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Newcastle Town FC 3 Chasetown FC 1

Chasetown FC’s quest for Cup glory in 2010 is over after a 3-1 defeat in their Staffordshire Senior Cup semi-final at Newcastle Town.

With the hosts undefeated in the Vodkat North West Counties Premier this season, they were expected to provide the Scholars with a tough test, but the visitors looked up to the task over the opening minutes.  Ben Steane’s attack down the right following a Mark Branch free kick in the ninth minute was cut out by the defence, while young home keeper Matt Holmes stopped a shot from Dave Egan two minutes later.

Newcastle were restricted heavily by the Scholars as the first half progressed, Andrew Bourne finding a way through in the 19th minute only to fire over the bar, before Mark Branch went close for the Scholars following an attack down the right but the winger’s shot flew wide.

Danny Smith then just failed to get his head to a long ball from the Chasetown defence on 33 minutes, before a push forward by Newcastle resulted in Ryan Price clipping Chris Bodrys as he was about to shoot and conceding a penalty.  Home skipper Paul Donnelly stepped up to send Ryan Price the wrong way and the Town were ahead.

Chasetown fought back and Smith had the ball in the net in the 32nd minute but the offside flag was up, but the visitors then lost Gary Birch to injury and Grant Ryan replaced him in attack.

The sides continued to cancel each other out for the rest of the half with few clear-cut chances evident.

Town got off to a quicker start in the second half with Micky Morton diving for a header in the opening seconds but Price was on hand, and the Scholars keeper was alert again four minutes later to push Alan Nagington’s effort round the post.

Newcastle’s lead was doubled on the hour when Nagington controlled the ball on the left, turned and fired the ball across Price’s goal to nestle in the far corner of the net.

A Gavin Saunders free kick was fired straight into the wall as Chasetown looked to fight back, but Nagington and Chris Boast were keeping the pressure on, the latter firing wide on 64 minutes.

Steane tore down the left three minutes later but his right-footed shot was blocked by Holmes, but thereafter the home side controlled the play through midfield denying the Scholars any chances.

Chasetown pulled a goal back with nine minutes on the clock when Smith gathered a long ball on the edge of the box and turned to fire to the surprised Holmes’s right to bring the Scholars back into the game.

The glimmer of hope for the side was shortlived, however, as Bodrys played through substitute Neville Thompson – who had only been on the pitch for two minutes – and the striker side-footed the ball past Price for Newcastle’s third.

Chasetown will look to pick themselves up when they take on Grantham in the UniBond League Division 1 South this Saturday (March 13), kick-off 3pm.

Newcastle: Holmes, Espley, Sheldon, Donnelly (c), Dicker, Bourne, Willis, Boast, Nagington, Bodrys, Morton.  Subs: Johnson, Thompson (Nagington 79), Dawson, Sutton, Cliffe (GK).
Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Slater, Thomas, Teesdale (c), Steane, Saunders, Birch, Smith, Egan.  Subs: Ryan (Birch 36), Farmer, Embrey, Scandrett (Steane 70), Miller.

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