Coburn, Densmore, Havern, Hall, Doughty (Leather 84),
Watmore, Rodgers, Lacey (Moult 46), Brooke (Richman 67),
Reeves, Lawrie. Subs not used: Mitchley, Reid.
Chester: Danby, Baynes, Taylor, Linwood, Mackin,
Hankin, Powell, A.Williams (McGinn 52), Howard (Clancy
61), Mills, Jarman (M.Williams 64). Subs not used: Horan,
Proudlock. Referee: Darren England (Barnsley).
Chester’s flying start to the season continued with
a 4-2 victory at Altrincham in an entertaining Bank Holiday
encounter which saw loanee Ben Mills on target once again.
The Blues, oddly enough playing in green, were 2-0 up
inside the first 22 minutes when poacher Mills struck
twice. His first came from a header when he was almost
unmarked in the box, and the second from another Nathan
Jarman cross. This time he collected it at his feet, had
space to turn and slotted it home – making it time
to cue the “Millsbot” celebration again.
But the game at Moss Lane was far from over when Altrincham’s
Damian Reeves hit an amazing half-volley which John Danby
had no chance to save. So it was 2-1 at half-time, and
not long after the re-start it was 2-2. Altrincham’s
second goal came when Danby failed to hold onto a strike
and James Lawrie grabbed the equaliser.
Chester’s third goal came from a deft show of skill
by captain Michael Powell. He collected a good pass from
Marc Williams, shook off two Altrincham defenders and
coolly slotted the ball home. And Chester made sure of
going home with the three points when a square pass to
Matty McGinn gave him the chance to unleash his trademark
strike from distance.
The result means Chester are now unbeaten in 20 league
games – the last one being against Hednesford Town
in January. There’s a long way to go to beat the
31-match run of season 1908/09, but modern-day Blues fans
will settle for the way the team has made a start to season
Striker Ben Mills is on target again as Chester make it
three wins from three games with a win in a tough encounter
over Neil Young’s former club Colwyn Bay. Manager
Young made three changes from the side that beat Workington
in midweek as Matty McGinn and Dom Collins were brought
into the defence and Sean Clancy made his full debut in
hit the post after only five minutes as Antoni Sarcevic’s
through ball was half cleared b ythe Bay defence to
the striker whose first time shot beat former Chester
‘keeper Chris Sanna but not the woodwork.
Chester took the lead
on 27 minutes as Dave Hankin was given too much time
to run at the Bay midfield, he sent a perfect through
ball for Jarman to run through on goal and score past
Sanna for his first goal for the Blues.
The lead was short lived though as
the visitors struck back within two minutes as former
Everton-trainee Kevin Holsgrove powered through the
Chester defence before poking the ball under the advancing
John Danby for his third goal of the season.
The visitors had a great chance to
rake the lead after the break as Danny Lloyd found himself
in the area with just Danby to beat but shot straight
at the ‘keeper’s legs and the ball was cleared,
much to the relief of the home fans.
Bay were made to pay for the miss
as Chester took the lead on 73 minutes. As Bay attacked
Kevin McKenna dwelt too long on the ball allowing Jarman
to nip in and dispossess him of it, a quick pass sent
McGinn away down the left and the full-back crossed
for substitute Mills to just beat Sanna to the ball
and score with a neat touch.
It was the visitors’ turn
to be denied by the woodwork in the closing stages as
Lee Davey hit the bar following a Luke Denson free-kick,
and soon after Frank Sinclair just failed to get a touch
to another dangerous Danson cross.
22 August Chester
1 Workington 0
Attendance: 3,007 Half Time 0-0
Danby, Baynes, Horan, Linwood, Mackin, Hankin (Collins
22), Sarcevic, A.Williams, Howard (McGinn 77), M.Williams
(Mills 58), Jarman. Subs not used: Powell, Clancy.
Workington: Taylor, Cowperthwaite, Rowntree,
May, Andrews (Wraighte 80), Boyd (Vaulks 65), Sloan (Todd
68), Heswon, Wright, Arnison, McLuckie. Subs not used:
Simpson, Scott. Referee: Simeon Lucas (Darwen).
maintained their winning start to the season as they
followed up Saturday’s victory with a narrow well
fought win against Workington. A midweek crowd of just
over 3,000, who paid a reduced admission in celebration
of the opening of the ground 20 years ago, saw a quality
second half strike from substitute Ben Mills separate
Manager Neil Young, serving the second
game of a three match touchline ban, named an unchanged
side from the weekend, and, like at Oxford, Chester
started the game brightly with plenty of pace.
