Chasetown FC 2 Ilkeston Town 0

A penalty in each half was enough to seal Chasetown a 2-0 victory over Blue Square North side Ilkeston Town in their first home friendly of the season.

Manager Charlie Blakemore began with a strong starting line-up against the higher league opposition, and the Scholars proved more up to the challenge with some determined play.

A pleasing fast-paced start saw both sides make inroads early on, with Ben Steadman sending in a well-placed cross on five minutes but Scholars skipper Richard Teesdale was able to head away.

The hosts looked strong down the right with Danny Smith in attacking mode, but Ilkeston proved well up to the task and some tough play in midfield ensued.

A dangerous free kick on the left on 27 minutes was headed out by Vaughan Thomas but Curtis Davies was able to blast the ball back in, the Chasetown defence blocking his low shot and the ball was cleared.

Three minutes later a corner was headed inches wide of the far post by Jon Douglas but the Scholars did not succumb to the pressure, Chris Slater working well to clear successive crosses from Steadman and Wayne Duik.

Dean Perrow

Dean Perrow

On 32 minutes the Scholars were awarded a penalty by referee Alan Wiley after Ben Steane was brought down in the area, and 2008/09 top scorer Dean Perrow had little trouble in converting to give the hosts the lead.

In the closing seconds of the half Chasetown keeper Ryan Price dived low to his right to hang onto a stiff shot, and the Scholars held onto their lead.

Price began the second half by punching away a corner before the Scholars won a free kick after Steane was brought down once again, and the action remained close and competitive with a surprisingly lively atmosphere for a friendly encounter.

Harry Harris’s free kick on 67 minutes was struck perfectly by the Walsall loanee, but just clipped the outside of the post and went out for a corner which was bundled out of danger.

Steane was felled yet again within the area on 73 minutes, and this time it was Danny Smith who fired the spot-kick past Ross Cherry to double the Scholars’ lead.

Tom Bonner fired straight at Price three minutes later from long range, while substitute Jarrod McGivern clattered a shot off the crossbar but the flag had gone up for offside.

Smith was still showing a great turn of pace through the home defence, but the Scholars were already safe for victory.

Chasetown are next in action on Saturday as they visit the Corinium Stadium in Cirencester to take on Gloucester City (3pm kick-off) before hosting local rivals Tamworth next Tuesday (7.45pm kick-off).

Chasetown: Price, Miller, Milligan, Slater, Thomas, Teesdale, Steane, Bragoli, D Smith, Perrow (McGivern 69), Harris.  Not used: Middleton, M Branch, Batchelor, Holland, Woodhouse.
Ilkeston: Cherry, Duik, Green (Algar 80), Burge (Woods 45), Bonner, Dudgeon (Waterfall 45), Steadman (Pheasant 80), Davies, Douglas, Griffiths (Froggatt 45, then A Robinson 89), Graves (M Robinson 60).  Not used: Hanerhan.

Report by Dave Goddard

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