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Whitby Town FC 0 Chasetown FC 1

Chasetown players celebrate Ramone Stephens' goal. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown players celebrate Ramone Stephens' goal. Pic: Dave Birt

Substitute Ramone Stephens was the hero of the hour as his 76th-minute strike secured a 1-0 win for Chasetown at Whitby Town.

The action was constant right from the word go with a large number of chances for each side, but just when a goalless draw looked likely during a somewhat scrappy conclusion to the second half, the Scholars found the breakthrough for their third win in eight days.

A fast-paced start saw Chasetown take the game to their opponents in the cold conditions, a free kick in the fifth minute punched away by home keeper Dave Campbell before Ben Jevons headed Richard Davies’ high ball onto the post but the rebound was cleared for a throw-in.

The positive start continued with Danny Smith’s long range shot flying straight to Campbell before the Seasiders’ first chance saw Jimmy Beadle fire wide following some good play down the left by Leon Scott and Chris Batchelor, the latter blasting a right-footed shot over Ryan Price’s bar on 13 minutes.

The hosts slowly began to turn the tide in their favour, skipper Tony Hackworth shooting wide of the near post before Birch set up Grant Ryan to fire across goal but Smith couldn’t quite get near to add the finishing touch.

Jimmy Turner was next to go close but his rifle shot produced a fine save from Campbell before Matty Cohen sent the rebound high and wide. The play quickly moved up the other end with John McReady’s shot from the right bouncing off the top of the crossbar for a corner as the entertaining game continued.

Gary Birch’s free kick was palmed down by Campbell on 37 minutes before Turner set up skipper Dave Egan for a diving header which produced another cracking save from the Seasiders keeper.

In stoppage time Chris Peel’s free kick smacked into the Whitby wall and an action-packed half ended goalless.

Ryan fired across goal for the Scholars as the second half began but his effort went inches wide, and Whitby were soon up to speed with two goalmouth scrambles failing to produce a result as Chris Slater marshalled the Chase defence well.

Beadle then tried a 40-yard speculative shot with Price well off his line but the ball flew wide to spare the keeper’s blushes, and Jevons almost put the Scholars ahead in the 55th minute when he headed Peel’s free kick inches wide.

Both sides were still at maximum attack, Egan the next to go close from the left but Campbell was equal to his shot and another header flew wide following a free kick from Richard Davies.

Danny Smith's run is halted by a good tackle. Pic: Dave Birt

Danny Smith's run is halted by a good tackle. Pic: Dave Birt

Scott’s right-footed shot on 68 minutes went straight to Price and the Scholars custodian had to be alert five minutes later to gather a long range shot from Beadle, but still the deadlock could not be broken and both sides threw everything into the attack.

Chasetown penalty appeals were turned down when Stephens was felled on the edge of the area on 76 minutes, but in the follow-up Peel’s shot was played back in front of goal when it looked to be heading out for a goal kick and Stephens was on hand to give the Scholars the lead.

The Seasiders tried to find a route back, Ashley Davies firing straight at Price with four minutes on the clock, but no equaliser was forthcoming and Chasetown took the three points.

Manager Charlie Blakemore was hugely pleased with his charges following their tough run. He said:

“Three wins in a row and they don’t come much tougher than the opposition we’ve had.”

Chasetown now enjoy a brief rest before taking on Northwich Victoria at the Scholars Ground next Saturday (January 29), 3pm kick-off.

Whitby: D Campbell, Craddock, Scott, Hassan, Burgess, McReady, Southern, Hackworth (c), A Campbell, Beadle, Batchelor. Subs: Lyth, Leeson, Dalton, A Davies (Beadle 82), Liversedge (GK).
Chasetown: Price, Turner, Peel, Slater, R Davies, Cohen, Smith, Egan (c), Birch, Ryan, Jevons. Subs: Perrow (Smith 86), Stephens (Birch 71), M Branch, Bridgewater, Hulin.

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