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Almelo Tournament 2024 - Report and results

A small group of Senior Spireites did a sterling job of representing the Club at the annual Almelo international tournament in Holland. Daily reports were collated by Steve Gleadall, in his inimitable style and communicated to the rest of the Club, extracts of which are below.


The tournament was a great success considering the squad of six included three first timers to the competition. Overall the results were two games won, two draws and four games lost, scoring 14 goals with 12 against. To reach the final of their placing group was a brilliant achievement for such a small group of players - well done guys!

On day one the contest began with a match against an almost-Dutch-but-mostly-German team by the name of Sportlust Glanerburg. A great start in as much as having soaked up a long spell of pressure from Sportlust, Pete J produced his familiar magic with a shot from close to the halfway line (shades of his fine goal against the Poles last year, no doubt) to give our lads the lead but the ‘home’ team drew level before making it 2-1. Pete J took himself off and borrowed Heanor player Steve Pember came on—and the move paid off with him netting the equaliser. Sadly a last minute determined attack brought us only a corner and not the winning goal, so the lads had to settle for a 2-2 result.


A decent enough start but the next game, against Raspo from Osnabruck didn’t work out quite so well, and in Pete J’s words, Lady Luck was not on our side. We played well by all accounts but two rebounds cost us in a 0-2 defeat, with Pete accidentally conceding an own goal. The disappointing aspect was that Heanor wanted their player back before the game, as they were not playing as well as they can do—they have won the tournament before—so in the increasing heat we had to play with no sub.


All credit to the team because they weren’t downhearted, and everyone was turning in good performances. As it happened Raspo won the group, so no shame there.


The third game in the group was against Eintracht Frankfurt less than an hour later. The Germans took the lead but once more Pete was on target—this time aided by a magnificent pass from Steve W to level matters. But again tiredness  with the lack of an option from the bench affected the lads and Frankfurt went 4-1 ahead before Pete reduced the arrears before the final whistle.


Despite that 4-2 loss the hard-working Spireites finished third in the group, which given the heat and the fact they played without a sub for the last two games, turned out to be a highly commendable showing.


The main thing is the three new lads all throughly enjoyed it and all of them played well. Back at the hotel, John L showed the new lads how to eat a big meal and then on to two hours of ten-pin bowling, duly won by Clive E—apparently with a staggeringly good score.

Day two - Not so much heat, but would you believe it - five games, a load of goals, and a final. 


Game 1, against Vitesse. A disappointing game lost 0-1, dominated by a disputed penalty when the ball hit the hand of our ‘goalkeeper’ — there are actually no ‘keepers in their version, of course—Steve B. The Dutch put the spot kick away (taken from the centre spot into the open net) and undeservedly, we lost.


Game 2, against fellow Brits Billericay. The game ended 0-0 in a contest of few chances, but a decent enough performance. If you thought we couldn’t score, brace yourselves…


Game 3 was a resounding 7-1 drubbing of a team called SVDRL. Having watched them play, it was noted their ‘keeper’ had a tendency to wander out—and they duly paid for their open play. Pete J put us ahead and though they leveled, our goal-grabber extraordinaire netted a further five goals before laying on a chance for the determined Steve W to make it a six-goal win!


The way these things work it was that despite this emphatic win it was only a third-placed finish in the little league, but no matter as it was on to the semi-final.


Game 4 then was against Walking Bears (sounds suspiciously like Berlin fans to me) and despite their generous gesture of bottles of beer -brewed in their locality, apparently- instead of a pennant at kick off the opponents were uncorked (see what I did there?) by a Pete hat-trick before they grabbed a consolation. The lads weren't going to give this up however and held on to reach the final within their placing  group Excellent work, lads!


Game 5 was the final, against the green shirts of Werder Bremen. Sadly, the lack of a sub finally caught up with the team and hard though they tried, tiredness got the better of our lads and the final result was 0-2.


But, what an achievement, crowned by Pete winning the end of tournament raffle too and adding two bottles of wine to his bag of goals. As our representative Laura had been so good, she was presented with the wine by Pete along with a Chesterfield championship shirt. Lucky girl!


Commenting on the squad Pete Jacques provided this summary:
John L - Mr Reliable played right side and in the middle of defence and also had a stint in goal (he keeps telling me) and kept us all on our toes shouting instructions where we should be, his stories where you are just waiting for the punch line kept us all entertained.
Steve B - Played mainly on the left of defence and also in goal a couple of times was always looking for that pass to the front players.
Graham B - Another one who found a new position playing in front of goal and adapted well played up front or wide and created chances for myself and Steve W
Steve W - New position found in the middle of defence on the final day but he got the goal that he deserved against DRL after coming so close on numerous occasions.
Clive E - My man of the tournament playing so soon after his illness he gave everything and played really well with a big smile on his face, another one who had a stint protecting the goal.
Pete J- Won’t forget the final day and three hat-tricks but none of that would have been possible without those supplying the pass to me but I will keep reminding John L how many I scored
Steve G - Many thanks Steve for agreeing to still being our roving reporter and keeping all our members informed you did an excellent job.

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Third Round of Mel Pullen Cup games held

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The third series of games of the Mel Pullen CPR Awareness League Cup were held in early June.

The Senior Spireites' first game in the tournament was against holders of the trophy, Mansfield Reds. Senior Spireites had the better of the game hitting the woodwork three times. The decisive moment came in the first half when a through ball from Dave Simpson was finished by Steve Housley from the edge of the box. The result Senior Spireites 1-0 Mansfield Reds.


The second game, against the home team Worksop, saw Senior Spireites score two first half goals from Derek Lowe and Dave Simpson. These proved decisive and lead to Senior Spireites winning 2-0.


The final game was against Matlock who were leading the tournament on goal difference. This was a tight game with Senior Spireites creating the early chances but Matlock responding strongly as the half drew to a close. The decisive moment in the second half was when Derek ventured forward from the back, Steve found him in space with a through ball and Derek produced a delightful controlled finish against an excellent Matlock keeper. The final score was Senior Spireites 1-0 Matlock.


Congratulations to Senior Spireites on regaining the trophy and for keeping a clean sheet throughout, a special mention for John Warner.

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.

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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.

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