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Chasetown FC 3 Sheffield FC 2

Richard Teesdale celebrates his goal. Pic: Dave Birt

Richard Teesdale celebrates his goal. Pic: Dave Birt

The first hurdle in the race for promotion was cleared by Chasetown following an exciting 3-2 win over Sheffield FC.

The game started relatively slowly but escalated in entertainment value as it progressed, with a flurry of four goals in the last ten minutes providing a nailbiting climax which the Scholars deservedly won through.

The first attack for the Scholars came in the seventh minute when Ramone Stephens headed wide, but it was the visitors who were in control over the opening minutes as Chasetown were slow to stir themselves into action.

Both sides were guilty of giving the ball away too easily, but the hosts slowly began to display tighter football with Gary Hay and Grant Ryan supporting Stephens in attack while at the other end Chris Slater had to be alert to clear a Chris Adam shot on 22 minutes.

Slater then departed with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Vaughan Thomas, and Adam and Andrew Gascoigne then found chances for the visitors.  Stephens was still looking impressive for Chasetown, but neither side could find an opportunity before the break, Hay heading Duncan Horler’s cross just over the bar on 44 minutes.

Duncan Horler celebrates his goal. Pic: Dave Birt

Duncan Horler celebrates his goal. Pic: Dave Birt

Both sides looked much livelier as the second half began, and two minutes in Horler headed home a corner from six yards out after some good work by Ryan to put Chasetown ahead.

Horler, Stephens and Ryan were the strongest players for the Scholars, the latter shooting just wide on the hour mark as Sheffield tried to find a route back into the match.  Hay was next to go close but his shot was blocked and cleared as Ryan closed in to follow up, skipper Richard Teesdale sending the resulting corner over the bar.

On 77 minutes a Sheffield cross from the right was side-footed home by Gascogine and the visitors were level.

With that, the match exploded into life, and Adam unleashed a well-placed shot but missed his target before on 82 minutes Teesdale put the Scholars back in front from a free kick.

The atmosphere inside the packed Scholars Ground was now at fever pitch, and three minutes later a free kick was crossed into the Scholars area by Greg Wright.  Ryan Price pushed the ball onto the post but Adam popped up to nod home and the visitors were level once again.

Barely had this goal sunk in amongst the crowd than the Scholars were ahead again.  Just one minute later Stephens produced a great run through and placed a right-footed shot under keeper Leigh Walker’s body for a fine individual goal.

Ramone Stephens makes it 3-2 to Chasetown against Sheffield. Pic: Dave Birt

Ramone Stephens makes it 3-2 to Chasetown against Sheffield. Pic: Dave Birt

This time the Scholars held onto their lead and progressed to a playoff final clash with Glapwell at the Scholars Ground on Saturday (May 1), kicking off at 3pm.  Admission is £7 for adults and £3 for concessions.

Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Slater, Horler, Teesdale (c), Stephens, Egan, Hay, Ryan, Jevons.  Subs: D Smith, L Smith (Stephens 89), Perrow, Thomas (Slater 25), Birch (Ryan 92).
Sheffield: Walker, Starosta, Wright, Jones (c), G Smith, Outram, Longstaff, Gascoigne, Jackson, Adam, Eagers.  Subs: Ford, Woolley (Jackson 72), Roney (Eagers 70), Leonard, Cooksey.

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