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Loughborough Dynamo 0 Chasetown FC 1

Gary Birch scores for Chasetown against Loughborough Dynamo. Pic: Dave Birt

Gary Birch scores for Chasetown against Loughborough Dynamo. Pic: Dave Birt

Despite several chances for both sides, Gary Birch grabbed the only goal of the game as Chasetown FC triumphed in a friendly at Loughborough Dynamo.

For a considerable time it seemed that both sides were destined not to find the target despite plenty of lively play especially in the first half, but the Scholars eventually prevailed to continue their recent good form.

Chasetown displayed some good positional play over the opening minutes and in the sixth minute Ramone Stephens played in Dave Egan on the right but his shot was straight at keeper James Flinders, while Gary Hay – making his return after missing Monday’s draw with Aston Villa – fired over the bar from close range.

The hosts were restricted to long-range challenges, Lewis Gibbons firing across the face of goal in the 11th minute, while Stephens continued to impress with his usual rapid pace on the right and in the 19th minute set up Hay with a cross but the forward sent the ball wide.

Chances lessened as the half progressed but Neil Morgan found a scoring chance on 35 minutes, only for Ryan Price in the Scholars goal to gather his shot.  Dynamo then lost skipper Adam Hohn following a clash with Danny Smith, but recovered with Alex Johnston finding space on the left just before the break but Price was again on hand.

Stephens was still at full speed as the second half began and beat two defenders on 51 minutes only to shoot wide, while Dynamo’s first chance saw Johnston fire over the bar although the whistle had gone for offside.

Gibbons then sent in a good cross from the left but no Loughborough player was able to provide the finishing touch, while Price was called into action again on 67 minutes to tip Stu Verrell’s shot from a tight angle over the bar.

Just when it was looking unlikely that the deadlock would be broken, substitute striker Birch found a way past Flinders on 70 minutes and the Scholars were in front.

An equaliser looked likely with ten minutes remaining, but Johnston skewed his shot under pressure from Teesdale and the ball went wide.  Loughborough looked frustrated after a number of wasted opportunities, and in the final minute Morgan sent a curving free kick wide of the post.

Chasetown look to continue their winning ways at Rocester on Saturday (July 31), kick-off 3pm, before hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday evening (7.30pm).

Loughborough Dynamo: Flinders, Revels, Lester, Clamp, Hohn (c), D Gibbons, Simmons, Morgan, Verrell, Johnston, L Gibbons.  Subs: Jenno (Hohn 42), Betts (Revels 75), Stevenson, Williams (L Gibbons 63), Way (D Gibbons 75).  (Revels returned in place of Clamp, 88 mins).
Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Slater, Saunders, Teesdale (c), Swann-Horler, Egan, Hay, D Smith, Stephens.  Subs: Parsons (Swann-Horler 45), Birch (Hay 60), L Smith (Egan 45), Horton (Slater 57), Scandrett, Faultless (GK).

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