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Chasetown FC 2 North Ferriby United 2

Ben Jevons puts Chasetown FC in front. Pic: Dave Birt

Ben Jevons puts Chasetown FC in front. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC manager Charlie Blakemore celebrated his 400th match in charge of The Scholars but his side were held to a 2-2 draw.

At times in the second half, the standard of football suffered, particularly after North Ferriby’s second equaliser, but, nonetheless, the drama did not cease, with a late penalty for both sides, in a match which either side could have won.

Blakemore, who took sole charge of Chasetown for the first time in a 1-1 draw at Alvechurch in February 2004, was presented with a commemorative shirt before the game, and reflected on the 1-0 win over Blyth Spartans in the F.A. Cup in 2005 as one of his previous 399 games that stuck in his mind.

The Scholars started brightly, in their first league encounter since November, and a typical Dave Egan run into the box after just five minutes forced Steve Wilson into an early touch, as the ball flashed across the six-yard box.

It took Chasetown three more minutes to take the lead.  Ben Jevons’ shot was deflected for a corner, and after Mark Branch curled in the resultant kick, Jevons rose to head home his tenth goal of the season – making him joint leading scorer with Gary Birch in all competitions.

The home side dominated much of the first period and almost added a second when Mark Branch burst forward from left back with some purpose and his shot was held well by Wilson in front of his body.

Against the run of play, the team from Humberside equalised.  After the home defence partly cleared a Ferriby attack, Gary Bradshaw let fly from the edge of the penalty area with a great left-footed strike which left Price helpless.

Within a minute, the visitors almost took a shock lead when an effort from Russell Fry beat goalkeeper Ryan Price but came back off the post.

Ramone Stephens celebrates with Dave Egan. Pic: Dave Birt

Ramone Stephens celebrates with Dave Egan. Pic: Dave Birt

In an end-to-end first half, Dave Egan went close with a header from a Branch cross, and then Chasetown regained the lead, just before the game went into first half stoppage time.  Ferriby keeper Wilson punched clear a cross, but the ball fell to the feet of Ramone Stephens who lashed an effort into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

The game was all square just two minutes into the second half thanks to a Chris Bolder header which gave Price no chance.

Just like the New Year fireworks, that had started out all blazing, fizzled out slightly after the second equaliser, as perhaps the lack of games took its toll on both sides, Chasetown coming closest to regaining the lead when a Branch free kick dipped narrowly off target just beyond the hour mark.

Substitute Danny Smith burst into the Villagers penalty area with 14 minutes to go, and when he was felled, Referee Mr Husband had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.  After Gary Birch and Richard Davies have recently missed penalties, Danny Smith took responsibility himself, but, despite a powerful kick straight down the middle, Steve Wilson managed to get enough on the ball to keep out the shot.

Two minutes from the end, North Ferriby had a penalty of their own after Chris Slater brought down Russell Fry.  Midfielder Chris White stepped up, but Chase keeper Ryan Price -who saved a North Ferriby penalty from Gary Bradshaw in the August Bank Holiday match -made an outstanding save to his left to keep the scores level, and the Scholars smuggled the rebound clear.

Chasetown FC goalkeeper Ryan Price saves a penalty late on. Pic: Dave BirtArguably, the visitors ended the game more strongly, but, the draw just about reflected the balance of play over the 90 minutes.  The Scholars will just be delighted to get 90 minutes under their belt in the Evo-Stik Premier, a point which keeps Chasetown in 12th in the league, but just 4 points off the play off positions with sufficient games in hand to overtake five of their rivals.

Chasetown: Price, Slater, M Branch, Cohen, Davies, Teesdale (c), Stephens (Ryan, 83 mins), Egan, Birch,
Perrow (Smith, 64 mins), Jevons. Subs not used: Bridgewater, J Turner, Westwood.
North Ferriby: Wilson, Williams, B Turner, Denton, Burton, Harsley, Fry, Bolder, Davidson, Bradshaw, White.
Subs:  Foot, Brooksby, Larvin, Davidson, Hallam (gk).

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