Chasetown FC 2 Mickleover Sports FC 1

Chris Horton celebrates his goal against Mickleover Sports. Pic: Dave Birt

Chris Horton celebrates his goal against Mickleover Sports. Pic: Dave Birt

Mickleover’s league title celebrations were put on hold as Chasetown defeated the season-long pacesetters 2-1.

The Derbyshire side needed a draw to be assured of the UniBond South title, but reckoned without the determination of the Scholars as Ramone Stephens scored his first goal since transferring from Rushall Olympic and Chris Horton also found the target.

The Scholars started in the best possible fashion and were ahead after only eight minutes.  A Gavin Saunders free kick was headed goalwards by Ben Jevons and despite the best efforts of the Sports defence, they could only head the ball out to Horton whose powerful header cleared the defenders and hit the roof of the net.

The visitors’ first chance came six minutes later when David Middleditch sent a 25-yard free kick over the bar with Alex Steadman then shooting wide, but Chasetown fought back through Saunders following good work by Grant Ryan and Mark Branch.

The end to end action continued with home keeper Ryan Price called into action on a couple of occasions and Stephens producing one of his trademark runs at the Mickleover defence but shooting wide, while Chris Slater concluded an entertaining first half by clearing a corner.

Ramone Stephens breaks away to score against Mickleover Sports. Pic: Dave Birt

Ramone Stephens breaks away to score against Mickleover Sports. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown piled on the pressure right from the whistle in the second half, Ryan’s shot palmed away by keeper David Clarke on 52 minutes before three minutes later Stephens beat two defenders and slipped the ball under Clarke’s body for his maiden Scholars goal to double the hosts’ lead.

Marc Strzyzewski effort went just wide of the post on 58 minutes but his left-footed shot went inches wide, and Karl Ashton also went close ten minutes later as the champions-elect dug deep to try and get back into the swing of things.

Still the Scholars continued to impress with skipper Dave Egan firing over the bar, but on 78 minutes a quickly taken corner was fed to Lee Barrow and his low cross was sliced into his own net by Horton to hand the visitors a lifeline.

It was not to be Mickleover’s night, however, and they must wait a little longer to try to secure the league title, but the Chasetown faithful went home happy in the knowledge that the victory virtually guaranteed the Scholars a spot in the playoffs.

Chasetown now make the trip to Goole AFC on Saturday (April 17th) for a 3pm kick-off, before visiting local rivals Rushall Olympic next Tuesday (April 20th) 7.45pm kick-off.

Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Slater, Horton, Saunders, Stephens, Egan (c), Hay, Ryan, Jevons.  Subs: Smith (Stephens 73), Hulin, Perrow, Steane, Horler (Ryan 83).
Mickleover: Clarke, S Carter, J Carter, Walshe (c), Barrow, Strzyzewski, Graves, Martin, Ashton, Middleditch, Steadman.  Subs: O Connell (Middleditch 50), Hoyle (S Carter 73), Smythe (Walshe 67), Guy, Everett-Elliott.

Chasetown defend their goal in numbers against Mickleover Sports. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown defend their goal in numbers against Mickleover Sports. Pic: Dave Birt

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