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Match report: Hednesford Town 0 Chasetown FC 1

Chasetown go ahead against Hednesford Town. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown go ahead against Hednesford Town. Pic: Dave Birt

There were no Boxing Day blues for Chasetown as they took a hard-fought 1-0 victory over local rivals Hednesford Town in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League.

In front of a huge crowd of over 1,600 at Keys Park the Scholars continued their recent fine league form with manager Chris Brindley eager to inflict defeat on his former club, but things did not get off to a great start for the visitors with Danny Smith yellow-carded in the first minute for a foul.

Play-off contenders Hednesford enjoyed the first chances of the afternoon but Jay Denny’s free kick hit the Scholars wall and Jamey Osborne’s free header went wide.

Dean Perrow and Mark Branch worked hard for the visitors but the Pitmen looked marginally stronger over the first half, Chasetown’s first clear-cut chance coming following a move down the right between Perrow and Jack Farmer but Cheyenne Dunkley headed out for a corner.

Dean Perrow battles for the ball. Pic: Dave Birt

Dean Perrow battles for the ball. Pic: Dave Birt

Ryan Price made a couple of excellent saves to keep the score goalless, and the action looked set to kick up a gear in the second half.

Several Hednesford shots were blocked in the opening minutes of the second period but it would be the Scholars who took the lead amid some confusion. A free kick was headed behind for a corner which led to a second corner kick from the opposite side of the field and David Bridgewater’s kick saw goalkeeper Dan Crane and a defender go for the ball along with Darren Stride, the ball bouncing into the empty net amid the scramble.

Stride was thought by many to have got the final touch, but referee Stuart Eagland credited an own goal to Crane.

Perrow saw a snap-shot go inches wide with six minutes on the clock while Price and Chris Slater blocked a couple of Pitmen attacks, one final effort from a corner cleared following a scramble in stoppage time and the Scholars fans celebrated wildly.

There’s more local derby action to open 2012 as the Scholars host Rushall Olympic on January 2 (3pm).

Hednesford: Crane, Haynes, Campion (c), Monteiro, Dunkley, Denny, Osborne, Clements, Robinson, Danks, Durrell. Subs: Bailey, Shaw, Jevons (Osborne 70), Wellecomme (Danks 64), Landell (Denny 75).
Chasetown: Price, Farmer, M Branch, Slater, Turner, Teesdale (c), Hands, Stride, Smith, Perrow, Bridgewater. Subs: Westwood, Wright, Edwards (Smith 89), Downes, Birt (GK).

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