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Coalville Town 0 Chasetown 1

Darren Middleton’s penalty was enough to split the sides as Chasetown triumphed 1-0 at Midland Alliance side Coalville Town.

Heavy rain during the afternoon made for a slippery surface early on, but a mix of youth and experience proved a useful combination for the Scholars as they battled an attacking Ravens line-up.

Coalville started well down the right and a third minute cross forced returning Chasetown keeper Martin Taylor into a diving save, while Alex Woodhouse was the first to break through for Chasetown but the ball went out for a goal kick.

After 15 minutes Richard Batchelor sliced a low shot through the home defence but it was tipped wide for a corner, and the Ravens keeper got to the resultant kick before veteran forward Andy Turner.

A cross from the right on 24 minutes was headed away by Steven Clancy as the Scholars began to dig deep and improve their passing game in the midfield.  Three minutes later, a dangerous free kick from the edge of the area was fired low by Batchelor but the Ravens keeper was able to get behind it and the ball was cleared for a corner.

Batchelor continued his impressive form and sent a shot from the right curling across the face of goal on the half hour, and five minutes later blasting a long range shot over the bar following a run at the defence.

A fairly uninspiring start to the second half livened up when a Coalville corner was punched clear by Taylor, and the Ravens fired narrowly over the bar moments later but the flag was up for offside.

Taylor was made to work hard again on 53 minutes as the hosts continued to threaten, and Chasetown brought youth team graduate Cory Currithers into the attack at the expense of Turner as they looked to fight back.

On 59 minutes the breakthrough came as Chasetown were awarded a penalty for handball in the area, and Middleton sent the Ravens keeper the wrong way for his first goal for the Scholars.

Richard Teesdale went close with a header at the far post five minutes later but Coalville refused to give in and headed narrowly over on 67 minutes, with things remaining close in midfield in the meantime.

Taylor impressed again as he plucked the ball from the feet of the Ravens attack as they cut in from the left, and Chasetown upped their passing game again allowing Jarrod McGivern to shoot from 20 yards, but the Ravens keeper was again on hand to palm the ball away for a corner.

Batchelor continued his good form but was still unable to find the target, firing just over on 80 minutes, and still the Scholars worked hard to hang on to their lead.

Taylor then blocked a shot in the closing minutes allowing Clancy to punt the ball away for a corner, which was headed away by Currithers, and a late free kick for the hosts was kept out allowing the Scholars to hang on for victory.

Chasetown are in action at the Scholars Ground for the first time this season on Thursday as they take on Blue Square North side Ilkeston Town, kicking off at 7.45pm.

Chasetown: Taylor, Holland, M Branch (Milligan 68), Clancy, Thomas (c) (Teesdale 59), Horton (Slater 74), Middleton, Batchelor, McGivern, Turner (Currithers 55), Woodhouse (Harris 77).

Report by Dave Goddard

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