The reserves ended their season on a positive note with a 2-2 draw at home to Hartlepool United at the Proact yesterday, with player/coach Ritchie Humphreys happy with their efforts.
It was a result that ended a run of four successive defeats, with the Spireites twice coming from behind to earn a point, although Humphreys admitted the team had goalkeeper, Dylan Parkin, to thank after he made a string of saves.
“Overall the performance was ok in parts, and it other parts we have to do a lot better,” he told Player HD.
“Dylan has had an excellent game in goal and kept us in it in the first ten minutes with a couple of terrific saves.
“They got in behind us a bit too easily in the second half, but those were things we spoke about with the players at half time and full time.
“It’s all about the development, staying in games and getting better on the ball, but ultimately you need a result at the end of it, so I’m really pleased that we got the result with the goals, coming back into it late on and we could have nicked it.”
The players showed great character to equalise twice and almost won it in the dying seconds when Ricky German did well to beat his man before seeing his shot well saved. And Humphreys sees that as a vital step in the progression of the players.
He said: “That’s another part of the development, you don’t want to go behind but if that happens you’ve got to find a way to get back in the games and we got that with a set piece - I thought we looked dangerous from set plays.
“To concede straight after half time wasn’t ideal but they kept going, we changed formation a bit and brought Josh Tipping off the bench.
“We had a good spell in the second half before we got the goal, and it was a great assist from Charlie Wakefield for Josh who’s a terrific finisher."
Jake Beesley netted the Spireites opening goal and Humphreys was delighted to see him on the scoresheet, praising him and German for the way they’ve applied themselves since returning to the side following spells in the first team.
He added: “Recently in the youth team and the reserves Ricky’s scored a lot of goals and Jake’s played in a number of positions, so he’ll be pleased to get a goal and I’m pleased for him. Especially in the first half they were a threat in behind.”
On reflection, Humphreys has loved his time with the reserves and feels he’s guided the youngsters well.
“Overall I think the attitude I’ve had from the players has been excellent whether it’s been first team lads coming back from injury or younger professionals, it's been great to see Joe Rowley and Ricky play for us and then go on to the first team.” he said.
“The time that I’ve spent with them has been great. I’ve enjoyed working with them, trying to improve them and not just on the pitch but sending the key messages off the pitch like the sacrifices and dedication that’s needed.
“It’s an essential message for someone who’s been in the game a long time to pass on to younger players to help them along the way."