relegation to the Conference North was confirmed following
this home defeat to Tranmere Rovers and Solihull’s
late win at Hartlepool United.
Defender James Jones was ruled out with an ankle injury
so manager Marcus Bignot was forced to replace his with
Dominic Rose while Andy Halls reverted to full-back. Tranmere,
with more supporters in the ground that the Blues, had
the first opportunity as James Norwood met a Connor Jennings
cross to shoot against the bar from 12 yards.
Good work from Vose set up Harry White but the striker
couldn’t get on the end of the teasing cross.
Ben Tollitt twice tested Andy Firth in the chester goal
who produced two smart blocks to deny the Tanmere winger.
Ryan Astles also produced a last ditch tackle to deny
Jennings who looked certain to score from ten yards out.
Ten minutes before the break Tranmere hit the woodwork
again as Jeff Hughes met a corner but as the game entered
stoppage time the visitors took the lead as Andy Cook
met a far post corner and sent a looping header over Firth
into the net.
into the second period White shot high over the bar
with Tom Crawford unmarked and in space to his right.
Moments later Tranmere doubled their lead as Norwood
raced through the Blues defence, who were appealing
for offside, rounded Firth to slot the ball home into
the empty net and complete a miserable afternoon for
by the performance of both sides at Moss Rose on this
wintery Easter Monday, you'd never have believed that
both sides looked destined to be playing their football
two leagues apart in the 2018-19 season.
was never going to be a game of silky football, with
the pitch looking close to either a mudbath or a sandpit
in various patches, and an icy wind whistling down from
the snow-topped hills.
Following Chester's dismal bank holiday
defeat at home against Torquay it seemed like a different
side ran out in front of 262 travelling fans. In fact
the only changes were Tom Crawford and Myles Anderson
replacing Lucas Dawson and Lathaniel Rowe-Turner.
But players like Craig Mahon and Harry
White put on a better display than they had done for
most of the season and ex-Macclesfield player Andy Halls
was definitely playing like he had a point to prove.
The constant boo-ing he got at each touch only seemed
to inspire him!
That said, Chester couldn't find the
net, despite at least three good first half opportunities
for White, as well as James Akintunde shooting over
following a Gary Roberts' corner.
Once Macclesfield went ahead on the
53rd minute, through a Danny Whitehead strike, you did
feel the floodgates might open as usual. But Chester
continued to fight back and were unlucky not to equalise
when a White free kick hit the Macclesfield wall and
fell well for James Jones. His shot was well saved by
Silkmen goalkeeper Shwan Jalal.
The drama wasn't over then as
White had more chances and Chester thought they were
in for a penalty when Crawford appeared to be fouled
in the box. But referee Thomas Bramall ignored the appeals
and Chester's chance of a rare away point slipped away.