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Chasetown FC 2 Matlock Town FC 1

Chasetown FC continued their recent good form with a 2-1 defeat of high-flying Matlock Town.

Ramone Stephens celebrates his goal. Pic: Dave Birt

Ramone Stephens celebrates his goal. Pic: Dave Birt

The “after the Lord Mayor’s Show” atmosphere that some expected following Saturday’s historic victory over Grimsby Town was thankfully absent and the Scholars put on an excellent attacking display with a wonder goal from man of the match Ramone Stephens the highlight.

Chasetown were keen to impress at the start of a busy week with three fixtures in five days.  They had the first chance of the evening when Ben Jevons rose to head Mark Branch’s cross wide of the far post but the flag was up for offside, while the Gladiators’ first attempt came when skipper James Lukic put Gareth Davies’s corner wide in the ninth minute.

The Scholars pushed ever harder and took the lead when Stephens unleashed a good turn of speed down the right and crossed to Gary Birch who turned and flicked the ball home from a tight angle for his third goal in as many games.

The hosts’ lead lasted a mere three minutes before prolific goalscorer Ross Hannah popped up in the box for the Gladiators and beat the diving Ryan Price to power home the equaliser.

The match had come alive quite suddenly and Chasetown went close again moments later before Hannah outpaced Mark Branch and crossed to Lee Morris but his fellow forward could not quite provide the finishing touch.  Matlock keeper Adam Sollitt then produced a fine save to tip Birch’s left-footed shot over the bar with Matty Cohen the next to go close as the Scholars continued to keep the pressure on the third-placed side.

Shots continued to fly into the Gladiators box, Richard Davies the next to go close but his shot found only the side netting, but on 32 minutes Stephens restored the lead in spectacular fashion.  Receiving the ball out on the right, Stephens sent in a looping left-footed strike from 30 yards that evaded the leaping Sollitt and dropped perfectly into the net for a wonderful individual goal.

Both sides continued to play excellent football for the rest of the half, and the Scholars went in for half time in similar high spirits to that which followed Saturday’s win.

The second half started in similar fashion, Jevons heading Birch’s cross into the hands of keeper Sollitt, while a corner from Mark Branch was pushed onto the top of the crossbar in the 63rd minute as Chasetown continued to keep their opponents in check despite the travelling supporters being in full voice from the touchlines.

Jimmy Turner is tackled. Pic: Dave Birt

Jimmy Turner is tackled. Pic: Dave Birt

Jimmy Turner did well to block a Ben Algar shot in the 69th minute before a Mark Branch free kick was headed on and punched away by Sollitt.  Both sides were desperate for a goal and increased their front line from the bench with Grant Ryan and Dene Cropper introduced and the latter was next to go close but his diving header just failed to find the target.

Cohen and Mark Branch were working well at the back as the Gladiators fought hard for an equaliser, but none was forthcoming and the Scholars continued their winning form.

Chasetown take on local rivals Rushall Olympic in the Birmingham Senior Cup on Thursday (7.45pm) before travelling to Whitby Town in the Evo-Stik Premier on Saturday (3pm).

Chasetown: Price, J Turner, M Branch, Slater, Davies, Cohen, Stephens, Egan (c), Birch, Perrow, Jevons.  Subs: Peel, Smith, Ryan (Perrow 65), Bridgewater, Hulin.
Matlock: Sollitt, B Turner, Featherstone, G Davies, Yates, Lukic (c), King, Warne, Morris, Hannah, Bowler.  Subs: Joynes (Morris 50), Cropper (B Turner 73), Algar (Bowler 50), Knowles, Buxton.

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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