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Chasetown FC 3 Brigg Town 0

Chasetown FC returned to winning ways in the league thanks to a measured 3-0 win over Brigg Town.

The side overcame a second half injury to Grant Ryan to take the spoils in a positive and inventive display, with the visitors restricted more and more as the game progressed.

The Zebras won a corner in the third minute which was cleared by Vaughan Thomas, but thereafter both sides proved evenly matched, cancelling out any chances that arose.

Gary Birch produced a fine move in the eighth minute to run into space and cut in from the left, but his shot was headed out for a corner by Matthew McKay. Ross Miller then displayed some close marking to prevent a scoring chance for Karl Slack at the other end.

Richard Batchelor was next to go close as the play swung from end to end, while Slack was proving a troublesome figure for the Scholars defence. Two more headers went close for the home side as they turned up the pressure, Mark Branch then sending a speculative effort across the face of goal from the left.

Dave Egan then somehow failed to find the target on 18 minutes as his well-struck shot hit the bar, and the Zebras began to find an opening once again but Miller and Thomas were on the case.

Ryan Price then spilled the ball in the 24th minute and a scramble ensued, but the Chasetown defence were again able to clear.

The Brigg defence were proving tough to crack as well, Batchelor blocked at the far post before Egan fired just over the bar from 30 yards, and the Scholars showed more and more promise as the half progressed.

The home side finally took the lead just before the half hour when a mistake by Zebras keeper Jody Barford allowed Thomas to head the ball in for Scholars skipper Richard Teesdale to open the scoring.

Chasetown continued to pepper the Zebras goal area with chances from all angles, Birch blasting a free kick over the bar on 42 minutes with the keeper beaten.

The Scholars were straight back on it as the second half kicked off, Birch heading over the bar and Ryan going close from a corner, before in the 54th minute Batchelor was brought down in the box and Birch coolly slotted the resultant penalty home to double the Scholars’ lead.

It could have been three moments later but Barford was on hand for a fine save, but still the home side were on top and the Brigg defence worked harder to try to close them down.

The Scholars then suffered a blow on 73 minutes as Ryan went down injured and was stretchered off, but manager Charlie Blakemore admitted the injury was not as serious as first though. He said:

“X-rays revealed no broken bones and cartilage damage is believed to be the extent of his injury, although his condition will be reassessed in the next few days.”

Ryan was replaced by Danny Smith, who had a scoring chance just five minutes later from close range but again Barford pulled off a fine save, but Barford had no chance on 80 minutes as Birch unleashed a cracker of a shot for the Scholars’ third.

Price reacted well to a low McKay free kick in the closing minutes, and the Scholars kept pushing en route to a deserved victory.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Market Drayton Town were losing out 2-1 in their FA Cup tie with Gainsborough Trinity. With no replay required, the Scholars will visit Market Drayton on Tuesday evening (7.45pm kick-off).

Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Miller, Thomas, Teesdale (c), Steane, Egan, Birch, Ryan, Batchelor. Subs: D Smith (Ryan 73), Horton, Holland, Milligan (M Branch 83), Bragoli (Egan 85).
Brigg: Barford, Fisher, L Smith (c), Capuano, Hellewell, McKay, Spall, Chappell, Slack, Godden, Barrett. Subs: Rodgers (Godden 53), Lamb (Capuano 45), A Smith (Barrett 57), West, Pettinger (GK).

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