Nervous was not the word!
On a day when Chasetown needed a win to guarantee their play-off place, a draw was enough thanks to a last minute penalty at Sutton Coldfield.
During ninety minutes of final day action, all four clubs competing for the final two play-off places – Stamford, Chasetown, Sutton Coldfield and Halesowen – all had a spell inside the top 5 in the league and all had a place outside of the play offs.
Quite simply, the events off the field via social media sites were probably more dramatic than the events on the field.
In a rather sedate first half, confirmed runners-up Coalville came closest to opening the scoring with an Anton Astley shot which rattled the Chasetown post.
The Scholars best efforts came from a powerful Danny Bragoli free kick and a Richard Teesdale header on the stroke of half-time, both competently gathered by goalkeeper Chris Gibson.
As the whistle blew, news came through that Chasetown were up to fourth with Mickleover leading Stamford.
Sutton fell a goal down to Leek but in a matter of nine seven minutes, Chasetown dropped from 4th to 7th as first Coalville took the lead and then Sutton levelled at home to Leek.
Coalville’s goal came in the 59th minute following neat approach work from Dave Leigh and Astley, teeing up substitute Ryan Robbins who fired across Ryan Price into the corner of the net.
There was a moment of controversy as Chasetown were denied an equaliser. Chasetown substitute Theo Robinson was caught by a defender as his pass reached Paul Sullivan whose snap effort came back off the post, but claims that the foul on Robinson should have been a penalty fell on deaf ears.
Stamford had levelled at Mickleover, so Chasetown knew with Sutton level, a draw would actually be enough. In truth though, the Scholars looked laboured after a very hard season and a goal really didn’t look likely. The closest Chasetown had come in the second half was an effort from Chris Slater, skipper for the day in his 400th Chasetown appearance, which had Gibson stretching to his left.
In the 76th minute though, it was perhaps the most likely source of an equaliser as Paul Sullivan’s cross from the right was headed into his own net by Sam Carline trying to clear for a corner.
That goal lifted Chasetown back into 5th for all of three minutes as news broke that Sutton had taken the lead against Leek, pushing Chasetown back into 6th.
From being desperate for one goal, Chasetown were in need of another one and there was noticeable tension and resignation amongst the strong Scholars following possibly making up half of the 320 crowd at the Owen Street Sports Ground.
Halesowen were cruising to victory but were out of the picture on goal difference if Chasetown held onto a draw or Sutton held onto victory.
The away supporters were screaming for a winning goal until social media informed the blue army of a penalty at Coles Lane. Dozens of supporters gathers around the phone as news came through that Dan Shelley had scored for Leek and Chasetown were back in the top 5.
The scenes were wild behind the goal and Chase supporters elsewhere in the ground were ringing those behind the goal to find out what had happened and goalkeeping coach John Birt sprinted round to find out what was happening!
The whistle blew at Sutton, with Chasetown needing not to concede during five minutes of stoppage time. Craig Harris’ men held out and Chasetown had clinched fifth spot, earning a return trip to Coalville on Bank Holiday Monday and a potential trip to Belper Town or Stamford in Friday’s play off final.
Chasetown: Price, Farmer, Jackson, Slater, Tesfa Robinson, Teesdale, Smith (Harris, 84 mins), Bragoli, Wellecomme, Sullivan, Butler (Theo Robinson, 55 mins)
Other subs: Downes, Branch, Kisiel (not used)