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Will Evans' season

3 May 2019

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Spireites centre-back Will Evans picked up both the Players’ Player of the Year and Player of the Year at the end of season awards on Tuesday night.

The 27-year-old’s first season at the club has been one which has included a number of impressive defensive displays along with a few crucial goals.

Evans started the season in fine form as he played a big part in Chesterfield winning the first three games of the season without conceding a goal.

Four games in, the defender even notched his first goal in blue and white after heading home a Zavon Hines free kick against Barrow, in a game that ended in Chesterfield’s first defeat of the campaign.

His next big moment came in late October in an FA Cup qualifying tie in the North West at AFC Fylde. The home side took the lead early on through top scorer Danny Rowe, however, the Spireites were to fight back with Evans leading the way.

A foul on Tom Denton just outside the area gave the visitors a chance to get back on level terms. Evans blasted the free-kick low and hard past the goalkeeper and into the bottom right corner.

The defender’s equaliser was vital in kick-starting the Spireites’ comeback that day and enabled them to progress through to the first round of the FA Cup.

John Sheridan’s first league game back at the helm was a trip down to Evans’ former club Aldershot, in a game where a win would be vital for both sides.

The centre back rose highest to nod a Curtis Weston corner past Will Mannion in the Aldershot goal to give Chesterfield the lead on the stroke of half time.

Evans put the result beyond doubt by completing his brace late on, keeping his composure in the box to poke home from close range.

He was to be heavily involved in another pivotal away victory at Havant and Waterlooville in March. With the Spireites a goal down at half time, Evans was once again to be at the forefront of a Chesterfield rally.

Ellis Chapman’s inswinging free-kick from the right was met by the defender, powering his headed effort into the top left corner, before Scott Boden sealed the fightback with a stoppage-time penalty.

Evans’ most prominent performance was back in early January when Ebbsfleet United came to the Proact. It looked like the game was beyond the hosts as Ebbsfleet raced into a three-goal lead before the break.

Denton got one back just after the hour mark and Marc-Antoine Fortune slotted a second to give the home supporters hope.

As the game entered the fifth minute of stoppage time Kyel Reid delivered a cross to the back post which Evans soared to head past Nathan Ashmore.

The Proact erupted, the comeback was complete, but this wasn’t to be the final act in what was a remarkable game.

As the Spireites pushed for a very late winner, on loan goalkeeper Callum Burton was involved in an altercation with an Ebbsfleet player inside his penalty area.

Burton was shown a red card and the visitors were awarded a penalty. Having used all three substitutes Evans was the outfield player to put on the goalkeeper shirt and gloves to face Michael Cheek’s penalty.

The makeshift keeper lunged to his right to keep the penalty out before Haydn Hollis cleared the rebound and the final whistle blew.

"It was surreal, the whole thing. It was crazy, to be honest with you. Scoring the equaliser was incredible,” the defender said after the game.

"With Cal getting sent-off and having to face a penalty was bizarre, to say the least. It wasn't a great penalty but you still have to be there and save it. It was a great feeling!"

His heroics last campaign didn’t just earn him club accolades but also saw him pick up The Star’s Chesterfield Player of the Year.


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