Chasetown FC 1 AFC Wulfrunians 1

Chasetown face a replay in their FA Cup preliminary round tie after a disappointing 1-1 draw with AFC Wulfrunians.

The Scholars started brightly but faded in the second half, an injury to Richard Batchelor denting their hopes as the side slipped back in the closing stages.

Neither side appeared able to gain an advantage over the opening minutes, with the visitors giving away a couple of corners and skipper Antony Collins sending a free kick wide for a corner.

Chasetown took the lead in the 16th minute when Craig Milligan crossed from the left and Gary Birch burst in to fire right-footed past Daniel Tipton.

Danny Smith came close to making it two from a corner but his header bounced off the woodwork and skipper Richard Teesdale was prevented from following up by the Wulfs defence, and the Scholars began to look more positive and determined as the half progressed.

Liam Evans ought to have equalised in the 24th minute, but his low shot hit Ryan Price’s outstretched foot and Teesdale was able to clear.  At the other end the Scholars captain then headed over from a corner as the hosts continued to work hard.

Smith went close once again in the 35th minute as the Scholars piled on the pressure even more before Harry Harris sent a free kick over the bar after David Asbury had clattered Smith.

Chasetown survived a scare at the start of the second half when Price spilled a cross, but in his haste to gather the ball he collided with Batchelor who was unfortunately stretchered off with a hip injury and replaced by Dave Egan.

Birch was fouled on 58 minutes but Harris’s free kick came to nought, while Tipton just beat Smith to Craig Holland’s lob to deny the striker a header from close range.

Wulfrunians then fought back in style, Richard Palmer playing through Richard Anslow who shot wide, before a corner from the right was headed home at the far post by Asbury for the equaliser.

The Scholars tried quickly to regroup, Egan heading Harris’s corner over on 72 minutes, but the visitors proved well up to the task, and with Birch struggling after taking a knock to his knee some worried faces began to appear around the ground.

A succession of free kicks for the hosts came to nothing and Egan’s overhead kick from a Harris cross was caught by Tipton, and the home side could not find a way through and the tie went to a replay.

The result means that Monday’s fixture against local rivals Rushall Olympic is cancelled, and the Scholars travel to the Castlecroft Stadium in Wolverhampton on Tuesday evening (7.45pm kick-off).

Chasetown: Price, Holland, Milligan, Slater, Thomas, Teesdale (c), Harris, Greenway, Birch, Smith, Batchelor.  Subs: Bragoli (Greenway 61), M Branch, Marshall (Birch 82), Egan (Batchelor 50), Taylor (GK), Steane, J Branch.
AFC Wulfrunians: D Tipton, Collins (c), Crudginton, M Tipton, Asbury, Mason, Brady, Palmer, Bandele, Lawson, Evans.  Subs: Mitchell (Bandele 89), Anslow (Lawson 67), Showell, E Fenn, M Fenn, Corns, Gummery.

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