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Cradley Town 1 Chasetown FC 5

THE weather may have been dismal but it certainly didn’t dampen Chasetown’s efforts as they romped to a 5-1 success at Cradley Town.

With a strong line-up starting the friendly, Chasetown were on top throughout save for a couple of breakaway attacks by the Black Country side and had overall command throughout.

The Scholars’ first chance came when Craig Milligan’s effort was tipped over the bar in the fourth minute, and shortly after the home keeper stopped Ross Miller’s shot at his near post.

The heavy rain certainly did not slow up the early going, and on ten minutes Darren Middleton shot wide from close range before the hosts began to click into gear and push towards James Fryer’s goal.

Chasetown fought right back, however, and in the 21st minute were ahead after returnee Dave Egan fired Milligan’s corner through the defence and found a small gap at the far post to slot home.

Harry Harris had the ball in the net from the left five minutes later, but was frustrated by the offside flag, before a low cross from Egan was somehow turfed out for a corner by the Cradley defence and the home keeper punched the kick away.

The Lukes’ defence worked hard on the edge of the area but the tough combination of Egan and Craig Marshall were trying their hardest to break through, while back in midfield Middleton continued to impress on the tricky surface.

With eight minutes of the half remaining Egan’s cross found Marshall who had little difficulty in finding the back of the net with his right foot for his first goal for the Scholars.

Three minutes later the hosts were back in it after slotting a loose ball past Fryer, while Harris was dispossessed on the right of goal moments later.

Two Cradley corners began the second half, while Adie Smith headed out a cross from the right on 53 minutes and Fryer punched away the resultant corner, Smith and John Branch working hard to keep things secure on the right.

On 57 minutes a corner from Milligan found Richard Teesdale on the left and he sent the ball across the home keeper and into the corner for Chasetown’s third, and four minutes later Harris added a fourth with a powerful shot.
Fryer jumped to catch a well-placed cross from the Cradley attack the Lukes began to press once again, but the visitors found the net again on 74 minutes when Vaughan Thomas put away Middleton’s corner.

Harris’s free kick then flew straight to the home keeper before Marshall sent a shot across the face of goal, before Marshall went off after treatment and young gun Jack Farmer dropped into midfield as his replacement.

Cradley’s keeper then produced a fine save to deny Milligan in the closing minutes, and the Scholars went on for a fine win – with the rain stopping just moments after the final whistle!

Chasetown travel to Coalville next Tuesday (7.45pm kick-off).
Chasetown: Fryer, Miller, Milligan, Slater (Teesdale 45), Thomas, A Smith, Middleton, J Branch (Holland 55), Marshall (Farmer 75), Egan (Batchelor 77), Harris.  Not used: M Branch, Steane, Perrow, Price, Ricketts, Bragoli, Clancy.

Report by Dave Goddard

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