Chasetown FC 1 Rushall Olympic FC 2

A last-minute strike for Rushall Olympic denied Chasetown at the death in their local derby at the Scholars Ground.

Tesfa Robinson’s last minute strike denied the Scholars the chance to go top of the league, with Kidsgrove Athletic taking over at the head of the table following their victory over Stamford.

Richard Teesdale was booked in the first minute for a challenge on Ramone Stephens, before the Scholars were the first to go close as Dave Egan headed Ben Steane’s free kick just over the bar.

Rushall were then awarded a penalty after Mark Branch was adjudged to have brought down Stephens in the area, and after the latter received treatment Anthony Maguire sent his spot kick to Ryan Price’s left to put the visitors ahead.

Chasetown then had claims to a penalty of their own after Reece Styche came under fire but the referee ignored their appeals, and it was Justin Nisbett who had the next chance for the visitors but his shot went wide.

Nisbett’s next attempt on 29 minutes was pushed away by Price allowing Branch to clear, and the Pics continued to look strong at the front with some good work by Stephens and Ben Jevons handing the latter a chance but he shot wide.

Egan was then fouled on the edge of the area handing Branch the chance at one of his famous free kicks but this one was nodded clear by Jevons.

The threatening rain arrived for the second half and Price had to be alert early on as the impressive Stephens cut in from the left with the home keeper able to push his shot away.

Egan then found space down the right on 57 minutes but no-one was there to latch on to his cross, before his weak shot three minutes later flew straight to Chris Gemmell in the Rushall goal.

Chasetown pushed their opponents further and further back as the second half progressed, and it was no surprise when Styche headed home Gary Birch’s cross on 73 minutes to equalise.

Styche then enjoyed a fine run down the right and hammered a shot which Gemmell could only parry at first, but he was able to gather at the second attempt.  The number of chances began to lessen thereafter but both teams were still pushing hard.

Rushall fought back in the final minutes, and skipper Nick Preston went close before Robinson rose to head home Maguire’s corner from ten yards out in the last minute with Price only able to help the ball into the net.

Chasetown open their Walsall Senior Cup campaign on Tuesday (December 8th) as they host Walsall Wood at the Scholars Ground (7.45pm kick-off).

Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Slater, Saunders, Teesdale (c), Steane, Egan, Birch, Styche, Horler.  Subs: D Smith (Birch 85), Miller, Milligan, Thomas, Hawkins.
Rushall: Gemmell, Maguire, Robinson, Preston (c), Amos, A Smith, Beckett, Fitzpatrick, Nisbett, Jevons, Stephens.  Subs: Jackson, Eagles, Lowe, May (Nisbett 83), Edmond (Jevons 78).