The best chance of the opening period
fell to the visitors as a long through ball bounced
awkwardly for Levi Mackin, as John Danby came out the
loose ball was intercepted by Jonny Wright but the Reds
striker was unable to steer his lobbed effort on target
and Danby recovered to save.
Chester were forced into a change
midway through the opening period as Dave Hankin was
forced off with an injury to be replaced by Dom Collins.
Chester had the better of the closing
staged before the break as Marc Williams headed a dangerous
Wes Baynes corner just wide and the striker also forced
Reds ‘keeper Aaron Taylor into a smart low save
to push his on-target shot wide. Iain Howard and Nathan
Jarman also failed to test Taylor with shots pulled
wide of goal when well placed.
Taylor produced a great save after
the restart to deny a certain Marc Williams goal after
the Chester striker had turned sharply in the area only
to see his effort touched onto the post. Young introduced
Mills for Marc Williams on 58 minutes and just four
minutes later the on-loan striker broke the deadlock.
Wes Baynes sent Jarman away and his
first touch volleyed pass found Mills who rifled the
ball home from ten yards out giving the impressive Taylor
The visitors introduced a couple
of substitutions Danby had to produce the save of the
match to maintain the lead as Gareth Arnison turned
and shot from the edge of the box only for the Chester
‘keeper tip the on-target effort over the bar
and preserve the three hard earned points. League
table after this match
18 August Oxford
City 0 Chester 1
Attendance: 1,025 (800 Chester (est)) Half Time 0-1
800 Chester fans travelled to a sweltering Oxford to
watch the Blues earn three points as they made their
debut in the Conference North.
The afternoon’s goal hero was Iain Howard, who
has now scored for Chester FC in every league they have
played in. His strike found the net in only the second
minute after he pounced on a rebound as Chester put
on the pressure from the start.
There naturally followed a nervous 90 minutes for the
travelling army at Oxford City’s Court Place Farm,
but Chester were always the dominant team and Howard
came close to putting them 2-0 ahead in the second half.
As the first half played out, it was good to see the
new signings put in quality performances. Paul Linwood
came close to scoring from Chester’s first corner
after his header hit the ground, then bounced up and
hit the crossbar.
Dave Hankins and Nathan Jarman looked dangerous throughout
and the Chester side seemed more able to cope with the
hot conditions, cheered on by fans on all sides of the
tidy ground. It took a while to get used to seeing the
team playing in green and one attempted chant of “Green
Army” failed to catch on.
Oxford City didn’t have a realistic chance of
scoring in the first half, with George Horan playing
a captain’s role in the back four, helping ensure
Oxford’s long throw strategies didn’t really
get anywhere. Chester goalkeeper John Danby didn’t
have much to worry about in the first half, apart from
one easy save from an Oxford strike towards the end
of the first 45 minutes.
The home side livened up a bit in the second half, and
soon after the re-start Antoni Sarcevic had to head
the ball off the line after a good move from an Oxford
free kick. But Chester always looked threatening from
set-pieces and Horan came close with a header from a
But it was Howard who came closest to making it two
when his powerful strike hit the post towards the end
of the match. Wes Baynes and Jarman both had earlier
chances saved by Oxford goalkeeper Warren Carter.
New signing Ben Mills came on with three minutes of
normal time to play – although a couple of drink/injury
breaks meant there was still plenty of time for him
to make an impression. He certainly made sure Oxford
were aware of his presence and he looked a threatening
player from the moment he came on.
Diminutive referee Mathew Buonassisi came in for some
criticism from the away fans, but it was hard to see
why after he’d booked Oxford’s star player
Steve Basham for failing to get permission to return
to the pitch after he emerged with a ‘Terry Butcher-style’
head bandage following a clash of heads.
When he blew the whistle for full-time there was a huge
cheer from the Blues supporters. We’re not accustomed
to celebrating a win on the first day of the season
– but we’ll make the most of this one!