Successful inaugural Mel Pullen Cup tournament held
There was a great turn out from all four local Clubs for the Mel Pullen CPR Awareness League Cup. The Clubs taking part were the Senior Spireites, Matlock, Worksop and Mansfield Reds. The final game between the Senior Spireites and Matlock turned out to be the decider after both teams had won their first two games. The Senior Spireites won the match to claim the Trophy.
Brave Worksop battled hard with their small squad and it wasn’t until the final game that they found the net twice.
On any other day Mansfield Reds would have been challenging for the title going into the last game but failure to find the net in their opener against Matlock lost them a valuable point.
Matlock followed up that narrow win with a storming 7 goal performance against Worksop.
The Senior Spireites also had a good first game, scoring 4 without reply against Worksop. That win was then followed up with a 3-1 win over the Reds, with a brace from Pete Jacques.
Going into the final game, both Matlock & Senior Spireites knew that a win would lift the Cup.
It was always going to be a tight affair and 1-1 at half time set up a frantic and feisty last ten minutes and it was end to end football from the off. An unfortunate knee injury to Matlock keeper Dave Thomas within 2 minutes of the re-start put Matlock at a disadvantage and even though Dave Walker (Matlock) hit the post, Spireites ran out 3-2 winners.
Great goals from John Etheridge and Dave Walker of Matlock but Spireites goals from Frank Trotter, Steve Dallison & John Quinn were enough to pip Matlock to the Trophy!
Thanks to Mansfield’s Pete Mitchell, Worksop’s Malcolm Popple and Matlock’s Dave Walker for organizing their teams, as well as Derek Lowe from Senior Spireites for stepping in at the last moment to manage the squad. Thanks also to Andie Harkness for recording the scores throughout the competition and Rob Church for officiating on Pitch 1.
Spireites 4-0 Worksop Matlock 1-0 Mansfield Reds
Worksop 0-7 Matlock Spireites 3-1 Mansfield Reds
Mansfield Reds 4-2 Worksop Spireites 3-2 Matlock
Over 70's matches Vs Doncaster October 2023
The over 70s squad played a series of 4 x 15-minute matches against Doncaster in late October. The Senior Spireites managed to win all four games - 4-3,3-1,3-0 & 2-0 so a total score 12-4. Of our total score of 12 Neil McKinnon reckons he got 15 of them!
The squad was ably managed by non-playing manager Pete Harris and they benefited from playing as an over 70s team at Dronfield whenever possible. As a result they worked very well together with everyone able to slot into different positions throughout the match, with no reduction in performance. That said, the best player on the pitch was the Doncaster goalkeeper who was magnificent.
The whole game was played in a good spirit. The Doncaster team and officials made the Spireites feel very welcome and provided hot drinks and cakes after the game.
Almelo Cup Tournament June 2023
The Senior Spireites participation in the 2023 Almelo Cup consisted of a team made up from Derek Lowe, Pete Harris, John Longstaff, Keith Arrowsmith, Pete Jacques, Glynn Booth, Alan Reynolds, Rick Cunningham and Steve Gleadall. The 6-a-side tournament is based on a league format followed by knock-out matches.
The Spireites competed well but they were drawn against some strong opponents and the format of the games are different to that played in the UK. At the end of the tournament the Spireites didn’t disgrace themselves and the 5-0 victory in the final game sent the team home in good spirits.
Commentary on the visit was provided by roving reporter Steve Gleadall. An edited version of his daily emails to the rest of the Club’s members is below.
On arrival in the lovely Dutch town of Almelo we were delighted to learn we made right decision to take the train as we would otherwise have been waiting for five hours for the bus to take us from the airport. Room pairings were peacefully decided based on evaluation of snoring or sleep walking and shouting. Much drinking on the terrace in the sun over dinner with one of our opponents at the next table singing loudly some obscure team chant. Not much talk of tactics for the morrow but of course it is a different game here with no Keepers and small goals. Generally team morale was high and ready for the footy to start.
The cloudy cool start cleared up for a bright hot day. Keith carried the Spireites flag beautifully at the opening ceremony where we were all treated to inspiring speeches and even were introduced to the referees in their day-glo shirts. The blue wonders from Chesterfield were set to go especially as Rick had bought a ball for us from the Heracles club shop as we had not taken one with us!
The first game was in the stadium with John putting a couple of shots just wide against a German team, Glynn and Pete J looking likely to score, Derek clipping the post with a long shot. The Germans rallied and squeezed a couple of shots past Keith. Oh well, yes, we lost 0-4 but maybe against a British team next we would pick up.
Alas against this British Garon Park team next we found out each ref sees rules differently. We were drawing 1-1 with John putting a penalty away perfectly to bring us level and then we conceded a penalty. With everyone back to half way line the Garon Park player steps up and hits the post with an empty net but as the ball bounces out the ref waves play on and the briefly saddened pen taker is relieved as he strides forward to slide the ball into the empty net. Garon Park pick up and get another in a 3-1 win.
In the next game against a strong Lodz team they ripped us apart with a dazzling show of fast feet, overlapping, underlapping, weaving and dodging and won 9-0.
On day two we had a delayed trip to the stadium and we had to rush on to our pitch on the training ground for our early game against fellow Anglos Billericay. Sadly, while we played better, we came out with a 0-2 loss.
In the next game we needed to get a better grip against our old enemy Łódź. No, we didn’t win but in contrast to less than twenty four hours before, our sterling plan worked well with Keith and John picking up their two big pro threats and Steve and Al, as sub, picking up any wandering right winger. So we kept them out for long periods and though they got three past Rick in goal, our star Pete J rocked them with a last minute curling shot to give us a deserved goal and show the Spireites weren’t dead and buried. (Incidentally, Łódź went to on the final where they lost 0-2 to an excellent Armenia Bielefeld.)
Unfortunately the gods of walking football abandoned us again in a 0-2 versus Derbyshire rivals, Heanor, where they scored two goals, the second a quickly taken free kick that caught us on the back foot as we organised.
In the afternoon there was another undeserved setback losing 1-2 to Freren where the equaliser we got was sublime: John struck a great ball down the right, Derek played a lovely cut back inside and Glyn snapped as good a team goal as you could wish for.
The last game was in the heat back inside the Almelo stadium. Against Emmen the Spireites’ game plan come together big time. Pete J struck a superb hat-trick, Glyn hit another nice goal but it was Derek with a stunning shot to seal a 5-0 win we were all purring about. If Al had got a better break with an excellent attempt we would have been even happier.
In the end the tournament was tough but we hadn’t entirely disgraced ourselves and I am sure all our opponents were impressed with our friendliness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity.
Would we go back? Of course: the hospitality and the friendliness and the organisation is superb. Meanwhile the ducks sail serenely along here, the beer is plentiful, English is everywhere and the camaraderie great. Nine tanned and eventually happy lads return home and look forward to passing on stories to all those who are willing to listen.
Chesterfield FC Trust walking football tournament
The inaugural Sam Bunting Invitational walking football tournament was in mid-2023 at The Akademy in Dronfield.
Matlock won the Cup that was presented by Sam, an apprentice at Chesterfield FC and who organised the whole event as part of his training. A video of the event is available on Facebook by clicking this link.