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Pelsall Villa FC 0 Chasetown FC 4

Despite a weather-enforced month’s lay-off before this hastily arranged friendly, Chasetown FC played as though they had never been away from the pitch in their 4-0 win over Pelsall Villa FC.

The home side showed occasional flashes of determination but for large parts of the bitterly cold encounter the gulf in leagues was clear, with Chasetown never majorly threatened.

Reece Styche. Pic: Dave Birt

Reece Styche. Pic: Dave Birt

Striker Reece Styche led the way with a first half double, while Gary Hay found the target on his Scholars debut and Danny Smith scored from the penalty spot.  Hay’s fellow debutant Ramone Stephens also showed good form, setting up several shots at the front.

Chasetown’s first attack in the fifth minute was kept out by the Villa defence with Styche going close once again two minutes later, and thereafter the visitors continued to pepper the Villa goal with chances. Gary Birch headed over the bar and Stephens looked set to open his Scholars account but somehow his shot was blocked, while Richard Teesdale and Ben Steane also narrowly failed to find the net.

Villa keeper Russell Todd was having a consistent game, but twice in the first half Styche was able to find space for two straightforward goals and put his side in complete control.

Pelsall’s best chance came from a tricky free kick five minutes before the break but James Lewis’s effort from the edge of the area cannoned off the bar.

The Scholars continued where they had left off in the second half with Styche going close three times early on, while Todd punched away a corner on 54 minutes.

Stephens was showing great form throughout with some daring attacks through midfield, but try as he might the former Rushall man could not find the target.  Midway through the half he and Danny Smith played a one-two and Stephens crossed to Hay who coolly opened his goal account for the Scholars.

Hay could have had more as he then unleashed a pair of thunderbolt shots, but these flew wide into somewhat mercifully empty areas of the behind-the-goal stand.

With seven minutes remaining a foul in the area saw Chasetown awarded a penalty which Smith calmly fired into the roof of the net to complete the victory.

The form shown was certainly encouraging after the side’s lengthy lay-off, and the Scholars will aim to continue in a similar vein as they visit Witton Albion on Saturday (January 23), kick off 3pm.

Pelsall Villa: Todd, Sedgley, Griffiths, Humphries, Vickers (c), Grimsley, Sylvester, Simpson, Gayle, Russell, Lewis.  Subs: Wooldridge (Lewis 50), Webster (Griffiths 70), Collins (Grimsley 54), Thorp (Sylvester 54), Humpage (Russell 45), Kouadio, Higgins (Sedgley 70).
Chasetown: Price, J Branch, Milligan, Slater, Saunders, Teesdale (c), Steane, Egan, Birch, Styche, Stephens.  Subs: Miller (J Branch 57), Hay (Birch 45), Thomas (Teesdale 45), Smith (Styche 61), Birt, M Branch (Milligan 61), Embrey (Egan 57).

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