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Striker knew he could be Chasetown FC’s FA Trophy hero

Chasetown's Grant Ryan. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown's Grant Ryan. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC’s FA Trophy goal hero Grant Ryan has admitted he was brought on to take a penalty – but revealed that he always knew he would be the matchwinner.

The former Mansfield Town striker scored in the dying seconds of extra time, just minutes after coming off the bench to give the Scholars a 2-1 win at Kettering Town.

He joins a growing list of Chasetown players who have helped carve the club a reputation as giant killers.

But it could have been so different had boss Charlie Blakemore not started planning his penalty takers.

Ryan explained:

“Charlie put me on so I could take a penalty if it went to a shoot-out, but fortunately it didn’t come to that.

“But when I was on the bench I was telling the lads that if I got on I would score and that’s exactly what I did. I knew that if I got just one chance in the few minutes I came on for that I had to take it and luckily for me that chance came and I was delighted to see it hit the back of the net.

“It was was a great feeling and well worth the wait.”

Midfielder Dave Egan also paid tribute to Chasetown’s super-sub.

Grant Ryan's late winner finds the net. Pic: Dave Birt

Grant Ryan's late winner finds the net. Pic: Dave Birt

He told The Lichfield Blog:

“Grant’s goal was superb. He’s scored a few like that and I’m happy for him.

“Danny Smith also came on and was brilliant for us.”

Goalscorer Ryan also revealed how manager Charlie Blakemore refrained from another full-blooded team-talk, instead preferring to instill confidence in his charges.

And the former Mansfield youngster admits it worked – and has helped them set up a mouthwatering home clash with Grimsby Town in the next round of the FA Trophy.

He said:

“Charlie didn’t have too much to say before the game, he just told the lads to go out there and give it our all and play the way we know we can, because on our day we are unbeatable.

“We have a great cup tie to look forward to at home in the next round against Grimsby. They will be no push over after just being relegated from League Two last season and everyone knows that, but we have nothing to be afraid of.

“We are more than capable of holding our own against a side two leagues above if we play with the heart, desire and never say die attitude that we did against Kettering.”

Chasetown’s game against Grimsby will be played on January 15. No details have yet been revealed about ticketing for the fixture.

But before they begin to think about their FA Trophy run, the Scholars have a festive league programme to negotiate, starting Saturday (December 18) at Burscough.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.