On Saturday 5th May I went to the B2Net Stadium to watch the final game of the 2011/12 season between already relegated Chesterfield and Brentford.
The previous week’s results meant that neither side had anything to play for and so it created a rather deflated atmosphere around the stadium. Chesterfield’s defeat at Yeovil Town had condemned the club to relegation while Brentford’s defeat to Sheffield Wednesday had ended any hopes they had of reaching the play offs.
There was very little noise coming from either set of supporters, apart from the occasional song, and it felt a bit like watching a pre season friendly match with the result of little importance.
Before kick off, Barrie Hubbard came on to the pitch and shook hands with the players as today marked the end of his spell as chairman of Chesterfield FC after many years.
The game got underway in front of 5,699 fans and it was the visitors who took an early lead when Leon Legge got on the end of Sam Saunders cross and headed the ball in to the net on the 12th minute.
The game was very poor which and neither side created many clear cut chances which meant at half time the score remained 1-0 to the Bees.
Brentford doubled their advantage just before the hour mark when Toumani Diagouraga fired past Tommy Lee. On the 69th minute the Spireites pulled a goal back when Franck Moussa scored from close range after Scott Boden’s original effort and hit the woodwork. The finish was excellent but the goal was understandably greeted with a rather muted celebration from the home supporters.
When Clayton Donaldson headed the ball home to make it 3-1 to the away side, loud chants of “Sheridan Out” could be heard all around the stadium as many fans walked out in disgust.
An absolutely magnificent strike from Mark Allott left many supporters stunned as the midfielder had failed to score in 2 and a half years and it could yet be Chesterfield’s goal of the season! However, it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal as the season ended with yet another defeat.
After the match I met Brentford’s Jonathan Douglas, Pim Balkestein, Leon Legge, Niall McGinn and Clayton Donaldson. We also chatted to Bees goalkeeper Simon Moore, who has been a Facebook friend of my Dad’s since our visit to Brading Town back in 2008. Simon was happy to pose for a photo with me and very kindly gave me his gloves that he had worn in today’s game.
This game brought a very disappointing season to a close. After such a great 2010/11 season which saw the club win League 2 with ease, to be relegated back to the fourth tier at the first attempt is very disappointing. The only highlights of this season have been the trip to Wembley and beating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 at home. The club has to bounce back next season or I expect the attendances will drop dramatically as fans begin to lose interest. Nonetheless, my season ticket has been renewed and so I will be back for another full season of football at the B2Net Stadium next season and hopefully we can win the division again!
Chesterfield 2–3 Brentford
Legge ’12, Diagouraga ’59, Moussa ’69, Donaldson ’80, Allott ’90Lee, Thompson (Clay ’66), Ridehalgh, Allott, Randall (Boden ’55), Darikwa, Moussa, Westcarr, Mendy (Lowry ’46), Talbot, Bowery Moore, Balkestein, Logan, Bidwell (Thompson ’87), Dean, Legge, Saunders (Reeves ’77), Douglas, Diagouraga, Donaldson, Forrester (Morrison ’63)