Match Report -
Super Sub Keeper Keps Celtic at bay
By Deborah Taylor

In torrential rain, both teams provided a cracking match, with substitute Bradley Clarkson the star of the show, denying Celtic over and again.

The opening quarter of an hour saw Luke Hewitson Celtic’s star, denying Danny Glover and Daniel O’Callaghan with excellent stops, the latter a flying save. The hosts were on the ascendancy, and when Glover beat Hewitson, he found Jordan Burton on the post to deny him with a stuck out leg. James Wren had to be substituted and Bradley Clarkson came on. Perhaps Celtic sensed the young keeper could be beaten and the tide began to turn. Max Harrop and Jack Irlam both saw Clarkson prove he was up to the task. Irlam had the beating of him during a set-piece in a crowded box. With the goal at his mercy, he stabbed the ball wide, after Clarckson had blocked Max Leonard. Irlam’s effort from the edge of the box off Leonard’s pullback should also have been a goal, but saw Clarckson at full stretch. When Irlam burst through onto another free kick, his header smacked against the bar, keeping the scores level at the interval.

Again, Chasetown started strongly. Again Hewitson performed well, providing his own full stretch save to deny John Atherton. On the hour mark, after the introduction of Matty Bryan, he set up Dwyer for a cracking shot Clarkson could only block. Harrop pounced, but Thomas Unwin got across to block on the line. As it came back to Harrop, Clarkson was there again to push his shot past the post. Dwyer’s overhead kick on a superb cross from Leonard flew towards the top corner, but Clarkson flew too, again denying Celtic. It wasn’t all one way traffic, and with Hewitson well out of position from a free kick he took, Jordan Evans tried his luck from his own half, but missed.

Going into the last ten minutes, it was anyone’s game. Twice in a minute Clarkson denied cracking efforts from Dwyer, who thumped the ground in frustration at the athletic youngster. Scott Wara’s header thumped against the bar, coming back to Dwyer who dove at the ball, heading goalward. But Clarkson was there again.

After failing to properly clear a corner, a second corner came in, with a mass of players in Celtic’s box. Bodies on the line and tackles flew in, but somehow Danny Glover found a gap and forced the ball in to give Chasetown the edge with very little time remaining.

And Celtic did attack. In waves. Matty Bryan almost steered his header in, but yes, Clarkson denied him too. Deep into stoppage time, a Celtic corner saw Brandon Newell stooping to head home, his shot agonisingly wide. From a free kick, again Hewitson came out, and this time Jack Langston tried his luck, completing the crossbar challenge by hitting the woodwork from distance to keep the scoreline 1-0.

1Wren, James  > 13
2Hayward, OliverYellow Card 
3Evans, Jordan  
4Taylor, Kris  
5Unwin, Thomas  
6Shaw, Ryan  
7Yates, Luke  > 66
8Langston, JackYellow Card 
9Glover, Danny  
10O'Callaghan, DanielYellow Card 
11Atherton, John  > 72
12McGinnell, Luke  
14Dunn, Joseph  
15Lund, Benjamin  < 66
16Dixon, Max  < 72
17Clarkson, Bradley  < 13