerged as an important player for the Blades and scored his first goal for the club in a 4-1 victory over the Spireites.
His late winner at Northampton in April secured promotion for United, who sealed the League One title a week later.
Billy Sharp - Striker
Now in his third spell at Bramall Lane, Sharp captained his boyhood club to the Sky Bet League One title last season.
The 31-year-old reached a personal milestone towards the end of the campaign, scoring the 200th goal of his career in the victory over MK Dons in April.
A well-travelled striker, Sharp has also played for Scunthorpe United, Doncaster Rovers and Southampton during his career.
Head to Head record:
United have the edge over the Spireites, winning 4 of the past six meetings between the two clubs.
However, a game to remember for the Proact faithful is a 3-2 home victory over the Blades in October 2014, with goals coming from Jimmy Ryan, Gary Roberts and Eoin Doyle.