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Chasetown FC ended their three-match winless run and condemned Kidsgrove Athletic to the bottom of the league with a late goal to demoralise their Staffordshire neighbours.
Joe Halsall finds the net. Pic: Dave Birt
Athletic saw Tesfa Robinson clear off the line, while Wayne Cordon and Shane Reaney both struck the frame of the goal and really must have felt that things were not going their way in their fight to avoid relegation as Bedworth won 2-0 to leapfrog Kidsgrove. That said, the Scholars had more than enough chances to put the game beyond any doubt, with visiting keeper Danny Read a clear man of the match.
Luke Chapman holds off a challenge. Pic: Dave Birt
After just ten minutes, Read made a candidate for save of the season as it seemed inevitable that Danny Bragoli’s close range downward header would find the net. But Read kept out the effort with the assistant referee shaking his head to appeals that the ball had crossed the line. Jack Lees and Luke Chapman both tested Read with low shots in a fairly disappointing first half. The visitors started the second half by twice rattling the frame of Danny Watson’s goal until Chasetown gradually took control of the game and took the lead 14 minutes from time. Nick Wellecomme scuffed a pass into the path of Lees before the ball ricocheted into the path of Joe Halsall who screamed an effort through a crowded goalmouth – his first Chasetown goal at the 27th time of asking. Halsall almost made it two, forcing Read to dive full length to his left to keep out the goalbound effort before Chasetown continued to warm the gloves of the Kidsgrove number one as Wellecomme brought a decent diving save out of Read. The Athletic stopper then denied Bragoli for the second time in the game. With the play-offs long out of reach, Chasetown remain 11th but moved within three points of eighth position and eight points adrift of sixth place – the highest Chasetown can finish this season as they prepare for their Walsall Senior Cup Final with four league games remaining. Chasetown: Watson, Farmer, Jermaine Johnson, Slater, Robinson, Halsall, Butler (D Smith, 83 mins), Bragoli, Wellecomme, Lees, Chapman (Stephens, 64 mins). Subs not used: Evans, Bennett, MacDonald. Kidsgrove Athletic: Read, Street (Grocott, 54 mins), Bramall, Edwards, Twigg, Nicklin, Matranga, Wain (Spence, 69 mins), Jordan Johnson, Reaney, Cordon. Subs not used: Edge, Haddrell. Click below to see more of Dave Birt’s pictures: