Play off pole position
Chasetown moved two points clear of Halesowen and three clear of Sutton Coldfield (for 24-hours at least) with a convincing second half display.
After a minute’s applause for former manager Larry Percival who passed away at the weekend, Chasetown set about tightening their grip on their newly-acquired play off place.
Paul Sullivan tested Joe McCormack early on with a shot which bobbled and the home keeper did well to hold on.
It was at the other end though where the first clear cut goal scoring chance came – an instinctive first time shot from Nathan Benger which was acrobatically palmed over by Ryan Price at full stretch.
Sullivan tested McCormack again, but in an otherwise stop-start scrappy first half, there was nothing much to report until just before the half-time break. Sports’ defender Michael Williams handled the ball after seemingly being shoved in a penalty area melee and Referee Mr Dadley’s whistle blew to point to the penalty spot. McCormack guessed right and got his hands on the ball but the ferocity of Simon Brown’s spot kick was too much for him and Chasetown edged in front in a half they barely deserved to.
Price kept out Rhys Sharpe at his near post at the start of the second half but the visitors gradually took over as the half progressed.
Nick Wellecomme’s excellent defence-splitting pass found Brown and his low drive was brilliantly kept out McCormack at his right hand post.
On 70 minutes, from Brown’s corner Danny Bragoli’s effort was matched by another top save from McCormack. There was no such luck for McCormack from the second corner though as Wellecomme powered home at the near post from Brown’s kick.
Sport’s Sam Berry saw red for a second yellow card for the home side as The Scholars capitalised on their dominance.
Seven minutes from time, Chasetown extended their lead further when Brown cut into the penalty area, out-pacing his defender and dinked the ball up to the far post where substitute Greg Downes guided a header beyond McCormack.
The visitors ended with ten men themselves as Simon Brown picked up a slight injury and sat out the last couple of minutes as news came in that Halesowen had drawn 1-1 with fourth-placed Stamford.
Sutton travel so Carlton on Wednesday, knowing that a win could only put them level with Chasetown on points again, but behind due to Sutton’s inferior goal difference.
Chasetown: Price, Slater, Jackson, Westwood, Tesfa Robinson, Teesdale, Butler (Downes, 75 mins), Bragoli, Wellecomme (Harris, 85 mins), Sullivan (Smith, 80 mins), Brown.
Other subs: Theo Robinson, Birt (not used)