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Chasetown FC start 2014 in style with triumph over Eastwood Town

Tesfa Robinson rifles home the opener for Chasetown. Pic: Dave Birt

Tesfa Robinson rifles home the opener for Chasetown. Pic: Dave Birt

Chasetown FC netted three times in six first half minutes to secure the three points against Eastwood Town.

After this victory, the Scholars are 11 points shy of the side currently occupying the final play-off spot, but more importantly the victory pushed them 12 points clear of the bottom three, a prospect that was looking nervously possible after a few defeats in November.

Eastwood Town are a club in disarray, ten points adrift at the bottom of the league with a new management team at the helm – not for the first time this season – with a side that had never played together before. That said Chasetown still had to remain professional and do the job, ripping their guests to shreds in a blistering first half hour.

Given the persistent rain of the previous 48 hours, manager Craig Harris praised groundsman Bob Brookes for the game even being able to go ahead in the first place and his efforts were rewarded with a dynamic start that saw Tesfa Robinson having a fierce volley blocked from a corner after just two minutes.

Visiting keeper Wayne Smith scrambled to his left to keep out a goalbound Lee Butler free kick and then Simon Brown had his effort headed off the line by Shaun Archbold after Smith had gone AWOL.

Harris’ men finally got the breakthrough goal in the 12th minute. It was another corner that found its way to Tesfa Robinson who turned on a sixpence and lashed a fierce shot into the roof of the net.

Five minutes later, Brown made it 2-0 from close range after being set up by Butler – his sixth goal in the last eight games – and in the 18th minute it was a landslide 3-0 when Paul Sullivan broke from the halfway line and unselfishly set up Ramone Stephens who finished confidently from eight yards out.

Simon Brown doubles Chasetown's advantage. Pic: Dave Birt

Simon Brown doubles Chasetown’s advantage. Pic: Dave Birt

The brakes were put on Chasetown’s rampant start just after the half hour when Butler received his marching orders for a challenge on Riece Bertram just outside the Eastwood penalty area.

The ten men regrouped until the half-time interval and then gradually began to dominate the second half again with Smith straight into the action to deny Joe Halsall at his near post.

The visitors got one back when a cross from the right was deflected by Chris Slater against his own post under pressure from Anthony Gregory, who then had the simplest of tap-ins to fire home the rebound.

Simon Brown left the field with an injury, although the substitution did signify the return of winger Jono Gould, eight and a half months after suffering a cruciate ligament injury at Kidsgrove.

Chasetown continued to dominate and star man Paul Sullivan struck the crossbar midway through the half.

Ramone Stephens makes it 3-0. Pic: Dave Birt

Ramone Stephens makes it 3-0. Pic: Dave Birt

Young defender Todd Evans was introduced for Ramone Stephens, who left the field with cramp, meaning the only downside to a comprehensive Chasetown victory is the possibility of Brown, Butler and Stephens unavailable for upcoming matches, although Louis Keenan and Nick Wellecomme will return after serving their suspension for this game.

Chasetown: Ryan Price, Chris Slater, Grant Beckett, Joe Halsall, Tesfa Robinson, Richard Teesdale, Simon Brown (Jono Gould, 56 mins), Danny Bragoli, Ramone Stephens (Todd Evans, 77 mins), Paul Sullivan (Michael Taylor, 84 mins), Lee Butler. Subs not used: Jazz Luckie, Danny Watson.
Eastwood Town: Smith, Burton (Bartley, 77 mins), Labbate, Archbold, Gregory, Bertram, Smyth (Schofield, 72 mins), Hawkins, Mushambi, Hollis, O’Donnell (Selvam, 88 mins). Subs not used: Sturgess, Dobbie.

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

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