Diamond Joe gives Caldwell home win
TEENAGER Joe Rowley only signed his first professional contract on Friday and he celebrated with a first league goal and a man-of-thematch display to boost Chesterfield’s slim survival hopes with victory over fellow strugglers Port Vale.
The 17-year-old’s effort ten minutes into the second half was enough to clinch the victory for the Spireites, which was Gary Caldwell’s first win at home since being appointed in January.
And having scored the game’s only goal from close range after Kristian Dennis’ low effort had been saved by Vale keeper Deniz Mehmry, Caldwell paid tribute to the youngster.
“He’s a fantastic talent, the way he plays the game I love watching him,” said Caldwell.
“The skill that he has, the quick feet, the energy he shows for the team and the game knowledge that he has. He understands the game so I put him in a more defensive position towards the end, I’m just delighted we’ve got such a talent here and I can work with him.
“He keeps getting better, I did say again when he signed he will have a dip in form at some point. That’s when as a club, as staff and the players around him will help him develop but right now he’s riding the wave that sometimes you get with young players.”
The match was slightly marred at the final whistle with several travelling Port Vale fans visibly angered by the result and their team’s performance, as they tried to get on the pitch only to be prevented by stewards.
Speaking after the game, Vale caretaker manager Michael Brown claimed he can understand the supporters’ frustration at the current situation.
He said: “The fans were disappointed at taking Kiko off but he kicked three out of play and looked like he was done with five minutes to go.
“We can see they’re frustrated and we’re looking at everything.
“I think the fans are looking into the true problems and, as we keep saying, are very understanding with the situation.
“We still had enough on the pitch to win, it was one long pass, Bikey’s hamstring goes and then very disappointing from then on.”
In a season with not much to shout about for Spireites fans, they can be forgiven for getting excited at the prospect of Rowley, who is certainly one to keep an eye on.
Vale, by contrast, have slipped into the bottom four with five games to go as they bid to save their own place in League One.
STAR MAN JOE ROWLEY Chesterfield