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Strong Chasetown FC line-up secures victory in final friendly outing

The Bishops Cleeve goalkeeper comes under pressure. Pic: Pamela Mullins

The Bishops Cleeve goalkeeper comes under pressure. Pic: Pamela Mullins

A manager’s final pre-season team selection can often give clues to the opening game of the season and Craig Harris kicked off with a strong line up as Chasetown secured a 2-0 victory at Bishops Cleeve.

Chris Slater began at right back, with Danny Smith wide on the right in front of him, while Gary Hay and Nick Wellecomme led the front line.

The Scholars started brightly and Smith went close inside the first two minutes with a well struck volley which was straight at the goalkeeper.

Wellecomme, who hadn’t scored in pre-season, should’ve opened his account in the tenth minute when he tried to go round the keeper rather than shoot first time, but his second touch was miscued and the defender managed to clear.

Hay forced the home keeper into a save with his legs, while at the other end the Mitres went close twice and then forced a dramatic late save from Ryan Price at the end of the half.

Harris’ first two changes were also considered noteworthy amongst the supporters that made the trip down the M5, with Jack Farmer on for Teesdale, moving Slater back to the centre and Theo Robinson on for Danny Smith.

Within a minute of coming on, Robinson went on a run and forced a save from the Cleeve keeper at his near post but the ball ran loose only as far as Wellecomme who couldn’t miss from close range.

On 70 minutes it was 2-0 when Wellecomme received a through ball from Theo Robinson in midfield and slid the ball past the advancing keeper.

Tesfa Robinson heads home, only to see his goal disallowed. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Tesfa Robinson heads home, only to see his goal disallowed. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Grant Beckett had a shot blocked after a sweet crossfield pass from Louis Keenan before Tesfa Robinson had the ball in the net with a powerful header, ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper by a Scholars team mate.

In all, Harris used six replacements and all showed flashes of why they should be in, or on the verge of the team next weekend.

Other than the two assists from Robinson, Avun Jephcott and Alex Forde looked tidy in midfield, Farmer solid at right back and Marco Adaggio held the ball up superbly up front and brought his colleagues into play.

Plenty to be confident about on the final day of pre-season and it all begins at home to Brigg next Saturday (August 17).

Chasetown: Ryan Price, Chris Slater, Louis Keenan, Grant Beckett (Avun Jephcott, 80 mins), Tesfa Robinson, Richard Teesdale (Jack Farmer, 52 mins), Danny Smith (Theo Robinson, 58 mins), Danny Bragoli (Alex Forde, 84 mins), Nick Wellecomme (Marco Adaggio, 71 mins), Gary Hay (Leigh Downing, 84 mins), Andy Westwood. Subs not used: Todd Evans, Lee Butler.

Click below to see Pamela Mullins’ photos from the game:

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