Home sweet home!
Chasetown ended their home fixtures with an emphatic performance to destroy the world’s oldest football club and to move into the top five.
The Scholars now face three away games in the regulation season and potentially face two more away fixtures should they progress in the end-of-season promotion deciders.
The sun shone brightly on The Scholars Ground and this rubbed off on Chasetown as they made a similarly bright start. Inside 5 minutes, Paul Sullivan smashed his tenth goal of the season with a driven shot which left Liam Flynn stranded in the Sheffield goal.
On 12 minutes, Flynn was at full stretch to fingertip over a Simon Brown fizzer from outside the box which looked like it was creeping just under the bar until Flynn intervened.
It was one-way traffic and no surprise when Chasetown doubled their lead. Leading scorer Nick Wellecomme beat the offside trap of a very square Sheffield defence and tucked the ball into the corner of the net past a stranded Flynn.
Former Scholar Joel Purkiss struck the top of the Chasetown crossbar with a free kick but it was the new incumbent of the number ten shirt who extended Chasetown’s lead in the 28th minute. The Scholars were playing a number of sweet passing movements throughout the field and Sheffield could not live with the home side’s form. Sullivan found himself in space inside the Steelmen’s penalty area and drilled a low shot which struck the inside of Flynn’s right hand post and nestled in the far corner of the net.
Jack Farmer left the field with a nasty head injury two minutes before the interval and the long disruption, followed by Andy Westwood coming on in midfield and Chris Slater moving to right back affected Chasetown for long enough for James Gregory to give the Yorkshiremen some hope.
It was vital that Craig Harris’ men did not concede a second at the start of the second half and Sheffield’s early pressure was dealt with comfortably by the centre back pairing of Richard Teesdale and Tesfa Robinson with Danny Bragoli outstanding in the centre of the park.
The sponsors Man of the Match Simon Brown produced a moment of genius just short of the hour which was possibly the deciding factor in him scooping the award. Almost out of nothing, Brown unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot, a bit like his first half effort, but this one dipped and nestled millimetres below the crossbar, with Flynn only looking on and wondering how on earth he was meant to save it!
Flynn’s ghastly mix up in the 63rd minute gifted the ball to the feet of Wellecomme who calmly got the ball under control and under nominal pressure from a defender he rolled the ball into an empty net, for his 20th goal of the campaign – the first Chasetown player to score a score of goals since Dean Perrow in 2008-09.
Wellecomme, who’s goal celebration often involves a kiss with his daughter, chose to celebrate this goal by high-fiving the ball boy behind the goal, youngsters celebrating 40 years of youth football at Chasetown FC.
The 200-plus crowd erupted at news that new league leaders Kings Lynn were beating Sutton Coldfield 2-0 and the party atmosphere continued as, one of many outstanding players Lee Butler, left the field to a standing ovation, as did Paul Sullivan eight minutes later.
Substitute Gary Hay beat the offside trap to cheekily chip Flynn, only to see the ball come back off the upright into the arms of the grateful keeper.
Chasetown: Price, Farmer (Westwood, 43 mins), Jackson, Slater, Tesfa Robinson, Teesdale, Butler (Smith, 71 mins), Bragoli, Wellecomme, Sullivan (Hay, 79 mins), Brown.
Other subs: Downes, Theo Robinson (not used)