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Chasetown FC fail to find a way past league leaders Leek Town

Ryan Price punches a cross away. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Ryan Price punches a cross away. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Chasetown FC found Leek Town too hot to handle as the league leaders were clinical in front of goal to open up a seven point lead at the top of the division.

The home side had the only real chance in a brisk opening 20 minutes. With just five minutes on the clock, Jordan Johnson’s shot took a deflection and Scholars keeper Ryan Price did well to react and keep the parity.

Simon Brown was a whisker away from finding the net with a floating free kick that evaded everyone and flicked the top of the crossbar on its way out.

Chasetown were very much in the game early on, but Leek demonstrated in the 27th minute why they are top of the table. A cross to the far post from Rhys Swetnam was whipped in and Andy Kinsey rose well to head beyond Price.

The Scholars were struggling to break down a well-marshalled Leek defence with home centre back Dan Smith the outstanding player on the night, reading almost everything they sent forward.

A Brown shot straight at keeper Ben Chapman and another effort which just needed a touch as it flashed wide of Chapman’s left-hand upright were the best Chasetown had to offer.

Simon Brown is closed down by a Leek defender. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Simon Brown is closed down by a Leek defender. Pic: Pamela Mullins

The home side pushed for a second and Kinsey headed wide from a corner, John Johnston drilled a shot into the side netting and Niall Maguire had his shot blocked as the hosts looked to confirm the points.

Leek eventually sealed all three points up with just under 15 minutes remaining. A Kinsey cross broke loose to John Johnston who fired a powerful shot in from close range.

The home side took the opportunity to rest a few players ahead of their weekend FA Trophy tie without looking like their lead would be threatened.

There were moments when Craig Harris’ men did look comfortable on the ball in the middle third but lacked any penetration on the night to ever look like netting a consolation goal.

In stoppage time, former Scholar Johnson gave the final scoreline a somewhat flattering feel with a rasping right foot shot into the far corner.

Leek Town: Chapman, Smith, Bell, Swetnam, Donnelly, Hall, Danylyk (Cotton, 80 mins), Maguire, Kinsey (Husbands, 78 mins), Johnson, Johnston (Shelley, 83 mins). Subs not used: Sheldon, Grice.
Chasetown: Price, Farmer, Keenan, Slater, Robinson, Halsall, Brown, Bragoli (Beckett, 83 mins), Bennett (Bannister, 78 mins), Sullivan, Westwood (Stephens, 59 mins). Subs not used: Teesdale, Wellecomme.

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

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