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New boy rescues point after ex-Chasetown FC keeper’s heroics

Lee Evans saves a penalty. Pic: Dave Birt

Lee Evans saves a penalty. Pic: Dave Birt

Old and new combined to ensure Chasetown FC were only able to secure a point against Sutton Coldfield Town.

Former Scholars keeper Lee Evans came back to haunt his former club with a first class penalty save to deny Nick Wellecomme after Ramone Stephens had been sent tumbling by Matt Jackson – one of six ex-Chasetown men on show for the Royals.

And it looked to be a costly miss as Sutton took a second half lead, only for sub Danny Griffiths to repeat his trick from the weekend and find the net after coming off the bench.

The Royals were the better side as the first half progressed and Nathan Thompson twice went close with efforts, one which flashed wide and another that was cleared off the line, while strike partner Mark Danks forced Ryan Price into a great save just before the interval.

Chasetown had struggled to create any clearcut goalscoring opportunities, the best being a low shot from Stephens that fizzed off the surface but was straight at Evans.

After the break, an unchanged Scholars side had more impetus going forward and strong defending from Joel Kettle blocked Paul Sullivan after a neat one-two with Andy Westwood.

After some sloppy possession in the first half, Chasetown were more assertive after the interval and it was Stephens who took the game to the Royals with a sprint into the penalty area that left Jackson little option but to upend the winger.

Danny Griffiths slides home an equaliser for Chasetown FC. Pic: Dave Birt

Danny Griffiths slides home an equaliser for Chasetown FC. Pic: Dave Birt

Following Evans’ penalty save to deny Wellecomme, Sutton went straight up the other end and struck the crossbar before taking the lead in the 64th minute. Danks, who had gone close in the first half, fired home and gave the visiting trumpet and drum band something to make music about!

Walsall boss Dean Smith was among the 161 crowd to see Griffiths’ second game of his loan period with Chasetown.  The forward, who had netted within a minute of coming on as sub at the weekend, was soon in the thick of the goalscoring action again.

The hitman’s opportunity came five minutes after being introduced. Stephens pulled the trigger from long range and Evans could only palm out his fierce effort away, with Griffiths reacting quicker than anyone to slide home the equaliser.

Neither side looked very likely to edge the winner. Simon Brown glanced a header wide of the upright while Sutton gave Chasetown a scare when a short free kick from Price went straight to a Sutton forward, before the hosts recovered to clear the danger.

Chasetown: Price, Farmer, Beckett, Slater, Tesfa Robinson, Westwood, Butler (Brown, 61 mins), Bragoli, Wellecomme (Theo Robinson, 83 mins), Sullivan (Griffiths, 63 mins), Stephens. Subs not used: Forde, Watson.
Sutton Coldfield Town: Evans, Lycett, Jackson, Parsons, Kettle, Maze, Taylor (Leek, 74 mins), Milligan, Thompson (Hay, 62 mins), Danks, Chapman. Subs not used: Williams, McNaught, Gwilliams.

Click below to see more of Dave Birt’s pictures from the game:

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