Don’t miss out!

Get all the most important news and events to your inbox.

Richard Davies puts Chasetown 1-0 up. Pic: Dave Birt
A record league attendance at the Scholars Ground saw Chasetown rekindle their play-off hopes with a 2-0 win over nine-man FC United of Manchester. A goal at the end of each half was enough for the Scholars in a hard-fought game, Mark Branch in top form with a string of set-pieces while Richard Davies also made the scoresheet in fine style. A tight first half saw Chasetown guilty of conceding too may free kicks inside their own half, but it was the Scholars who would take the lead through Davies in first half stoppage time. The Mancunians had the first chance in the fifth minute when Matt Wolfenden headed Jerome Wright’s cross wide, Jimmy Turner then clearing another pair of chances for the visitors before he set up Ramone Stephens for a trademark cross but his effort was headed out for a goal kick. FC United had the ball in the net on 21 minutes after skipper Mike Norton nodded the ball down to Wolfenden to score but the flag was up for offside and Scholars keeper Darren Acton then cleared from Simon Carden. The Scholars would then enjoy their first clear cut chance on 25 minutes with Gary Hay about to head for goal but keeper Sam Ashton plucked the ball from the striker’s head after Ben Jevons had headed the ball into the box, a succession of free kicks following with neither side finding a clear breakthrough. The decision by the Scholars to switch Davies into the front line paid off in the closing minutes of the half, his burst through on 43 minutes ended when Ashton came out off his line to hack the ball clear before in stoppage time Davies went one-on-one with the keeper and fired left-footed past his outstretched hand to put the hosts in front. The visitors had the first chance after the break but Wright’s shot was blocked by Turner, while Hay thought he had scored on the hour mark when he fired a shot under Ashton but the flag had gone up late for offside. Chasetown had a narrow escape on 66 minutes when the defence blocked a shot and the ball went just wide of Acton’s post, before Hay found another good chance when the ball was played into his path but Ashton was able to clear.
Mark Branch's effort finds the back of the FC United of Manchester net. Pic: Dave Birt
A tangle between Turner and Norton saw the United skipper sent off for stamping on the Chasetown defender, and the visitors would be reduced to nine men in the closing minutes when Wright was given his marching orders for an elbow on Mark Branch having picked up another bookings moments previously. The Scholars dominated the closing stages and in the last minute doubled their tally when a Mark Branch free kick went through the middle of everyone and into the roof of the net to complete a fine victory. Next up is a home meeting with Worksop Town on Tuesday (April 19), kick-off 7.45pm, before a trip to Kendal Town next Saturday (3pm). Chasetown: Acton, Turner, M Branch, Slater, J Branch, Teesdale (c), Stephens, Egan, Hay, Davies, Jevons.  Subs: Morris, Parsons, Farmer (Stephens 84), Perrow, Cohen. FC United: Ashton, Jacobs, Neville, Platt, Chadwick, McManus, Wolfenden, Carden, Norton (c), Wright, Cottrell.  Subs: Battersby, Roca, Torpey (Wolfenden 63), Holden (Platt 81), Deegan (Carden 51).

3 replies on “Chasetown FC 2 FC United of Manchester 0”

  1. FC fan here

    To be honest, FC know themselves that they did not have enough attempts on goal to win this game. Fair play to Chasetown, they deserved their win and it was good to see a pitch where real football could be played (great credit to Chasetown). However, I take issue with the allegation that Norton stamped on the defender. The FC web-site has an excellent video of the incident. It looks as though when getting up from the challenge Norton’s right foot hit the turf, not the defender. If any other contact was made it looked to be purely accidental. Had Norton deliberately stamped on the Chasetown player, then it would be correct to send him off – but the evidence looks totally inconclusive. Whatever happened to the principles of natural justice and the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven? It is a great pity if our national game is to be reduced to a non-contact sport; physical contact must be accepted as inevitable without always being regarded as foul play. Whilst I accept that the referee gave an honest interpretation of what actually happened, nothing on the frame by frame analysis of the video is able to support her conclusion. The sadness is that Norton is likely to be banned for the most important fixtures of the season. Anyone who did not go to the match would conclude that it was a dirty game – but that was not the case. Both sides committed fouls, but there didn’t seem to be anything malicious. The referee had on the whole, been quite good – though inevitably all referees make some mistakes. Unfortunately she contributed to FC’s sense of frustration; even before the dismissals there was an example of an FC defender being clearly fouled 3 times when bring the ball out of defence. The FC player kept his composure and rode all 3 fouls, getting fully 5 yards clear of the last offender and starting a counter attack when the referee stopped play to award FC a free kick. This was a ridiculous decision because it denied FC the advantage and was a decision taken hopelessly late. In addition to this, the referee demonstrated a total lack of control over time-wasting tactics employed by Chasetown players, particularly their no7 who constantly feigned injury, only to be running freely as soon as an opportunity presented itself. Similar tactics were employed by the No 3, who was allowed to walk slowly about 60 yards across the pitch to take a corner on ther right wing, again feigning injury as he moved. A couple of yellow cards would have got the message across that they weren’t going to be allowed to take the mickey out of the referee. So with that sort of gamesmanship it was not surprising that several Chasetown player encouraged the referee to send Norton off. Furthermore, the video shows quite clearly that the referee’s view of the Norton incident, was impeded by the positioning of Nicky Platt. I note also, that the linesman, who had a clear view of the incident, didn’t raise his flag and the referee never consulted him. I doubt that justice will prevail. but it would be nice for the referee to watch the frame by frame analysis and at least concede that the video evidence is completely inconclusive and that if fairness is to be the hallmark of our national game, Norton’s dismissal should be rescinded.
    Regarding Jerome Wright’s dismissal, he will surely realise that he was a “silly boy” in making the challenge he did. In this case the player can largely blame himself – and I attach no blame to the referee. However, I do think the instructions given to referees are quite ridiculous and such an incident could easily have been defused by applying some common sense.
    Common sense is clearly missing from the way referees are instructed to apply the rules; how else can you account for players being booked for taking their shirt off to celebrate a goal (e.g. Van Persie) and yet De Jong kicked Nani in the face and didn’t get booked. Admittedly Scholes’ challenge on Zabaletta was wild and deserved the red card, but Zabaletta’s earlier two footed studs up challenge on Park, which was penalised as a foul, apparently was not deserving of a straight red card. Utterly bewildering.

Comments are closed.