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Chasetown FC 2 Cammell Laird FC 1

Despite far from ideal conditions due to overnight frost, an entertaining game saw Chasetown FC take a fine 2-1 win over Cammell Laird FC.

Scott Embrey sealed the win with his maiden Scholars goal 15 minutes from the final whistle to keep the side top of the table on goal difference after a good second half fightback by the Lairds.

Chasetown were straight into the battle and took the lead as early as the third minute when Gary Birch picked up a loose ball in the centre circle and cut through to the edge of the area, his left-footed shot sneaking just inside the post.

Much of the half became a midfield battle with no clear chances until the 39th minute when Danny Andrews fired over the bar for the visitors, while home keeper Ryan Price collected Stuart Jones’s header three minutes later.

A livelier second half saw an increase in chances and both goalkeepers had to be alert early on, Lairds keeper Philip Palethorpe stopping Birch’s cross-cum-shot on 50 minutes, and five minutes later Price dived low to smother a shot at his near post before punching a corner clear.

The visitors had certainly upped their game following the break and Anthony Gardiner fired over the bar on 61 minutes, while Birch was leading the attack for the Scholars as an enjoyable game progressed.

Laird equalised on 65 minutes when Andrews outstripped the home defence and his left-footed shot nestled in the far corner.  Six minutes later Anthony Lipson also had a chance after chasing a long ball from the defence but he fluffed his shot, and the hosts continued to fight back.

Chasetown were back in front ten minutes later when Embrey side-footed home Danny Smith’s perfect cross for his first goal for the Scholars, and manager Charlie Blakemore was full of praise for the newcomer after the game.

Duncan Horler went close in the closing minutes and Mark Branch’s free kick was stopped by Palethorpe, and the Scholars held on for victory.

Next Saturday (February 6) sees Chasetown travel to Loughborough Dynamo hoping to extend their lead at the top.  Kick-off is at 3pm.

Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Slater, Horler, Teesdale (c), Steane, Egan, Birch, Smith, Stephens.  Subs: G Hay, Ryan, Thomas (Teesdale 58), Miller, Embrey (Steane 63).
Cammell Laird: Palethorpe, Hammond, Gardiner, Bowen, Jones, Atherton (c), Andrews, Lipson, A Hay, Corrigan, Adamson.  Subs: Rendell, McDonnell, Irons, Edison, Cooke.

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