On a foggy night at Chasetown, Market Drayton reached the top 6 in the EvoStik league courtesy of a wonder strike from Shaun Humphries that will be hard to better anywhere this season. In doing so they also gained revenge for a disappointing FA Cup defeat in extra time at Greenfields in September.
The winning strike came in the 57th minute when Humphries took aim from way outside the penalty area and Chasetown keeper Mariusz Kisiel could do nothing about it as the ball pinged off the inside of the frame of the goal – a strike that any goalkeeper in the world would have struggled to get anywhere near. There was an even a stunned silence between the ball striking the crossbar and the celebrations of the visiting players before people had realised the strike had actually found the net.
18-year old Kisiel, making his league debut for The Scholars made a confident early save from Darryl Proffitt, as the Shropshire side looked to avenge the FA Cup defeat against Chasetown last month.
Chasetown had two half shouts for penalties for handball their only real effort in the first part of the game was a Richards Teesdale header a whisker wide of the upright following a corner.
Kisiel was again called into action to make a fine stop to deny Nick Porter, but it was Chasetown who had a golden opportunity before half time to take the lead. Gary Hay was pushed inside the box and Referee Mr Steward had no hesitation to point to the penalty spot.
Skipper Teesdale assumed responsibility for the kick but his effort to Damien Stevens’ right was saved, with Stevens pouncing on the rebound to deny Teesdale at the second attempt. It was the last action in the game for the Market Drayton goalkeeper. Stevens, who had been sent off in the cup tie in September, received a serious injury leaving the field clutching the top of his left arm in some discomfort. An ambulance was called for with some reports suggesting Stevens had broken his collar bone. Former Chasetown defender Mattie Cohen (who had replaced Stevens in goal in the cup match) again took over between the posts.
After the break, Market Drayton took control in the early part culminating in the wonder goal from Humphries just short of the hour.
The home side, however, much to the disappointment of the home crowd, never really looked like troubling Cohen. Losing forward Gary Hay through injury at the start of the second half, the Scholars barely created a chance after the break. The closest Craig Harris’ men came to an equaliser was a few minutes before the end when Kisiel’s long goal kick was flicked on by substitute Theo Robinson. When defender JJ Bailey missed the ball, Paul Sullivan reacted quickly, but in his attempt to round Cohen, he failed to get a decent connection with the ball and the keeper tidied up the danger.
Chasetown: Kisiel, Downes, Jackson, Farmer, Bate, Teesdale, Smith, Saunders (Sullivan, 67 mins), Hay (Robinson, 52 mins), Rickards, Maguire (Tulloch, 73 mins)
Other subs: Bryan, Ashton (not used)
Market Drayton Town: Stevens (McMullen, 42), Sweatnam, Connor, Cohen, Bailey, Blake, Porter (Johnson, 56 mins), Humphries (Rodgers, 76 mins), Fox, Davies, Proffitt
Other subs: Ryan, Cooke (not used)