A youthful Chesterfield line-up went down to a 4-2 defeat at Matlock Town on Monday night. Academy striker Luke Rawson and a triallist scored for the Spireites.
Academy striker Luke Rawson and a triallist scored for the Spireites.
Martin Allen included only a handful of players with first-team experience, protecting the senior players ahead of Saturday’s opening game of the season at Ebbsfleet.
Joe Anyon made a good save from Kieran Watson early on and also kept out the follow-up from former Spireite Jamie Jackson.
Rawson (5) opened the scoring, slotting the ball past Richard Walton after receiving a pass from Joe Rowley, with Jake Phillips only able to help the ball into the net.
The hosts went close when Jake Phillips found the head of Watson whose header went just wide and they had another chance soon after when Marcus Marshall headed over from a free-kick.
Matlock equalised in the 19th minute when Anyon’s attempted clearance cannoned off Jordan Chappell and the ball rolled inside the keeper’s right-hand post despite his best efforts to claw it away.
The Gladiators were buoyed by the goal and Chappell’s attempted chip was easily gathered by Anyon. Then Watson struck the bar with a shot after being set up by Jackson.
Levi Amantchi created a chance for himself with some neat footwork inside the area, but he put his shot straight at Walton.
The triallist who was playing for the Spireites was the next to threaten, trying a shot which was deflected wide.
Jackson (31) put Matlock ahead with a well-taken header after meeting Alex Hirst’s cross.
Jackson, who was clearly relishing facing his old club, then fired a shot straight at Anyon.
Watson extended Matlock’s lead five minutes before the break, planting a firm header beyond Anyon after meeting Chappell’s corner.
After Rowley shot wide soon after the re-start, the midfielder set up a goal with a cross to the far post which was met by a looping header from the triallist (53).
Amantchi linked up well with Rawson who forced a save from Walton and then Charlie Wakefield’s deflected cross saw the ball bounce on top of the bar.
The triallist made a strong run towards the edge of the area, evading a couple of challenges before being thwarted by a timely interception.
Robbie Foster was sent on in place of Rawson midway through the second half.
Jackson put an attempted curler beyond Anyon’s left-hand post.
In the 75th minute, there was another change for the Spireites with Jack Holmes taking over from Amantchi.
A further change saw Callum Walmsley replace Ify Ofoegbu.
Michael Williams (83) tapped in a fourth goal for the home side following a corner.
Spreites: Anyon, Howard, Gibson (Bradbury), Render, Sharman, Triallist, Rowley, Ofoegbu, Wakefield, Amantchi, Rawson (Foster)