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Late strike earns Chasetown FC a 1-1 draw against Studley

A game that struggled to get going at times ended all-square with an early candidate for goal of the season.

Centre back Chris Slater advanced through the Studley half, kept advancing, beat a couple of men on the way, and having slalomed his way into the penalty area then unleashed a fierce drive that left the visiting keeper rooted to the spot – a strike that truly begged the question why Slater does not score more often.

Danny Smith closes down a Studley player. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Danny Smith closes down a Studley player. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Incredibly, after conceding a soft defensive goal at Redditch on Saturday, lightning struck as again The Scholars were guilty of some casual defending, resulting in Studley walking the ball into an empty net.

The first half struggled to live up to any real fluidity – hardly surprising given the heat of the day and the evening that had remained just as warm.

Chasetown striker Matt Jukes hit the post while Mark Branch, in a more advance left midfield role, fired over the bar after Jukes teed him up.

Jukes was again unlucky just before the break with a peach of a pass from Branch, but the forward was stretching and unable to divert the ball goalwards.

It wasn’t going to be Matt Jukes night, as, five minutes after the break, Billy Russell rolled the ball beyond the Studley keeper but he was thwarted on the line by an incredible block.

Andy Westwood impressed in an attacking capacity, seeing one shot blocked by a Studley head which seemed destined for the back of the net, and then he was was blocked by a timely tackle after substitutes Gary Hay and Danny Smith linked up neatly.

Another Scholars substitute Dave Bate continued to show his pre-season form, demonstrating some lovely skill inside the penalty area to elude the visiting centre back, before firing his shot against the woodwork.

Studley led with their lucky goal in the 77th minute, before Chase substitute Jono Gould forced the keeper into a save at the other end.

Eight minutes from time, Slater was the match-saver with his sublime piece of skill – a pity that it doesn’t add to his official Chasetown goal tally. It certainly deserved to, and was worth the admission fee alone!

Chasetown: Evans, Maguire, Patrick (Johnson, HT), Slater, Parsons (Teesdale, 63 mins), Westwood, Clarke-O’Connell, Lycett (Bate, HT), Russell (Smith, 60 mins), Jukes (Hay, 60 mins), Branch (Gould, 78 mins).

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