Meir KA 3 Chasetown FC 0

Chasetown FC’s pre-season campaign was brought back down to earth with a bump against Meir KA.

The Scholars went into their second friendly on the back of a solid win against Congleton on Saturday, but came unstuck against the Stoke-on-Trent side.

Chasetown started brightly over the opening minutes, but defensive mistakes allowed the hosts to score two goals in quick succession, and the side never really recovered until the last ten minutes.

Chasetown’s first corner on three minutes from Mark Branch went low across the face of goal with no-one near enough to connect, with a similar effort from brother John on six minutes flying straight to Kings keeper Richard Amison.

In the tenth minute Nathan Chin-Shaw’s cross found Josh Burt for Meir’s first chance, but he fluffed his header and new Scholars keeper James Fryer was able to collect.

One minute later the Kings were ahead, a mistake by Adie Smith allowing Shane Reaney through on the right and he calmly side-footed the ball around Fryer and into the net.

Amison was in good form and pulled off fine saves from Craig Marshall and Mark Branch, while Chin-Shaw kept up the pressure on the Chasetown defence, Ross Miller just able to clear on 26 minutes, but a minute later David Iacono sent a well-placed ball over the heads of the defence and Chin-Shaw headed off the bar and down into the net for Kings’ second.

Meir continued to outpace the Scholars down the right flank, with winger Tony Davis shooting over the bar on the half hour.  Amison then impressed to deny Mark Branch once again on 40 minutes, diving high to his right to hang onto the winger’s right-footed shot.

The home side continued to attack from the kick-off in the second half, and just three minutes in were 3-0 ahead courtesy of Burt after an error by marker Will Ricketts allowed him to fire past Fryer.

A Mark Branch free kick from the right of the area then flew just wide of the target, and Chasetown looked in disarray prompting wholesale changes from stand-in manager Andy Turner.

Craig Milligan’s free kick from the right was put out for a corner which came to nothing, and still the Scholars were unable to make any impression on the Kings goalmouth.

The visitors seemed to rouse themselves back into form in the closing minutes, with Gary Birch trying his hardest but he could not create a path through the defence.

On 83 minutes John Branch unleashed a screamer of a shot from 20 yards which cannoned off Amison’s far post, and Dean Perrow also went close in the closing minutes having beaten two defenders, but Meir were well up to the task and the Midland Combination side ran out worthy winners.

Chasetown fans are being reminded that tickets for the big match at Cardiff City on Friday (kick-off 7.45pm) will be on sale on Wednesday and Thursday evening at the Scholars Ground from 7.30pm.

Chasetown: Fryer, J Branch, M Branch, Miller, Clancy, A Smith, Woodhouse, Greenway, Marshall, Harris, Batchelor.  Subs: Thomas (Miller 58), Slater (Clancy 58), Ricketts (Greenway 40), Milligan (Woodhouse 64), Birch (Harris 64), Steane (Batchelor 71) Perrow (M Branch 64), Teesdale (A Smith 58), Bragoli (Marshall 64), Price (Fryer 75).

Report by Dave Goddard.

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