WADE SMALL already has a liking for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – and the Chesterfield star will be aiming to make his mark again when he comes face to face with Town in tonight’s second-round showdown at Saltergate.
The 25-year-old winger or forward got his first goals after signing from Charlton Athletic with a double in the 5-1 first-round destruction of Burton Albion.
There have been two more since, the most recent sealing Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Accrington which put the Spireites 10th in League II.
Small struck in stoppage time after John Sheridan’s side had missed an 88th-minute penalty through six-goal top scorer Jamie Lowry.
And the former Sheffield Wednesday man is enjoying his time in Derbyshire, explaining: “I think I’ve settled in well. The boys here are great and I think I’m linking well with Jack Lester.”
Born in Croydon, Small began his career with MK Dons before a switch to Hillsborough three years ago.
He played 67 league games for the Owls – 31 as a substitute – and scored seven goals.
He also had a loan spell with Blackpool and a month at Town’s League I rivals Charlton before signing a one-year deal with Chesterfield just before the end of the transfer window.
Boss Sheridan said at the time: “Wade is an exciting player who is capable of causing problems for the opposition. He is quick, pacy and versatile.”
Small’s capture ended a busy spell for former Oldham Athletic boss Sheridan, who also brought in veteran goalkeeper Mark Crossley, who had been with him at Boundary Park, Tranmere midfielder Mark Allott, another ex-Latic, Nottingham Forest defender Ian Breckin and utility man Drew Talbot from Luton.
Teenage striker Donal McDermott has joined on loan from Manchester City, netting four times to date.
And Sheridan has just drafted in midfielder David Perkins on loan from Colchester United.
The 26-year-old, however, is unavailable having already played for Colchester in their first-round clash with Gillingham.
The most familiar face to Town’s travelling fans, who are reminded that kick-off is earlier than normal at 7.30, will be Rob Page.
The 42-times capped Welsh international centre-back, now 35, played 20 times for Town in the second half of the 2007-08 season after being signed from Coventry City by Andy Ritchie.
Previously with Watford, Sheffield United and Cardiff City, Page joined Chesterfield in the summer of 2008, by which time Stan Ternent had taken over as Town manager.
Tonight’s referee is Kevin Wright, from Cambridgeshire.