Chasetown FC 0 Market Drayton Town FC 2

Chasetown FC’s season hit a low point with a dismal display en route to a 2-0 defeat to Market Drayton Town.

The Scholars missed the chance to go clear in second place in the UniBond Division 1 South table on a night where they seemed unable to create chances and at times looked confused.

Chasetown looked marginally stronger over the opening minutes, and almost took the lead in the eighth minute when Gavin Saunders fired Gary Anslow’s corner inches wide of the near post, and it was 17 minutes before the visitors’ first chance when David Howells’ attempted lob was tipped over the bar by Ryan Price.

The Scholars worked hard at the front but were being locked down by an efficient Drayton defence as things remained very close at this point, Ben Jevons firing over the bar on 30 minutes as the hosts looked for a breakthrough.

Both sides just about managed to find one as the half progressed but were denied by the offside flag each time, while John Branch broke a Drayton attack on 39 minutes.

Dave Egan then slid in at the near post on the wet surface but keeper Andrew Pryce beat him to the ball, before John Branch cut off Martyn Davies’s run down the right as the half closed out with few scoring opportunities apparent.

Both sides threw themselves harder into the action as the second half began, with Richard Teesdale having departed due to injury and Vaughan Thomas deputising.  Market Drayton had reshuffled their pack to good effect and twice Branch had to be alert to clear off the line.

Ramone Stephens replaced Ben Steane just past the hour and was immediately into the action, firing into the side netting on 64 minutes after beating David Howarth down the right, before home debutant Gary Anslow’s free kick created a moment of pinball in the area but still the target could not be found.

A similar piece of action at the other end minutes later saw Price dive to his right to save, but the resulting corner was headed home by Marc Stallard to put the visitors ahead.

This prompted Chasetown to try to throw even more weight at their opponents with Grant Ryan joining the attack and wing backs Branch and Anslow pushing forward all the time but still a chance could not be created.

Ryan fired straight at keeper Pryce on 79 minutes before the visitors were awarded a penalty after Vaughan Thomas was adjudged to have fouled Davies, who stepped up to the spot and sent Price the wrong way to double Drayton’s lead.

Chasetown tried to fight back with Ryan heading a corner over the bar in the closing minutes, but the game petered out into a disappointing defeat.

Many present were mystified at Chasetown’s lack of home form of late, and manager Charlie Blakemore conceded:

“We had a clear chance to go second tonight but we tossed it away against what I consider to be a relatively poor side in this league.  When you’re in our situation you have to take very chance you get, but tonight we didn’t.”

The Scholars will try to pick themselves up as they visit Quorn on Saturday (March 27th) – 3pm kick-off – before hosting Leek Town next Tuesday (March 30th) in a 7.45pm kick-off.

Chasetown: Price, J Branch, Anslow, Slater, Saunders, Teesdale (c), Steane, Jevons, Egan, Smith, Horler.  Subs: M Branch, Ryan (Saunders 75), Stephens (Steane 64), Embrey, Thomas (Teesdale 45).
Market Drayton: Pryce, Francis, Howells, Garvey, McMullen (c), Stallard, Porter, Haynes, Davies, Rogers, Howarth.  Subs: Humphreys (Haynes 45), Spooner (GK), Bowyer (Rogers 84), Grice (Howarth 73), Beech.

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