Chasetown FC taking play-off fight to the wire after win over Rugby Town

It’s a two-horse race for the final play-off place between Lincoln United and Chasetown as the Scholars came from behind to kill off Rugby Town’s hopes of extending their season.

Paul Sullivan fires Chasetown in front. Pic: Dave Birt

Paul Sullivan fires Chasetown in front. Pic: Dave Birt

The visitors started brightly and inside the first five minutes Kevin Thornton curled a free kick against the underside of the crossbar.

Rugby took the lead in the 32nd minute. Chasetown keeper John Bateman punched the ball clear but Steve Towers looped the ball back over the head of the retreating stopper from distance.

Within a minute, Chasetown drew level as Paul Sullivan burst through and placed a shot low to Sam Andrew’s left.

Rugby were reduced to ten men in the final minute of the first half when Tom James received two yellow cards in quick succession for late fouls.

Nick Turton had a goal disallowed for a foul on keeper Andrew but Chasetown continued to dominate.

James Dance fires home. Pic: Dave Birt

James Dance fires home. Pic: Dave Birt

Midway through the second half, the Scholars made their territorial advantage count and after 67 minutes, Sullivan made some space for himself and drilled a low shot beyond Andrew.

The home side sealed the points with a right foot strike from James Dance from ten yards out.

Stan Mugisha became the second Chasetown player to have a goal disallowed after being adjudged to have fouled Andrew before side footing into an empty net.

The hosts almost added to their goal difference when Henry Eze had his header denied by a point blank Andrew save.

Lincoln face Rugby on Tuesday while Chasetown host Stocksbridge Park Steels. Unless Lincoln get more points in midweek than Chasetown, next Saturday sees the two sides meet in what will effectively be a play-off cup final. The winner is likely to face Shaw Lane Aquaforce, although the Barnsley side can mathematically still win the league title if Stafford Rangers lose their final game and they win their last two.

Chasetown: Bateman, Williams, Thompson, Slater, Eze, Brown, Mugisha (Robinson, 81 mins), Dance, Turton (Adaggio, 61 mins), Sullivan (Hemagou, 86 mins), Edwards. Subs not used: Washbourne, Pond.

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