Willenhall Town 0 Chasetown FC 1 (aet)

Gary Birch

Gary Birch

Gary Birch was the hero as Chasetown FC made it through to the next stage of the Unibond League President’s Cup with a 1-0 extra time win at Willenhall Town.

The Scholars survived a number of scares in their own goalmouth before Birch won and converted the decisive spot kick in the second-half of extra time.

An even first-half saw both sides cancel each other out, but Chasetown did go close when Craig Holland forced a smart save from the home keeper and the resulting corner was scrambled off the line and away from danger.

The second period saw Willenhall have the better of the action, but Danny Bragoli went close for the Scholars after the restart when his free-kick went wide.

Chasetown survived a number of scares as the hosts pushed to make the breakthrough with only a missed opportunity by loan striker Grant Ryan to show in terms of goalmouth chances for the visitors as the game wore on.

At the other end centre-back Chris Slater, playing despite carrying a ligament injury, cleared one off the line to send the game into extra time.

And the deadlock was finally broken when Birch was felled in the box during the second period of extra time. The former Walsall man dusted himself down before putting away the resulting penalty to give Chasetown the victory.

Full match report to follow…

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