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Chasetown FC round off 2013 with thrilling win over Sheffield

Paul Sullivan gets the first of his three goals. Pic: Dave Birt

Paul Sullivan gets the first of his three goals. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC won back-to-back league games for the first time this season in an incredible end-to-end game of football to end 2013 in style.

No-one would deny that Craig Harris’ were worthy winners but the nature of the game saw attack dominate defence throughout and if the 4-3 game had finished 7-6 there would have been few complaints!

The Scholars were on the front foot from the start and had chances to take the lead before they did so. Simon Brown and Tesfa Robinson both got efforts away early on as Chasetown looked to build on their Boxing Day victory.

The breakthrough eventually came when leading goalscorer Paul Sullivan took aim from outside the box and pinged an absolute beauty of an effort beyond visiting keeper Rob Poulter.

The visitors had a penalty appeal turned down before being awarded a spot kick in the 28th minute when Joel Purkiss tumbled under a challenge inside the box. Andy Gascoigne stepped up and planted a left footed kick beyond Ryan Price.

Nick Wellecomme fires home to make it 2-1. Pic: Dave Birt

Nick Wellecomme fires home to make it 2-1. Pic: Dave Birt

Simon Brown’s skill inside the penalty area almost fashioned out a chance for Chasetown to regain the lead before the interval. His trickery wrong-footed two Sheffield defenders before his shot was blocked. The rebound fell to Nick Wellecomme who half-volleyed goalwards, only for Connor Shirley to clear the goalbound effort three yards out.

If Scholars fans were concerned about the failure to take chances, their worries were eased within just four minutes of the restart as they opened up a two-goal advantage.

In the 48th minute, Brown advanced towards the edge of the area and it looked like his pass was too short to reach Wellecomme, but Sheffield defender Brandon Cardwell failed to clear and the Chasetown striker fired home from six yards.

Sixty seconds later, Sullivan capitalised on a poor clearance from Jamie Hadfield and drove home from close range.

Just after the hour mark, Sullivan completed his hat trick – his second for the club. Wellecomme and Brown combined for the hitman to be goalside of the last defender and he finished smartly beyond the Sheffield keeper.

If the home support thought it was game over, there was a sting in the tale.

With 18 minutes remaining, it was Chasetown who failed to clear the ball in their six yard box and former Scholar Purkiss netted from close range.

Paul Sullivan completes his hat-trick. Pic: Dave Birt

Paul Sullivan completes his hat-trick. Pic: Dave Birt

Hat-trick hero Sullivan was withdrawn, while manager Craig Harris also introduced defender Richard Teesdale for Brown, who had picked up a slight knock.

Sheffield further reduced the deficit with ten minutes left on the clock. If Sullivan’s first goal was a beauty, then Andy Gascoigne’s strike was certainly a candidate to equal the Chase opener. The striker picked up the ball outside the area, drove on and fired a shot from outside the box which nestled in the far corner.

Chasetown were holding on a bit and breathed a huge sigh of relief inside the fourth minute of stoppage time. Numerous Sheffield players were inside the box trying to contrive an equaliser and it was Purkiss who got the best chance away only to see his effort strike the Chasetown crossbar.

Chasetown: Price, Farmer, Beckett, Slater, Robinson, Halsall, Brown (Teesdale, 76 mins), Bragoli, Wellecomme (Stephens, 88 mins), Sullivan (Smith, 73 mins), Butler. Subs not used: Keenan, Watson.
Sheffield FC: Poulter, Shirley, Turner (Fereday, 87 mins), Burrell, Cardwell, Hadfield, Roney (Pemberton, 71 mins), Stirrup (Thomas, 86 mins), Purkiss, Gascoigne, Gregory. Subs not used: Powell.

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

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