For Chesterfield, this is not how their first season in non-League football since 1921 was meant to pan out.

Easily one of the biggest clubs currently in the National League, the Spireites were expected to be pushing for a quick return to the Football League – after last season’s calamitous relegation from League Two.

Instead, they’re on to their second manager of the campaign, after John Sheridan began his second spell in charge of them this month, and looking to avoid dropping out of the division the other way.

Incredibly, given their resources, Chesterfield are two points adrift of safety going into tomorrow’s clash with Barrow AFC, who are looking to complete a league double over them.

While his old club’s plight pains him, doing just that would be satisfying for Bluebirds boss Ian Evatt, who was overlooked for the manager’s job at the Proact Stadium last summer, with the now-departed Martin Allen getting the gig instead.

Sheridan’s task is simple: to prevent a third successive relegation and avoid Chesterfield following the likes of Stockport County, York City and Torquay United as former EFL clubs who have fallen into English football’s sixth tier.

His first game back was unconvincing – a 1-0 victory over eighth-tier Bedford Town in the FA Trophy – but last week’s 2-0 win at fellow strugglers Aldershot Town could prove to be a turning point.

Defender Will Evans, who recently saved a stoppage-time penalty in the 3-3 draw against Ebbsfleet United, scored both the Spireites’ goals in Hampshire to give them only their second win in 26 league games.

What will be guaranteed is that Sheridan will have Chesterfield scrapping for their lives when they face AFC.

Barrow supporters, however, will not have forgotten the 3-2 victory at Holker Street in August that began the Derbyshire side’s tailspin, after a quickfire double from Tyler Smith turned the match in the Bluebirds’ favour.