Chasetown FC’s play-off dreams shattered by Leek Town

Tim Price's effort finds the net to put Leek Town in front against Chasetown. Pic: Dave Birt

Tim Price’s effort finds the net to put Leek Town in front against Chasetown. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC’s slim chances of the play-offs came to an end as Staffordshire rivals Leek Town ended the Scholars unbeaten run, leaving Craig Harris’ men 14 points shy of fifth place with just seven league games remaining.

The Scholars made a bright start and Ramone Stephens was the closest to breaking the deadlock with a right footer that flashed beyond Ben Chapman and wide of his left hand post.

Leek, who beat Chasetown 3-0 in the return match in December, showed why they are still very much in the title race with a disciplined defensive performance which eventually led to them taking control of the first half and edging ahead when Tim Grice netted at the near post after build up from John Johnston and Anthony Danylyk.

Chasetown deservedly equalised though when Simon Brown drove a low shot between the legs of Leek full back Dan Smith and beyond the left hand of Chapman.

Simon Brown equalises for Chasetown.Pic: Dave Birt

Simon Brown equalises for Chasetown.Pic: Dave Birt

Former Scholars Jordan Johnson saw his free kick deflect onto the crossbar, but then Chasetown’s hopes were dealt a blow when Brown was adjudged of committing a second yellow card offence and the referee produced the red card for the winger.

With the man advantage, Leek took a stranglehold on the game and looked likely to regain the lead with Ryan Price producing a low save to deny scorer Grice.

The pressure told and it was Jordan Johnson who swept the ball beyond Price to restore Leek’s lead.

The ten men were defending for large periods and trying to play on the counter attack whenever they could, but it was Johnson who sealed the three points, lifting the visitors into second place in the league table with games in hand, with a sumptuous free kick from thirty yards which curled beyond the grasp of Price.

Chasetown’s Nick Wellecomme had a late chance to reduce the deficit but his shot was deflected wide for a corner as he bore down on Chapman.

Jordan Johnson finds the net against Chasetown. Pic: Dave Birt

Jordan Johnson finds the net against Chasetown. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown: Price, Farmer, Beckett, Slater, Robinson, Jermaine Johnson (Bennett, 80 mins), Butler (Danny Smith, 85 mins), Bragoli, Wellecomme, Brown, Stephens (Gould, 70 mins). Subs not used: Evans, Campbell.
Leek Town: Chapman, Dan Smith, Bell, Dicker, Epsley, Maguire, Danylyk (Hall, 75 mins), Shelley (Mills, 63 mins), Grice (Kinsey, 82 mins), Jordan Johnson, John Johnston. Subs not used: Donnelly, Bratt.

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