Loughborough Dynamo FC 2 Chasetown FC 2

Duncan Horler’s late equaliser sealed a 2-2 draw for Chasetown FC at Loughborough Dynamo FC.

While the Scholars relinquished their lead in the UniBond League Division 1 South to Mickleover Sports, this was a fine second half comeback from the side with Mark Branch an instrumental figure in both goals.

An early free kick for the hosts was blasted low by Alex Johnson but Ryan Price dived to push the ball around his near post, while Danny Smith and Ramone Stephens showed good pace over the opening minutes for the Scholars.

Smith fired high and wide after cutting past two defenders on the right on ten minutes, before Gary Birch did likewise from 20 yards after some good play down the left by Mark Branch.

The home side were struggling to contain the rapid Stephens down the right, and Reece Lester picked up a booking on 20 minutes following a challenge with skipper Adam Hohn heading Chasetown’s resultant free kick off the line.

Dynamo took the lead in the 23rd minute when birthday boy Neil Morgan’s free kick from the left caught the Scholars off guard and the midfielder’s well-placed ball slotted home.

Smith then found a gap at the near post for the Scholars following a corner but Joe Latham got his head to the ball first allowing keeper Tom Holyoak to gather, and the visitors continued to chase down the determined and speedy home side who lost Luke Edwards to injury in the 35th minute.

Horler’s cross was then headed away by Karl Noble before Holyoak produced a brace of fine saves to deny Birch and Dave Egan in quick succession following Ben Steane’s corner.

Vaughan Thomas, deputising for the injured Richard Teesdale, was in blocking mode as the second half began as Dynamo continued in attacking fashion, and their lead was doubled on 54 minutes when Carl Adams cut in from the right along the goal line and somehow found a gap at the near post to sneak the ball home.

Chasetown took but a few minutes to form a fightback, and in the 62nd minute Birch found space with a header following Mark Branch’s cross to bring the Scholars back into the game.

Mark Branch’s free kick five minutes later came to nothing and two further shots went over the bar as the visitors continued to try to formulate a comeback.  A further free kick from Mark Branch was somehow kept out by a large goalmouth scramble, and thereafter the Scholars began to show improved pace.

On 84 minutes it was a case of third time lucky on the free kick front for Mark Branch, as another effort from the right was headed home by Horler to bring Chasetown level.

Lester and Evans led the attack as they tried to force a winner for Loughborough, but Chasetown held out for a draw.

Next Saturday (February 13) sees the Scholars host Lincoln United, kicking off at 3pm.

Loughborough: Holyoak, Rennalls, Lester, Noble, Hohn (c), Latham, Miller, Morgan, Adams, Johnson, Edwards.  Subs: Jenno (Rennalls 84), Dale-Brown, Nurse (Lancaster 68), Lancaster (Edwards 34), Ross.
Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Slater, Horler, Thomas, Steane, Egan (c), Birch, Smith, Stephens.  Subs: Hay, Ryan, Horton, Saunders (Steane 61), Embrey.