PREVIEW: Spireites look to stay top with victory at Solihull

The Spireites look to extend their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions when they take on Solihull Moors at the ARMCO Arena.

Chesterfield sit at the top of the National League, just one point ahead of Boreham Wood, and the Moors are placed just outside of the play-off places.


The Opposition

Name: Solihull Moors Football Club

Years Formed: 2007

Nickname: The Moors

Stadium: ARMCO Arena

Capacity: 5,500

Last Season Finish: 11th in the National League

Last Three Games: Wigan Athletic 0-0 Solihull Moors – FA Cup First Round

Notts County 2-0 Solihull Moors – National League

Solihull Moors 1-2 Wigan Athletic – FA Cup First Round Replay (aet)


Gaffer In Charge

Manager: Neal Ardley

Age: 49

Years spent in management: 14

Teams managed: Cardiff City Academy (2007-2012), AFC Wimbledon (2012-2018), Notts County (2018-2021) and Solihull Moors (2021-Present).

Record against Chesterfield as manager: P9 W3 D2 L4

Ardley became manager of the Moors in June of this year after being sacked from Notts County just three months before. Despite receiving his marching orders at County, the 49-year-old had the club in the play-off places and was one game away from the FA Trophy final and a trip at Wembley. Players such as veteran midfielder Darren Carter (who retired), former Spireite Jamie Ward and Chesterfield’s newest acquisition Tyrone Williams all left the club. However, Ardley has added to Solihull’s arsenal this season with signings of Joe Sbarra, Andrew Dallas and Ryan Boot – after he initially left the club following the expiration of his contract. The former AFC Wimbledon manager has had a stellar start with the Birmingham side as they sit in 8th place in the National League – which included Ardley winning manager of the month for October. Most recently, Solihull took League One leaders Wigan Athletic to extra time, losing 2-1, in their FA Cup first round replay.


Star Player

Name: Joe Sbarra

Position: Midfielder

Age: 22

What does he offer Solihull Moors? Joe Sbarra has been a brilliant summer signing for Solihull Moors. He is currently the club’s top goalscorer, despite playing mostly in midfield or out on the wing. He provides not only a potent goal scoring threat but also an ability as a fantastic playmaker. Pacey, agile and skilful, the Spireites will look to stop Sbarra if they want limit Solihull Moors’ attacking threat.

What other clubs has he played for? Burton Albion (2017-2020), Solihull Moors on loan (2019).

This Seasons Stats in All Competitions:

Games Played: 17

Goals: Eight

Assists: Two

Yellow Cards: Three

Red Cards: None

Minutes Played: 1,352


Head-To-Head Record

The Spireites and the Moors have faced each other on six occasions with the latter having the better record out of the two. Solihull Moors have won half of the games wit the other three meetings ending in two draws and one Chesterfield win.

That win for the Blues came in the first of two meetings last season as Tom Whelan’s goal gave James Rowe’s side the victory. George Carline received a late red card against his old club late on for two bookable offences.

The second game was played three days later. Tom Denton put the away side up 1-0 at the break. However, second half goals from Joe Sbarra and Kyle Hudlin consigned Rowe to his first defeat as Spireites manager.

Chesterfield have never won at the ARMCO Arena and will be looking for their first victory against the Moors on their patch.


Team News

Manny Oyeleke has become the latest to join the treatment room after suffering a calf issue against Weymouth last weekend. He joins Calvin Miller (suspended), Akwasi Asante (ACL), Jack Clarke (hamstring injury), Danny Rowe (health issue), Laurence Maguire (calf injury), Gavin Gunning (fractured nose and eye socket), Joe Rowley (ankle injury), George Carline (fractured knee), Tom Denton (knee injury) and Haydn Hollis (Achilles injury) on the sidelines.

Solihull Moors will be back with defender Jordan Cranston after he completed his three-match suspension. Cranston was sent off during the Moors’ 0-0 draw at home to Yeovil Town last month.


From The Dugout

Rowe: “I went to their game on Tuesday. They played very well and conducted themselves excellently against League One opposition.

“They don’t let a lot of goals in. They don’t score so many either but it’s a difficult place to go. They’ve got some good results since the Weymouth game where they were beaten soundly at home.”

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