On Friday 18th March 2011 I was at the B2Net Stadium to watch Chesterfield take on local rivals Rotherham United.
I had really been looking forward to this game all week, not only because of the rivalry between the Spireites and the Millers, but because the game was a sell-out and it was being shown live on sky sports. The sell out meaning that there should be a 10,000+ attendance for the first time in my life as a Chesterfield supporter.
I had never seen Chesterfield beat Rotherham, but I knew that if we played the same way that we did against Wycombe then we should do well, and when I heard Dean Morgan was back in the line up alongside the likes of Smalley, Lester and Davies I felt confident.
Before kick off we walked around the stadium, soaking up the derby day atmosphere, and looking at all the Sky Sports vans etc. that were here for the live coverage.
The stadium was full as kick off approached, with the final attendance of 10,089 by far the highest at the B2Net Stadium so far, and it created a superb atmosphere inside the ground.
Chesterfield began the game at an incredibly fast pace, forcing the Millers to defend immediatley. It took 21 minutes for the League 2 leaders to take the lead, when a superb cross from Dean Morgan met the head of Dean Holden, who scored against his former club. Just 10 minutes later it was 2-0 after a bad back pass failed to reach Rotherham goalkeeper Andy Warrington and went out of play to give Chesterfield a corner kick.This was crossed in from Danny Whitaker and the flick on from Smalley left Craig Davies with a close range header which he converted to double Chesterfield’s lead.
The first half massacre wasn’t over yet though. Jack Lester beat two Millers defenders with ease, before beautifully placing the ball in the top corner to make it 3-0 to Chesterfield at half time.
My name got read out at half time over the tannoy, announcing that I will be 15 on Sunday (20th March). This was a lovely surprise as I wasnt expecting this and I later found out that it had been organised by Wycombe Wanderers fan Russell Cox, who I met at the last Chesterfield match. Thanks Russell!
Rotherham came out in the second half simply playing for pride, and they did manage to stop Chesterfield scoring until the 81st minute, when Jack Lester scored his second and Chesterfield’s fourth to add to Rotherham’s embarrasment.
Lester made sure that he would be taking the match ball home by scoring his 3rd goal just two minutes later. The poor Rotherham defending left Lester unmarked in the box, and he headed home from close range to complete the demolition of the Millers.
Sadly, some of the Rotherham fans just couldn’t take anymore, and they decided the aim there anger at the away end, ripping off advertising boards and causing trouble.
After the game I had picture with Sky Sports commentator Don Goodman who was sat just behind me in the TV gantry. The Barnsley manager and ex Manchester United player Mark Robins was at the match working for radio Sheffield and he had a picture with me.I also had photos with goalscorer Craig Davies and hat trick hero Jack Lester. Some of the Rotherham players also posed including Nicky Law and Adam Le Fondre.
Overall a great night and one that will live in my memory for many years