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FA Cup heroes square up for charity fixture at Chasetown FC

With over 4,000 Chasetown appearances and over 600 goals between them, 24 Chasetown players from the Oldham side of 2005 and Cardiff side of 2008 took the field for Teenage Cancer Trust.

The Chasetown Bluebirds team. Pic: Dave Birt

The Chasetown Bluebirds team. Pic: Dave Birt

Made up of a couple of other former players who had not featured in the cup run sides, the Oldham side turned round a 2-0 deficit to stun their younger and fitter opponents with a 3-2 win.

It was current manager Craig Harris who forced the first save of the game from current Sutton Coldfield keeper and former Scholar Lee Evans.

A goalless first half as the teams sounded each other out burst into life after the interval.

Kyle Perry, who left Chasetown to join Port Vale after the 2008 cup run, beat Simon Bryan with a left footer to give the Bluebirds an early second half lead.

The Bluebirds almost made it 2-0 when they hit the woodwork, while at the other end, Duncan Horler saw his effort palmed over the bar by Evans, before Port Vale goal hero Danny Smith saw his shot cleared off the line by Tom Marshall.

It was Marshall who made it 2-0 when the Tamworth player, and Stubblemelt band member with Kyle Perry, cheekily chipped Bryan and in the process won a bet with midfielder Nick Hawkins that he would score in such a fashion!

If the youngsters thought they had the game won, they had a cruel awakening to come.

The Latics, with 2800 Chasetown games of experience between them, pulled one back when a surging run from Danny Smith saw Sutton Coldfield’s Lee Parsons and former Chasetown skipper put the ball into his own net, as he said, “to stop Lee Bullimore scoring”.

The Chasetown Latics team. Pic: Dave Birt

The Chasetown Latics team. Pic: Dave Birt

There would be many who had come just to see Charlie Blakemore play and he almost rewarded the crowd with a goal. In true poacher fashion, Blakemore got on the end of a ball on the edge of the box but his technique was all wrong as he leant back and fired the ball over the bar.

Current player Chris Slater, another who went to Port Vale after the 2008 Cup run, turned provider for the Latics equaliser when his mazy run and shot fell loose to Mark Branch who converted with his trusty left foot from close range.

Chasetown all-time goal scorer, Tony Dixon, a spritely 50-year-old, had expected to play only 15 minutes but found himself playing the full match due to some unavailability. But 197-goal Dixon, nor 99-goal Blakemore were unable to find the winner.

Instead, that honour fell to centre back Richard Huckfield, scorer of three goals in his Chasetown career, who got on the end of a Horler cross to head home past Evans.

There was time for a cameo appearance from Andy Cox, holder of Chasetown’s all-time leading appearances record with 535 and goalkeeper John Birt, who had been called into the first game of the day as West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper when the All Stars suffered two injuries in the same game.

The game ended with a 3-2 Latics win but the scores that really mattered were an attendance of 613 people and a total of at least £3,500 raised for Teenager Cancer Trust.

Chasetown Latics: Bryan, Bytheway, Slater, Thompson, Huckfield, Smith, Harris, Horler, Branch, Bullimore, Blakemore. Sub: Cox
Chasetown Bluebirds: Evans, Brown, Thomas, Marshall, Williams, Simcox, Parsons, Hawkins, Turner, Dixon, Perry. Sub: Birt

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.