sport

Bennett backing for Spireites

Mason Bennett is confident Chesterfield will go on to win promotion from League Two this season and he hopes they go up as champions.

The Derby striker has been recalled early from his loan spell at the Proact Stadium due to the injury situation at his parent club.

Bennett's one-month deal was set to expire after the away fixture at Hartlepool on Saturday but ongoing concerns over the fitness of Jamie Ward, a former Chesterfield forward, and Simon Dawkins have led to his return.

During his stay with Paul Cook's side the 17-year-old made six appearances and helped the Spireites maintain their challenge for automatic promotion.

Chesterfield have slipped to third in the table recently and head to Hartlepool four points adrift of both leaders Rochdale and second-placed Scunthorpe, and with both Fleetwood and Burton just three points behind them in the play-off places.

But Bennett is sure Cook's men will get the job done and he will be keeping an eye on their remaining five matches.

"They are a great group of lads and there are some very good players there, I have no doubt they will go up," Bennett said.

"I wasn't there long but they are the best team in the league in my opinion so hopefully they will go on and win it.

"I will wish them all the best for the rest of the season and I will be looking for their results to see how they are getting on."

One of Bennett's games for Chesterfield came at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at the end of last month when he came on as a substitute midway through the second half.

Despite only being on loan with the club, the teenager admitted that defeat in the final was still difficult to take.

He said: "It is still upsetting to lose even though Chesterfield aren't my club. I'd been getting on well with the lads and I feel for them. Obviously from a personal point of view too it is never nice to lose at Wembley.

"But I'm sure the lads will go on to make up for it by winning promotion."

Bennett will now re-join Derby's squad for the final five games of the Championship season and add to head coach Steve McClaren's attacking options ahead of what looks likely to be a play-off campaign.

The striker, who became Derby's youngest-ever player in October 2011 aged just 15 years and 99 days old, has played 14 times for the Rams this season and turned out on 31 occasions in total for the club, scoring twice.