Keeper Curtis Pond had a day to remember as he made a string of saves, kept a penalty out and converted one himself in a shootout to send Chasetown FC through in the FA Trophy against Halesowen Town.

Chasetown’s players celebrate their win against Halesowen Town. Picture: Dave Birt

The match began at a lightning pace and the visitors went close inside the first two minutes.

But Chasetown went straight up the other end and saw Dilano Reid curl an effort inches wide of Daniel Platt’s goal.

The chances came thick and fast. Jack Langston forced Platt into a low save on 13 minutes before Curtis Pond palmed away a low drive from Jack Holmes.

The visitors began to take control and Pond had to save superbly from Harry White to keep the scores level.

The two top sides in the NPL Midland Division continued to spar and Chasetown’s Aaron Ashford almost got on the end of an Alex Melbourne cross before Langston fired wide of the Halesowen goal from 25 yards.

Dilano Reid on the ball. Picture: Dave Birt

On 38 minutes, home skipper Danny O’Callaghan beat the offside trap and beat Platt but saw his effort go wide of the upright.

The opening 15 minutes of the second period were shaded by Chasetown territorially but it was the visitors who were again denied the opening goal by the brilliance of Pond to deny White.

Chasetown rang the changes with two substitutions and began to come back into the game. Jono Atherton thought he had come off the bench to win a penalty after being clipped on the back of the heel, but the referee waved away the appeals.

With 77 minutes on the clock, the majority of the 879 crowd held their collective breath as Kyle Finn broke through on goal, only to be denied by another Pond save.

The Yeltz kept the pressure on the home goal and The Scholars’ keeper made two more routine saves to keep his clean sheet.

The hosts then took their turn to put the pressure on as Langston looped a deflected effort onto the top of the net and then Ashford headed just over.

The end to end football was incessant and Halesowen’s Simeon Cobourne blazed a good chance well wide of the home goal.

Ninety minutes couldn’t separate the two sides so the game went straight to penalties. 

Chasetown’s second spot kick struck the crossbar before Pond saved Halesowen’s second – and then made it 2-1 himself with his side’s third penalty.

Curtis Pond scores from the penalty spot. Picture: Dave Birt

The Yeltz levelled again at 2-2 before Josh Hawker put his kick wide and Langston netted the decisive fifth penalty.

Leave a comment

Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy before posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *