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Chasetown FC reach final of the Walsall Senior Cup

Whatever happens in the remaining ten league games, Craig Harris’ second season in charge of Chasetown FC will culminate in the Walsall Senior Cup Final and the chance of his first trophy as Scholars boss.

Chasetown were the better side from first whistle until last at Sutton Coldfield and although keeper Ryan Price as ever was on top form in goal, the visitors rarely looked as if they would give up their final berth with an impressive all-round display.

Lee Butler scores from the penalty spot. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Lee Butler scores from the penalty spot. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Now, the Church Street men have to wait until the scheduled quarter-final between Walsall Wood and Tividale on March 27 followed by the semi-final with old adversaries Rushall Olympic for the final, likely to be at The Banks’ Stadium, Walsall.

Sutton lined up with no fewer than seven ex-Chasetown players and one of those – Dean Perrow – limped out of play after 29 minutes in a tense opening period of the game.

The Scholars had the best opening as Jazz Luckie was put clear inside the penalty area but former Chase keeper Lee Evans made himself big and the forward was unable to loft the ball over him.

Evans could get nowhere near the opening goal though. Four minutes before the break, the keeper made a block to deny Luckie again who appeared to damage his shoulder as he tumbled to the surface. Play continued and Danny Bragoli rifled in a ferocious long range effort.

Chasetown’s nerves may have been settled early in the second half when Nick Wellecomme seemed certain to make it 2-0 but the ball sat up perhaps a little too high on the 3G surface and the number nine fired over the bar.

Luckie left the field through injury and his replacement Luke Bottomer caused the Sutton back line all sorts of problems with his pace and strength and almost added to the Chasetown lead when he out muscled Josh Smith and forced a low save from Evans.

Luke Bottomer goes close for Chasetown. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Luke Bottomer goes close for Chasetown. Pic: Pamela Mullins

Sutton did create some chances though. Price saved an effort from former Scholars skipper Lee Parsons and then Luke Chapman’s cross eluded everyone and flicked the crossbar en route to safety.

Chasetown were quicker to every ball though and Ramone Stephens was drawing frequent free kicks outside the box and eventually he was sent tumbling inside the area and the referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot. With regular spot kicker Simon Brown on the bench, Lee Butler took responsibility and sent Evans the wrong way to double the lead.

Price was kept busy with another couple of fairly routine saves but it was opposite number Evans who had to be at his best to keep the score down, making a superb double block to deny Bottomer and Butler.

In a crowd of just 120, the away support made themselves heard and roared their team home to victory.

Sutton Coldfield Town: L Evans, J Smith, Jackson, Parsons, Lycett, Kettle, Leek (Bloor 75 mins), Milligan, Hay (Danks, 68 mins), Perrow (Thompson, 29 mins), Chapman. Subs not used: Taylor, Gwilliams.
Chasetown: Price, T Evans, Beckett, Slater, Robinson, Bennett, Butler, Bragoli, Wellecomme, Luckie (Bottomer, 51 mins), Stephens. Subs not used: C Smith, Brown, Gould, Watson.

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