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FA Cup: Telford 2 Chasetown 4 - Report

Chasetown pulled off an impressive 4-2 FA Cup win over National League North side AFC Telford United.

Chasetown FC celebrating there first goal (Pic: Kieren Griffin Photography).
Chasetown FC celebrating there first goal (Pic: Kieren Griffin Photography).

Despite playing two levels below the hosts, two goals apiece from Chasetown’s Joey Butlin and Jack Langston made light of the supposed difference in class between the teams, and sent the Scholars back to Staffordshire jubilant.

Chasetown showed a hunger and positivity that the Bucks could only match for short spells, and the game became a classic case of the side with more to lose being weighed down by those same thoughts. When that happens, the outcome is more or less a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It had all started so promisingly for the hosts, who took a sixth-minute lead. Jordan Piggott got forward to deliver a fine cross that found the head of Byron Moore; the predominantly right-sided attacker has been used as a central striker, and guided a header past Curtis Pond with aplomb, directing it past the keeper’s right hand and into the far corner.

So far, so good. Sam McLintock, one of the Bucks’ better performers of the afternoon, didn’t seem short on confidence, and when he spotted Pond off his line, his audacious attempt to score from 35 yards just cleared the crossbar.

More chances came as Jamie Allen saw his attempt to turn the ball home from close range after a low right-wing cross blocked by a defender and Pond in combination, while Bucks keeper Luke Pilling wasn’t redundant, holding a Chasetown shot from distance.

Carl Baker then created a shooting opportunity on the left of the penalty area, working some space and firing a rising shot over the crossbar from a tightening angle.

Two years ago, Joey Butlin scored for the Scholars when the two sides met at the same stage, and he was to make his presence felt soon. His rambunctious style meant the afternoon was no holiday camp for Bucks defenders Matty Brown and Harry Flowers. Butlin had let Pilling know he was around when he collided with the keeper as they went for a high ball, and less than a minute later he got on the end of a deep cross from the right to head the ball down and in at the far post, Pilling unable to stop the ball and ending up in the net with it.

The goal was something of a surprise, but what then followed perhaps wasn’t. Buoyed by drawing level, the Scholars, who had obviously done their homework on the Bucks, started to play with a bit more physicality, almost throwing down the challenge to a currently frail Bucks side, and it worked.

Scholars skipper Danny O’Callaghan, once a Bucks player did almost find the back of his own net when he dived headlong to stop a free-kick reaching Brown, powering the ball just wide of Pond’s right post. However, the Bucks began to look a little jittery in defence. Butlin was softening them up, although he did cross the line when he appeared to kick Brad Bood after the left-back had shepherded the ball out for a goal-kick. Butlin got a yellow card, not a yellow coat. There was already a proper Cup tie in evidence, but that became even more so when Jordan Piggott was casual and lost possession in his own half on the stroke of half-time.

Chasetown moved the ball infield quickly and Langston seized his chance to advance and then score off the inside of Pilling’s right post from 20 yards.

Carden made a double substitution at the interval, introducing forward Nate Blissett and winger Devarn Green, thankfully not affected by concussion as was feared after he left the field injured on Tuesday at Gloucester.

The two immediately brought a fresh approach. Bood, another of the Bucks’ more noteworthy performers, made an overlapping run to cross and find Green’s head, but he couldn’t direct the ball on target.

Chasetown still posed a threat, the Bucks having to leave more spaces at the back as they sought parity, but the momentum seemed to be shifting. Another Bood run and cross brought panic in the Scholars defence and Allen struck the crossbar from the loose ball, although the goal would have been ruled out for an infringement.

McLintock’s angled shot from outside the box tested Pond, then Green shot wide, but a goal seemed to be coming, and it duly arrived. In the 56th minute, Bucks substitute Devarn Green carved out a crossing chance from the left at the second attempt, and his ball into the six-yard box was met by Nate Blissett, opening his scoring account for the club.

McLintock then showed smart footwork and composure to create space and hit the outside of the post, and all the signs indicated a Bucks goal was imminent, but Chasetown had other ideas.

Langston had an off-target shot deflected wide, but in the 67th minute Butlin did find the target. Another deep cross from the right by Ollie Hayward swirled skywards and dropped between Brown and Flowers; Butlin instinctively found the space and directed a free header that looped over Pilling’s left hand as it groped thin air, before nestling in the net.

Could the Bucks respond again? Carden replaced Carl Baker with Kobe Chong, and Green’s cross from the left after a positive run couldn’t pick out a teammate, but In the 73rd minute the Scholars settled the tie.

The Bucks allowed the visitors into the box on the left, and when the resulting cross ran to Langston 15 yards out he unerringly smacked his low shot past Pilling, again via the inside of the post.

The Bucks tried to muster a reply. Chong shot high and wide when cutting in from the right and Pond then fingertipped a low Green shot past his right post, but the visitors weren’t sitting on their lead and Pilling had to stop a shot at his near post from Liam Kirtford.

McLintock hadn’t surrendered and tried to test Pond from distance, but a funk had descended on his teammates and the game ended rather tamely from a Bucks perspective, Carden’s side accepting of their fate.

Telford (4-4-2): Pilling, Piggott, Bood, Brown, Flowers, Burroughs, McLintock, C Baker (Chong 68), Daniels (Green 45), Allen, Moore (Blissett 45). Subs not used: L Baker, Ekpolo, Evans, Nolan.

Chasetown (4-3-3): Pond, Hayward, Evans, Taylor, Wynter, Clarke, Botfield (Edwards 65), Langston, Butlin, O’Callaghan, Yates (Kirtford 45). Subs not used: Melbourne, Unwin, Letford, Ramsey, Cook.

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