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Chasetown FC 2 Grimsby Town 1

Chasetown provided the shock of the FA Carlsberg Trophy second round as they defeated former League Two side Grimsby Town 2-1.

For a side that had scored 13 goals in their last four league games, Grimsby struggled on a heavy pitch against a lively and committed Scholars side with the hosts able to overcome a saved penalty for two rapid-fire second half goals.

The ground staff had worked hard during the morning following overnight rain, and a reasonable playing surface was presented for what looked a very lively tie on paper. Both sides started brightly with returnee Gary Hay bursting forward in the first minute as Chasetown took the game to their more experienced opponents, winning a brace of corners early on while Chris Peel looked impressive in defence. The Scholars back line were battling furiously as the visitors got up to speed, Peel and Chris Slater closing down several attacks.

On 23 minutes the crowd erupted as Chasetown found the back of the net from close range, but the whistle had gone for a foul and the goal was disallowed. This reflected the superb early effort put in by the Evo-Stik League men and a cracking cup tie was in prospect as the atmosphere heightened.

Danny Smith sent a high cross-cum-shot over the bar on 29 minutes before Mariners keeper Kenny Arthur produced a fine save to deny Smith, and Hay’s follow-up header was cleared as Chasetown continued to surprise Grimsby at every opportunity.

The hosts gave the Mariners another scare in the 38th minute when Gary Birch’s header was pushed onto the bar by Arthur with the alert keeper then saving Smith’s follow-up in fine style. Grimsby then found their first clean-cut chance when Michael Coulson saw his 25-yard shot tipped over the bar by Ryan Price, and the midfielder then bounced a low shot off the post and out for a corner which was cleared to end an action-packed first half.

There was no let-up as the second half began with Hay and Smith again charging forward and shaking off the pressure from a rejuvenated Grimsby. Jimmy Turner blocked a follow-up shot from a free kick before Smith was upended entering the box and Chasetown were awarded a penalty. Dave Egan stepped up but the Scholars’ penalty jinx struck once again and Arthur palmed the ball away for the defence to clear.

Seconds later the miss was forgotten as Birch popped up in the area to turn and flicked the ball past Arthur and the Scholars sensationally took the lead to wild celebrations on the pitch and terraces.

Three minutes later the roof was lifted from the Scholars Ground as Richard Davies latched onto a loose ball after Smith was dispossessed and coolly took the ball around the flailing Arthur to double the Scholars’ lead.

Grimsby’s disarray did not last long and the Mariners went close following a goalmouth scramble just past the hour but Egan was able to clear, while Alan Connell went close in the 70th minute but Price produced a fine save and did likewise two minutes later to block substitute Lee Peacock.

The frustration had begun to show among the visiting defence with several niggling challenges, Smith firing Peel’s free kick just wide of the post for the Scholars in the 76th minute before charging up the other end to divert a well-placed cross out for a corner. Lee Ridley then denied substitute Dean Perrow at the point of shooting, but suddenly in the 79th minute Grimsby pulled one back when Alan Connell found space on the right and headed across Price into the corner of the net.

Perrow tried to lead a fightback but the Mariners defence upped their strength and poise and the midfield displayed some good positional play. In the closing minutes Peacock fired in from the right but Ryan Price again proved a safe pair of hands as Grimsby threw everything they had behind the ball in added time and seemed certain to score in the dying seconds, but somehow the ball bounced back off the post from a tight angle and was cleared. The Scholars clung on and were rewarded with delirious scenes at the final whistle as they claimed their second Blue Square Premier scalp of the season.

It’s back to League action for the Scholars on Tuesday as they take on Matlock Town, while Thursday sees them face local rivals Rushall Olympic in the Birmingham Senior Cup (7.45pm kick-off).

Chasetown: Price, Turner, Peel, Slater, Davies, Teesdale (c), D Smith, Egan, Birch, Hay, Jevons. Subs: Perrow (Hay 73), Stephens (Smith 88), Farmer, Cohen (Teesdale 45), Ryan.
Grimsby: Arthur, Bore, Ridley, Hudson, Garner, Cummins, Coulson, Connell, Wood, Atkinson (c), Corner. Subs: Peacock (Corner 45), Watt (Ridley 80), Leary, Eagle, Croudson.

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