North Notts Hockey Club ended their pre-season friendlies with a 4-0 win at Chesterfield.
It was their final chance to iron out the last two weeks losses and clear any demons created from last season’s loss at Chesterfield.
Both sides were keen for the win to set the benchmark for the season ahead’s performances,
Notts kept the pressure on the Chesterfield defence from the start by utilising the wide men Adam Moss and Jason Barton to transfer the play from wing to wing managing to penetrate the Chesterfield D early on with chances put wide by Butler and Johnson.
Chesterfield were not going to roll over, though, and forced through the Notts midfield on a few occasions, but finding them pushed wide into the corners of the pitch by Fraser Jepson and Anthony Clay.
After a number of offensive manoeuvres it wasn’t until the 13th minute when Allen Butler lined up to take a free hit on the half way line when Nathan Smith and Marc Johnson crossed the pitch to create a gaping hole through the Chesterfield Mid field where Butler was able to find Barton at the top of the D to coolly slip it into the back of the net.
This lead allowed Notts to settle into the rhythm of the game and work on building play.
But in the mid-September heat the half-time whistle was eagerly awaited and gave Notts the chance to review the first half in brief and, with words from manager Faulkner, to open play though the forward line which gave Notts the spark to open the second half running.
From the off Notts were on the offensive by winning a number of short corners, but were unable to convert until a quick succession of goals from Allen Butler on the 52nd and 58th minute rocketed Notts into the lead with two top D strikes into the net.
This did not deter Chesterfield from the offensive as a number of short corners were awarded, but these were quickly diffused by the Nott’s defence.
As the game drew into a close Notts managed to break away with Allen Butler carrying the ball into the Chesterfield 22 to find Marc Johnson unopposed in the D to slip it past the keeper to seal the score at 4-0.
This weekend sees the start of Notts’ league campaign in Midlands Division One and, after their absence of seven years, they are keen to retain their league place.