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Chasetown aim to avoid FA Cup upset after "nightmare" opening week

By Matt Maher | Grassroots | Published:

Chasetown will aim to prevent a nightmare first week of the season being capped with a giant-killing tomorrow when they head to Wednesfield in the FA Cup.

Chasetown FC

The Scholars have experienced a start to the season like no other, losing Ollie Hayward to a broken leg in last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Mossley, before two players sensationally quit the club DURING Tuesday’s loss at Runcorn Linnets.

Brothers Joe and Mile O’Reilly both stormed out at half-time following a bust-up with boss Scott Dundas.

The manager will also be without Ryan Wynter for tomorrow’s preliminary round tie at Amos Lane, after the striker was sent-off against Mossley.

Dundas said: “In the space of seven days I’ve lost four players. It’s not exactly ideal.

“Ollie suffered a double leg break in the game against Mossley. A really nasty injury.

“Then we had the incident against Runcon. I made the decision to take Joe off at half-time and he wasn’t happy. His brother then decided he didn’t want to play anymore either.

“It is football and it happens – though I have to say I’ve never experienced anything quite like that before.

“It doesn’t bother me. I just think it is poor behaviour, letting your team-mates and the supporters down like that.”

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Chasetown, still the lowest ranked team to ever reach the third round proper, have no shortage of cup pedigree themselves.

Yet at this stage of the competition, they are very much the hunted, against a club who play two levels below them in the West Midlands Premier Division.

The small matter of a £2,890 prize for the winners of the tie adds another layer of drama.

“It’s a massive game for everyone,” said Dundas. “It isn’t very often we go into a game classed as favourites. We know we are in for a tough afternoon.

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Wednesfield joint boss Danny Carter, meanwhile, has the hunger for more FA Cup glory.

Carter is no stranger to success in the world’s oldest cup competition, having been captain of the Wednesfield team which thrashed Rugby Town 5-1 on the way to the second qualifying round eight years ago.

Now in the dugout, he and fellow joint-boss Andrew Carrier want to write another piece of history.

He said: “The run to the second qualifying round eight years ago was incredible and something I will never forget. Now I want that feeling again.

“Beating Chasetown, for me, would be an even bigger achievement.

“There are a couple of players in our team who have also had success in the FA Cup before but a lot of them haven’t.

“I want them to experience it. There is nothing quite like this competition. We’ll be sitting the lads down before the game, making sure they know what it means.”

Wednesfield will be without Shaquille Lee following his red card in last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Wolves Casuals, while Brad Sharman is away.

Walsall Wood, who beat Worcester City on penalties in the extra preliminary round, play host to Shropshire outfit Whitchurch Alport.

Elsewhere, an all-Midland League Premier contest sees Stourport Swifts take on Sporting Khalsa.

The visitors, managed by Ian Rowe, head into the tie on the back of two straight league victories.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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