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Chasetown FC 4 Nantwich Town 3

A SEVEN-goal thriller saw Chasetown narrowly triumph in their pre-season friendly with Nantwich Town.

Both teams displayed a great spirit to provide plenty of action in the sunshine, but it was ultimately the home side who prevailed in attack.

The first chance saw Danny Smith chest down a ball from Ross Miller only to hit his shot wide, before the striker fell victim to a last ditch tackle from Darren Tinson at the point of shooting.

Dabbers keeper Ben Chapman kept his side in the hunt with a quartet of successive saves, including one with his feet from a Smith shot and working well to stop a long range shot from Craig Marshall, but it was Chasetown who took the lead on 34 minutes.  Home captain Richard Teesdale fired a Miller cross against the post, but was able to smash in the rebound and open the scoring.

This sparked three goals in as many minutes, Richie Sutton swiftly equalising for the visitors by heading home a quickly taken free kick.  Seconds later however Sutton turned from hero to villain as he fouled Smith in the area, the striker getting up and smashing his penalty home to regain the lead for the Scholars.

Marshall’s header was then ruled out for pushing and Sutton cleared another effort from the midfielder, before the Dabbers equalised for a second time with Chris Flyn smashing a half volley into the corner of the net in stoppage time.

Five minutes into the second half the hosts were in front again, Smith laying the ball back to Richard Batchelor who slammed the ball between Chapman’s legs from an acute angle for an excellent goal.

Substitute Glyn Blackhurst then spurned a great chance for Nantwich as he hooked the ball wide from 12 yards, but on 68 minutes the Dabbers were level yet again.  After several mis-kicks following a corner, keeper Ryan Price pushed the ball away but Flyn reacted quickly to scramble it home.

Harry Harris

Harry Harris

A Craig Holland cross next found Gary Birch on 78 minutes but the forward hesitated a moment too long and the ball was cleared for a corner which saw Danny Bragoli’s header pushed over by Chapman.

With six minutes on the clock some great individual play by Birch forced Chapman to stretch to stop his shot, but Harry Harris was there to thump home the rebound and seal it for the Scholars in a hugely entertaining display.

With the cancellation of their final friendly against Walsall on Monday, Chasetown next travel to Lincoln United for their first UniBond League fixture on Saturday August 15.

Chasetown: Price, Miller, M Branch, Slater, Thomas, Teesdale (c), Steane, Bragoli, Marshall, D Smith, Batchelor.  Subs: Harris (Marshall 57), Holland (Steane 65), Milligan (M Branch 80), Woodvine (Miller 86), Taylor (Price 77), J Branch (Batchelor 75), Birch (Smith 70), Horton.
Nantwich: Chapman, Aron Carter, Shaw, Tinson, Sutton, Parkinson, Jack, McPhearson, Whitaker, Ashley Carter, Flyn.  Subs: Blackhurst (Aron Carter 45), Hawthorne (Shaw 70), Gibson (Parkinson 45), Southern, Houghton, Tile.

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