Joel bags a brace in seeing off the Scholars
A game of two halves, in as much that Chasetown had the better of the first with Reds the dominant force in the second.
Once again, the value of showing resilience when under the cosh proved crucial with a defence superbly marshalled by Dan Wordsworth getting Reds through a tough opening forty-five minutes.
They then strutted their stuff after the break and emerged convincing winners thanks to an own goal and two Sam Joel gems.
The win was at a cost, though, with Sam Smith sustaining a nasty ankle injury five minutes before half time, resulting in him being stretchered from the pitch.
Belying their lowly position in Evo-Stik South, Chasetown played the game at a high tempo and they went about knocking Workington out of the FA Trophy for a second time with a purpose. But there was to be no repeat of The Scholars’ victory in 2010 and Reds engineered a twenty-sixth win in the competition.
The Staffordshire side had a great opportunity inside the first two minutes but Ryan Wynter headed wide after Nkosi Mzungwana’s teasing cross from the left.
Tom Fowler then made a fine save in Chasetown’s next sortie forward but it proved irrelevant as an assistant’s flag signalled for offside.
Jordan Holt’s pin-point diagonal pass found Scott Allison who, after a sublime first touch, then dragged the ball wide of the target.
Conor Tinnion and Sam Joel then had shots from distance but neither troubled giant home ‘keeper, Curtis Pond.
Chasetown, generally, were having the better of things but couldn’t find a way through a stubborn red-shirted defence.
They almost made the breakthrough just before half-time but Nduna, celebrating his birthday, was thwarted by a crucial Fowler save.
Had the hosts gone in with the lead they probably deserved, who knows what the outcome would have been?
Reds responded to a bit of an ear bashing during the interval and looked far more purposeful offensively.
Soon after the restart, Joel looked a certain scorer until Pond scooped the ball off his toe with a brilliant save at the expense of a corner. But the reprieve was short-lived and Reds opened the scoring after fifty-five minutes via Tinnion’s corner.
In attempting to block Dan Wordsworth’s path to goal, Wynter headed the ball past his own ‘keeper for an unfortunate own-goal.
Rob Wilson almost doubled the advantage immediately but Pond dealt with his accurate free kick.
They did add a second on the hour with Joel finishing off in style after Dav Symington’s clever assist.
Fowler again saved well as Chasetown responded positively with the Reds’ stopper keeping out Nduna’s header via Will Whieldon’s free kick.
When play switched to the other end, a wonderful flowing Workington move culminated in Pond making a double save denying Holt on each occasion.
The inevitable third goal came from Joel, his eleventh of the campaign, in the seventy-eighth minute. He latched onto Allison’s outrageous pass and guided the ball past Pond.
Joel then turned provider with a clever run into the box but his pass across the face of the goal saw Nathan Waterston’s effort rebound off the
foot of Pond’s right hand upright.
The hosts bagged a consolation goal five minutes from the end through substitute George Cater who slotted home after great approach work from Jake Lovatt.
And Fowler made another fine save just before time to preserve the two-goal advantage.
A good afternoon’s work at the picturesque Scholars Ground, tarnished only by Smith’s departure on a stretcher.
Chasetown Pond, Baker, Mzungwana, Flattley (Hayward, 63), O’Neill, O’Reilly, Wynter (Lovatt J, 67), Langston, Nduna, Whieldon (Cater, 79), Cocks. Substitutes – Lovatt C, Sedgley (not used).
Workington Fowler, Douglas, Rowntree, Wordsworth, Smith (Wilson, 40), McLuckie, Symington (Waterston, 76), Holt (Mellen, 83), Allison, Joel, Tinnion. Substitute – Whitehead (not used).
Referee Matthew Law, Coventry
Bookings: Baker, Langston (Chasetown), Holt, Tinnion, Douglas (Workington).