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Bradford Park Avenue 2 Chasetown FC 1

Chasetown FC's Gary Hay beats his marker. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC's Gary Hay beats his marker. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC  acquitted themselves well in their Evo-Stik Northern Premier League debut, but hosts Bradford Park Avenue cruelly snatched a stoppage-time winner.

Even in defeat the side could take pride in a battling performance with plenty of chances created, showing that they are more than up to the standards of their highest ever position in the league system.

The Scholars could have been behind in the very first minute from a Tom Greaves free kick, but Ryan Price dived at full stretch to push the ball round the post for a corner.  The latter then suffered a scare as a header from Scholars skipper Richard Teesdale eluded him, but fortunately the ball went out for another corner.

The visitors enjoyed first half chances from full back Jack Farmer and Ramone Stephens, and had the ball in the net on 29 minutes courtesy of Dean Perrow but the referee ruled Gary Hay to have been offside when he headed backwards to the striker.

The Scholars’ frustrations were compounded just one minute later when Greaves found a cross from the right and his side-footed effort went in off new Chasetown defender Matty Cohen.

Avenue’s jubilation lasted just six minutes.  Stephens was fouled on the Scholars right and Ben Jevons was able to head down Mark Branch’s free kick, allowing Hay to poke the ball into the net.

A slightly scrappy start to the second half saw Perrow find plenty of chances, including a drive from the edge of the area that was gathered by keeper Ben Scott, and a double attempt following a fine turn in the box on 61 minutes but again Scott was equal to his efforts.

Bradford Park Avenue score a last minute winner against Chasetown FC. Pic: Dave Birt

Bradford Park Avenue score a last minute winner against Chasetown FC. Pic: Dave Birt

The hosts certainly did not make things easy for the league newcomers, Luke Gibson enjoying a couple of chances but Price was equal to him each time.  Grant Ryan was introduced to the Chase attack and was straight in on the action as he shot wide as did Gavin Saunders on the volley.

The Scholars continued to battle hard, but right at the end of the 90 minutes Greaves slipped a shot under Price’s body to seal the points for Bradford.

The home league programme opens tomorrow (August 24) with Marine the visitors to the Scholars Ground (7.45pm) before FC Halifax Town make the trip on Saturday (3pm).

Bradford: Scott, Tonks, Drury (c), Claisse, Knowles, D Riordan, Clayton, Briggs, Greaves, Heagney, Gibson.  Subs: Watson, J Riordan, Facey, Sanasay (Heagney 63), Kerr.
Chasetown: Price, Farmer, M Branch, Cohen, Saunders, Teesdale (c), Stephens, L Smith, Hay, Perrow, Jevons.  Subs: Ryan (Stephens 63), D Smith (Hay 73), Peel, Horton, Deakin.

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