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Ben Jevons in the challenge which saw him stretchered off. Pic: Dave Birt
Chasetown FC bowed out of the Staffordshire Senior Cup at the first hurdle with a 5-2 defeat to local rivals Hednesford Town. Despite two early second half goals giving the Scholars a glimmer of hope, their Zamaretto Premier League opponents proved stronger and able to capitalise on defensive errors, a nasty leg injury for Ben Jevons rounding off a disappointing night for the hosts. Amid a fine atmosphere the Pitmen looked the faster side in the opening minutes but Chasetown enjoyed more breaks. Keeper Dan Crane leapt to push a Dave Bridgewater free kick over the bar in the fourth minute, while a 30-yard effort from the Pitmen flew over the top. Hednesford took the lead when Simon Brown found a gap in the defence and played through to Marvin Robinson, the latter’s shot deflecting off Danny Carey-Bertram past Ryan Price into the far corner despite Robinson appearing offside. The Scholars tried to fight back and former Hednesford man Jimmy Turner went close on 22 minutes, but the Pitmen doubled their lead when Chris Clements found space and sent in a speculative effort which slipped through Price’s hands as things went from bad to worse for the hosts. Robinson had the ball in the net on the half hour but was denied by the offside flag, while appeals for a Chasetown penalty were dismissed as the frustration for the home fans continued. Things got even worse two minutes before the break as a handball in the box saw Hednesford awarded a penalty and Gavin Hurren coolly fired past Price for the visitors’ third. The Scholars faithful were in full voice as the second half began and an early effort following a corner was headed wide, while Price produced a cracking save to deny Robinson as the pace picked up once again. Chasetown began their comeback on 52 minutes when Gary Hay played back to Bridgewater and his ball over the top was headed over Crane and chested into the net by Gary Birch. Two minutes later and a ball in from the left by Mark Branch was put away by Jevons and suddenly the game was wide open, the rising levels of noise from both sets of fans creating a highly charged atmosphere.
Marvin Robinson kills off any hopes of a Chasetown comeback to make it 4-2 to Hednesford Town. Pic: Dave Birt
A long ball into the box from Bridgewater on 63 minutes was punched away by Crane with the Pitmen keeper then plucking the ball away from Hay at the point of shooting, but just when it looked as though the tide was turning in Chasetown’s favour, the Scholars defence failed to deal with a looping corner and Robinson added Hednesford’s fourth. Scholars manager Charlie Blakemore added Grant Ryan and welcome returnee Danny Smith to the attack and they briefly turned play back in Chase’s favour, Ryan’s effort going wide in a crowded goalmouth on 75 minutes.
Grant Ryan tries to escape his marker. Pic: Dave Birt
Smith and Darren Campion were booked following a clash as the play became more physical, while Ryan again went close with ten minutes to go. In the closing minutes Hednesford confirmed their progress as substitute Jay Denny added a fifth, and Chasetown’s misery was compounded as Jevons was stretchered off in the final minute. The Scholars now take a Saturday off before visiting Buxton in the Evo-Stik Premier League next Wednesday (November 10), 7.45pm kick-off. Chasetown: Price, J Branch, M Branch, Turner, Bridgewater, Teesdale (c), Edwards, Egan, Birch, Hay, Jevons.  Subs: Ryan (Hay 70), Parsons (Bridgewater 86), Peel, Cohen, D Smith (Edwards 70). Hednesford: Crane, Bailey, Campion, Dunkley, Francis (c), Hurren, Brown, Clements, Robinson, Carey-Bertram, Osborne.  Subs: Denny (Brown 76), Carter (Carey-Bertram), Overfield (Campion 87), Platt, Gibson.

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