On Saturday 7th May 2011 I was at the B2Net Stadium to witness Chesterfield finally be crowned NPower League 2 Champions.
Chesterfield, who had been top of League 2 on every Saturday since December, only needed to avoid defeat to be crowned champions. Even if the Spireites should lose then they would still win the title if Bury failed to win at Stevenage. It was going to be no easy task for either side to win though.Chesterfield and Bury’s promotion to League 1 was already settled,but Gillingham and Stevenage both desperately needed to win to seal a play off place so it was all to play for in League 2.
We arrived early and there was a buzz around the ground, with everyone excited about the anticipated title victory.The mood all around was very upbeat and I was looking forward to the game.Around 1pm today there was fairly heavy showers but by kick ohh the sun had come out and was shining brightly.
The stadium was packed with an attendance of 10,023, nearly all of them home supporters.Chesterfield tickets had sold out well before today and the only few empty seats were the returned tickets from Gillinghams allocation.
Sadly though, the first half was rather poor with very little happening, and it was more exciting watching the Bury score coming through. Chants of “1-0 to the Stevenage” and “2-1 to the Stevenage” came from the stands but Bury drew level both times and it was 2-2 at half time there, while it was 0-0 at the B2Net Stadium. This meant that as things stood, Chesterfield were champions.
In the second half the game really burst into life and on the 54th minute Chesterfield took the lead. Danny Whitaker stole the ball off the Gills defenders foot and took the ball around the goalkeeper before putting the ball into the empty net. Despite having few chances up to now, Gillingham equalised on the 67th minute when Cody McDonald some how managed to poke the ball past Tommy Lee to make it 1-1.
Nine minutes later Jack Lester seemed to seal the title as he regained the lead for Chesterfield with a simple tap in from close range. The score between Stevenage and Bury was now 3-3 with hardly any time to go and so it seemed incredibly unlikely that the Spireites could lose the title from here.
Deane Smalley put the icing on the cake when he made it 3-1 after Scott Griffiths took the ball from the half way line, all the way to the edge of the area before crossing the ball in to Smalley who put the ball into the net from close range.
There was a massive cheer at the final whistle, and after a long and incredibly succesful season the Spireites has finally been crowned NPower League 2 Champions.
The players and staff came back out onto the pitch to collect their medals before captains Dwayne Mattis and Mark Allott lifted the trophy. The celebrations lasted a long time after the game, with the players doing a lap of honour and showing off the trophy and applauding the fans for all their support.
Eventually the players disappeared down the tunnel and the 2010/11 season officially came to a close. It has been an incredible season to be a Chesterfield supporter, with just some amazing results including a 5-5 v Crewe, a 5-0 v Rotherham, a 4-3 v Shrewsbury and a 4-1 v Wycombe! We have played exciting football and it has been an incredible start to life at our new home. Hopefully next season will be just as good, with games against the likes of Scunthorpe, Peterborough, Preston, Charlton and not forgetting massive derbies against the Sheffield clubs.
Chesterfield FC – NPower League 2 Champions 2010/11