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Chasetown FC 0 Rushall Olympic 2

Chasetown's Darren Acton makes a good save. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown's Darren Acton makes a good save. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC bowed out of the Birmingham Senior Cup with a 2-0 defeat to local rivals Rushall Olympic.

Despite a good opening to the evening the Scholars were unable to keep their rhythm going and were eventually overcome in the second half as Rushall entered a strong display.

A decent fast-paced start saw neither side able to eke out an early advantage, Pics keeper Chris Gemmell tipping away a Mark Branch corner while Ahmed Obeng fired straight at Darren Acton in the 13th minute.

A dangerous-looking free kick was sent into the Scholars wall by Gary Fitzpatrick as the visitors turned up the pressure, Acton forced into a fine diving save by Obeng on 21 minutes as the relentless pace was kept up in a good display from both sides.

Chasetown came close to taking the lead when Ben Jevons raked a shot across goal in the 25th minute with Grant Ryan charging in but the former Mansfield man couldn’t quite provide a finishing touch, and the hosts suffered a blow when Gary Birch departed injured on 33 minutes and was replaced by Johaine Thompson.

Chasetown went close again from a Mark Branch free kick and a scrambled corner but still no breakthrough was forthcoming and an entertaining first half finished goalless.

The tough yet exciting play continued into the second half with the impressive Obeng first to go close for the Pics before Ryan saw the sting taken out of his stiff shot from the right by Gemmell.

A challenge comes in on Chasetown's Grant Ryan. Pic: Dave Birt

A challenge comes in on Chasetown's Grant Ryan. Pic: Dave Birt

A well-struck free kick from Grant Beckett then flew narrowly over Acton’s crossbar, but on 53 minutes the visitors took the lead when Obeng battled past Branch and fired a low shot past the prone Acton and into the corner to break the deadlock.

Chasetown tried to find a way back, Dave Egan firing across the face of goal but again no finishing touch could be provided while a similar effort from Danny Smith found only the side netting.  Matty Cohen also took a knock leaving the hosts down to ten men for the last 20 minutes, but this did not slow the Scholars down and still they pressed their Evo-Stik South opponents.  Ramone Stephens saw Gemmell duck low to get behind his 80th minute shot and fellow substitute Thompson also tried his hardest, but with almost the last kick of the game Danny Ashton secured Rushall’s trip to Bedworth United in the next round as he stabbed his shot past Acton.

Chasetown now look towards their biggest fixture of the season as they make their eagerly awaited FA Carlsberg Trophy trip to Eastleigh this Saturday (February 5), 3pm kick-off.

Chasetown: Price, Turner, M Branch, Cohen, Bridgewater, Teesdale (c), Smith, Egan, Birch, Ryan, Jevons.  Subs: Stephens (Ryan 64), Slater, Westwood, Saunders (Bridgewater 70), Thompson (Birch 33).
Rushall: Gemmell, Tolley, Amos, Spittle, Barrow (c), O’Kelly, Beckett, Fitzpatrick, Sterling, Obeng, Davis.  Subs: Maguire, Lennon, Ashton (Davis 60), Blythe (Fitzpatrick 79), Kitching.

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