Lancaster City FC 1 Chasetown FC 1

A late equaliser denied Chasetown progress at the first attempt in their FA Trophy tie at Lancaster City.

Chasetown had the better of the first half play, with both Ben Steane and Gary Birch going close.  Steane’s first effort saw his snap shot after picking up a loose ball fly just wide on eight minutes, while his 35-yard shot four minutes later cleared the crossbar.

The midfielder then set up Birch for a left-footed shot on 15 minutes which was beaten away by Dolly Blues keeper Martin Fearon, the ball bouncing just too high for Danny Smith to follow up.

Birch’s next chance came on the half hour when he beat Andrew Teague to break forward but again Fearon had the measure of the shot and palmed the ball away for the defence to clear.

Lancaster’s first chance of the match came three minutes later when Jordon Connerton played the ball back to Adam Farrell whose shot cleared the bar by inches, and Teague did likewise on the stroke of half time when the Scholars defence failed to clear properly.

Chasetown could however look back on a positive first half of the afternoon, with goalkeeper Ryan Price having little work to do.

Six minutes after the break Fearon had to be alert to push a Mark Branch free kick around the post, and from Steane’s ensuing corner Chris Horton headed home unchallenged at the far post for his first goal for the Scholars.

Chasetown then had to work hard to block several shots as the Dolly Blues searched for an equaliser, and new signing Alex Titchiner replaced Smith for his Scholars debut.  The Crewe loanee was straight into the action, creating havoc for Lancaster with plenty of pace down the right and chasing down a through ball from Steane only to drag his shot wide.

The hosts were getting ever closer, Ross Miller stopping a Michael Rushton cross from reaching the danger zone and Price tipping a free kick from Paul Jarvis over the bar as Lancaster continued to push forward as the half progressed.

With the Scholars defence being pushed deeper all the time, the equaliser finally came in the 89th minute when Connerton headed home at the far post with Price beaten.

The game petered out into a draw thereafter, which means both sides have to do it all again at the Scholars Ground on tomorrow (October 20) evening, 7.45pm kick-off.  This means that Chasetown’s scheduled league match at Grantham is postponed.

Lancaster: Fearon, Henry, Marshall, Teague, Stringfellow (c), D Ward, Rushton, Wilson, Connerton, Farrell, Sharrock.  Subs: Heffernan, Jarvis (Farrell 59), Rothwell (Sharrock 77), Ward (Wilson 59), Beesley (GK).
Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Miller, Milligan, Horton, Steane, Egan (c), Birch, D Smith, Batchelor.  Subs: Bragoli (Batchelor 70), Saunders (Birch 83), Titchiner (D Smith 63), A Smith, Vassallo.

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