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Chasetown FC get revenge over Kidsgrove Athletic

Chasetown avenged their weekend defeat at the same opponents with a clinical victory against Kidsgrove Athletic.

Danny Bragoli wins the ball in the air. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Danny Bragoli wins the ball in the air. Pic: Pamela Mullins

The Scholars nearly made the perfect start after six minutes when Ashley Whitehead appeared to have conceded a foul on Danny Smith, but the referee waved away the claims.

Smith went just wide with a header before home keeper Daniel Read made a great save to deny Nick Wellecomme and was more fortuitous with the rebound from Joe Halsall that he somehow managed to get a right foot on to clear the danger.

Scholars’ fans could have been forgiven for thinking that this game would see a repeat of Saturday’s missed chances but the deadlock was broken in the 24th minute when Ramone Stephens whipped in a great cross at the near post that eluded Read and Simon Brown netted from six yards.

Ironically, it was up the slope that Chasetown had dominated at the weekend, but it was down the gradient that they bossed this fixture. This time though, the pressure counted and two minutes before the break, Smith burst beyond Read and was sent tumbling to the floor. The Kidsgrove keeper received a yellow card but the double whammy was a thumping penalty from Brown to give his side a 2-0 lead at the interval.

Four minutes into the second half and Chasetown had clear daylight between themselves and their opponents. Read did well to keep out Smith’s well-struck drive but despite getting both hands onto Wellecomme’s rebound, the ball nestled into the bottom corner.

Nick Wellecomme climbs highest as the Kidsgrove goal comes under pressure. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Nick Wellecomme climbs highest as the Kidsgrove goal comes under pressure. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Wellecomme snatched at a chance to make it 4-0 while Tesfa Robinson drove a cross-cum-shot across the six yard box as Craig Harris’ men looked to kill the game.

But 20 minutes from time Karl Espley headed home to give the hosts a glimmer of a chance and when substitute Ryan Grocott netted with a low, curling long range effort beyond a busy goalmouth with 11 minutes left, Chasetown were defending deeper and deeper and facing the prospect of going to a penalty shoot-out if Kidsgrove could find the net once more.

And the home side’s opportunity came with two minutes of regulation time remaining when a right-wing cross fizzed across the penalty area but no-one could get a touch.

Chasetown hung on to put their name in the hat for the next round, with the game scheduled for week commencing January 13.

Kidsgrove Athletic: Read, Whitehead, A Taylor, C Smith, Johnson, Espley (Wakefield, 78 mins), Chinn-Shaw (Grocott, 67 mins), Carr, Haddrell, Matrange, R Smith (Mighten, 67 mins). Subs not used: Street, Wakefield, P Taylor.
Chasetown: Price, Farmer, Keenan, Slater, Robinson, Halsall, Brown, Bragoli, Wellecomme, Smith (Bannister, 86 mins), Stephens (Butler, 74 mins). Subs not used: Williams, Beckett, Sullivan.

Click below to see more of Pamela Mullins’ pictures from the game:

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