Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: Chesterfield vs Torquay United
Venue: Technique Stadium, Chesterfield
Date: Saturday 18th September 2021
Chesterfield fact file:
Year founded: 1866
Nickname: The Spireites
Last season’s league finish: 6th in National League
Division Four/Division Three/League Two:
Winners: 1969-70, 1984-85, 2010-11, 2013-14
Division Three North:
Winners: 1930-31, 1935-36
Football League Trophy:
Chesterfield: 19 Draw: 13 Torquay: 12
Current Form (last six):
Chesterfield: 1st – W, W, D, D, W, W Torquay: 13th – D, L, W, L, L, W
Chesterfield: Kabongo Tshimanga (7) Torquay: Armani Little (3)
Manager: James Rowe
One of the brightest managerial prospects in non-league football, James Rowe switched his attentions to coaching after retiring from playing at the age of 27.
He worked in the academies of Birmingham City and West Ham United before he was appointed as assistant manager to Gary Waddock at Aldershot Town in 2016. During the time they worked together, the Shots reached the National League play-offs in two successive seasons (2016-17 & 2017-18). Rowe would later leave Aldershot in January 2019 and was appointed as manager of Gloucester City in the following November.
While in charge of the Tigers, Rowe guided them to their best league start to a league campaign in 78 years, as they won their opening four National League North fixtures in the 2020-21 season. This form alerted the Chesterfield to his potential as he was announced as the successor to John Pemberton in November 2020. Under Rowe’s guidance, the Spireites are now in contention for a play-off place, and he also won the National League manager of the month award for March 2021.
After a sixth-placed finish in the National League in the 2020-21 campaign, the Spireites currently sit top of the National League table.
Player to watch: Kabongo Tshimanga
Date of Birth: 22nd Sep, 1997 – 24 Years Old
Birthplace: Kinshasa, DRC
Former Clubs: MK Dons, Aldershot, Throttur, Yeovil Town, Boston United, Oxford City, Boreham Wood
International: England C
National League Stats 21-22: Played 7, Goals 7, Yellow/Red Cards 1/0
The Plainmoor faithful first came across Kabongo Tshimanga during the 2018-19 National League South title winning season, when he found the back of the net for Oxford City in their 7-2 defeat to United in January 2019. His exploits brought him to the attentions of Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard who snapped him up for the Wood in the summer of 2019. Tshimanga has continued to find the back of the net for Boreham Wood in the National League and attracted the attentions of numerous Football League clubs prior to his move to Chesterfield in the summer.
Chesterfield: Fraser Kerr
Last meeting: Chesterfield 0 – 2 Torquay United – 3rd May 2021
GOALS: TUFC – Lemonheigh-Evans (11). Waters (76)
Chesterfield (3-4-1-2): G.Smith; Kerr, Gunning, Maguire; Carline, Oyeleke, M.Smith (Whelan), Whittle; Mandeville (Clarke); Rowe, Mitchell (Yussuf).
Torquay (4-4-2): Covolan; Wynter, Warren (Umerah), Sherring, Moxey; Randell, Lemonheigh-Evans, Hall, Andrews (Buse); Kimpioka (Little), Waters
Torquay extended their lead at the top of the National League with a 2-0 win at Chesterfield.
Goals in each half from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Billy Waters saw Gary Johnson’s side open up a four-point cushion at the top of the table, ahead of Sutton who had two games in hand.
A fourth defeat in six games for the Spireites hurt their promotion ambitions, but they remained just two points outside the play-offs.
Fraser Kerr – Gavin Gunning – Jamie Grimes
George Carline – Curtis Weston – Manny Oyeleke – Liam Mandeville – Calvin Miller
Stefan Payne – Kabongo Tshimanga
Torquay United (3-5-2):
Ben Wynter – Joe Lewis – Dean Moxey
Chiori Johnson – Gabby Rogers – Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – Asa Hall – Keelan O’Connell
Klaidi Lolos – Danny Wright
TT Pre-Match talking points:
Can United follow on their win against Southend with a second away win of the season?
Will our defence be able to hold off Tshimanga and Payne for the whole game?
Will we see a Gary Time #incoming pre-match?