Chasetown FC forced to settle for a point after heroics from Leek Town goalkeeper

Leek Town goalkeeper Chris Martin made a string of fine saves to deny Chasetown FC more than just a point in a Staffordshire derby.

Simon Brown's shot is palmed onto the bar by Chris Martin. Pic: Dave Birt

Simon Brown’s shot is palmed onto the bar by Chris Martin. Pic: Dave Birt

In the battle for the play offs, Leek took an early lead. The ball was cleared straight at Tim Grice and he took advantage of his luck to net from close range.

Chasetown responded quickly and Chris Martin made a fingertip save to deny a Jed Davies free kick, with Rhys Thompson’s goalbound header cleared off the line by defender Warren Holmes from the resultant corner.

Martin kept out another Davies free kick with an even better save in the 20th minute before Simon Brown rattled the Leek crossbar with a ferocious volley that grazed Martin’s gloves.

Leek continued to give away silly free kicks and Thompson hit the side netting with Martin clutching at thin air.

Nick Turton finds the net to level the scores. Pic: Dave Birt

Nick Turton finds the net to level the scores. Pic: Dave Birt

In a first half dominated by the hosts, George Washbourne struck the base of the post with a left footed effort from the edge of the box as Chasetown sought to find a way back into the game.

The pressure resumed after the break and Martin kicked away a Paul Sullivan shot.

Chasetown’s persistence finally paid off and the long deserved equaliser came in the 65th minute. Sullivan retreated into midfield and slid the ball through to Nicholas Turton who picked his spot and drove the ball low past Martin.

The Scholars took the lead ten minutes later. The two substitutes combined as Kevin Hemagou set up Stan Mugisha who dinked the ball over the advancing Martin.

But Leek levelled seven minutes from time after Chasetown conceded a free kick wide on the right and substitute Dan Shelley curled a superb free kick beyond John Bateman.

Chasetown: Bateman, Williams, Thompson, Slater, Eze, Brown, Washbourne (Hemagou, 63 mins), Dance, Turton (Edwards, 80 mins), Sullivan, J Davies (Mugisha, 55 mins). Subs not used: Adaggio, Pond.

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