Spennymoor Town: Gould, Williams, Curtis,
Brogan, Ramshaw, Anderson, Chandler, Taylor (Boyes 87),
Hall (Tuton 75), Johnson (Agnew 68). Subs not used: Thackray,
Elliott. Chester: Shenton, Thomson, Grand, Howson,
Livesey, McKenna (Deane Smalley 77), Jackson (Mooney 60),
Roberts, McAllister (Green 46), Burton, Waring. Subs not
used: Mahon, Waters. Referee: J.Bell.
Roberts missed a penalty as Chester were beaten at Spennymoor
and as a result drop out of the play off places.
New signing George Waring made a debut for his home town
club while Scott Burton returned to the midfield following
a long injury lay-off.
It was an even opening period on the sloping Brewery Field
ground with the Blues defence coping with the both the
slope and swirling wind well, however a defence splitting
through ball on 25 minutes saw Glen Taylor race through
on goal but Grant Shenton pulled off a fine save to smother
away his shot.
A minute later an identical through ball saw Ryan Hall
advance on goal, he rounded Shenton to score into an empty
Chester made a change at the break with George Green coming
on for Sean McAllister as they attacked down the slope
for the second half.
Ten minutes after the restart the Blues were handed a
lifeline as James Curtis fouled Waring in the box and
Chester were awarded a penalty.
Roberts’ low spot-kick was well saved by Matthew
Gould in the Moors goal with the rebound falling to Green
who headed it over the bar.
The Blues continued to press, Burton saw a header flash
just wide following a Simon Grand cross. Dan Mooney replaced
Bradley Jackson moments before Taylor almost added a second
goal shooting just wide when well placed.
The home striker wasn’t to be denied though and
ten minutes from time Taylor shook off the attentions
of Dan Livesey to shoot past Shenton to wrap up all three
dominated for long periods but paid for their missed chances
with a late Curzon Ashton goal to inflict their first
defeat of the year.
The Blues were without both strikers Akwasi Asante and
Anthony Dudley through injury, in came Ben McKenna who
made his debut after signing from Bradford (Park Avenue)
Chester started brightly against a side which had won
their three previous games, with Simon Grand shooting
wide after just three minutes after good link-up play
from Lloyd Marsh-Hughes and Craig Mahon. Moments later
a great save from Cameron Mason denied McKenna a debut
goal tipping his curling shot onto the bar.
Don Mooney and McKenna both went close again, and Grand
saw a header tipped over the bar, as Chester continued
to press for an opening goal.
The last chance of the half fell to the visitors who almost
snatched the lead through Lewis Reilly whose close range
effort was well saved from Grant Shenton in the home goal.
The Blues continued to press after the break as Grand
saw another header cleared off the line and pressure almost
saw Mohamud Ali head into his own net!
Fifteen minutes from time The Nash caught Chester on the
break to score the only goal of the game, Oliver Crankshaw
dispossed Grand in midfield before laying the ball off
wide to Luke Wall who crossed for Oliver Crankshaw to
score past a stranded Shenton.
Halls returned to the Deva with Guiseley as their captain.
His inside information led him to make the teams change
ends when he won the toss, to irritate the home fans no
doubt. His free kick on the left, awarded for a debatable
handball, found the head of veteran Kayode Odejayi who
found ample room to head firmly past a stranded Shenton.
But Halls’ afternoon went downhill shortly before
half time when he was dismissed for a reckless tackle
on Gary Roberts which had the main stand baying for a
red card. After consulting her linesman, the referee duly
Chester had begun brightly and seemed capable of getting
behind the visitors’ defence which looked shaky.
Dudley was put through but took too long to get his shot
away and his effort was stymied by a last ditch tackle.
Lions’ forwards Liburd and Odejayi were a handful
on the break and Liburd might have done better when he
got through on goal only to curl his shot wide of the
Mahon was brought down on the edge of the box as City
strove to weave a way through but the free kick came to
nothing and then Deane Smalley shot narrowly over. New
signing McAllister looked neat in City’s midfield
and whipped in one superb cross from the right which just
eluded the head of Dudley and the lunge of Mahon.
Blues had the whole of the second half to play against
just the ten men of the visitors but struggled to find
a way through an increasingly stubborn defence. They did
manage a breakthrough after ten second half minutes when
Jackson ran strongly down the right and cut along the
line but his low cross was cleared. Roberts picked up
the loose ball and twisted deftly to hang up an inviting
cross for Dudley who headed home the equaliser.
But the winning goal that Blues’ supporters craved
did not materialise. Youngsters Waters and Brown were
thrown on in place of the out-of-sorts Mooney and the
tiring Smalley but despite flashes of skill they could
not unlock a the Guiseley defence either. To relieve the
pressure the Lions had the ever-dangerous twin outlet
of Liburd and Odejayi and sought to make the most of set-
pieces. Kingsley James – whose beard has grown immensely
since he was here last season – launched a couple
of free kicks (similar to the pass which found Ben Heneghan
THAT sublime time a few years ago) but Howson and Livesey
marshalled the defence well.
The visitors seem to be specialists at drawing games at
the moment and went away with another point to their tally.
They would have been the happier of the two teams this
afternoon. City will see this as a missed opportunity
but in all honesty did not do enough to win, the lack
of a cutting edge and inconsistent play meant that they
had to be content with a draw.
Two goals from Nathan Brown and further efforts from George
Green and Iwan Murray see Chester through to the third
round of the Cheshire Senior Cup.Saturday
5 January FC United of Manchester 0 Chester
2 Conference National North
Attendance: 2,260 Half Time: 0-1
FC United of Manchester: Allinson, Morton,
Richards (McDowell-Jallou 82), O’Halloran, Lynch,
Wallen (Donohue 64), Simoes, Winter, Sharp, Willoughby,
Banister. Subs not used: Palinkas, Potts, Brierley. Chester: Shenton, Howson, Grand, Livesey,
Jackson, Mooney (Waters 64), Mahon, Roberts, Noble (Marsh-Hughes
46), Green, Dudley. Subs not used: Moran, Deane Smalley,
Murray. Referee: Dean Hulme.
Goals from Anthony Dudley and Gary Roberts bring a first
away win since September.
Chester picked up their first point of the festive season
with a hard earned draw against Southport.
The Sandgrounders started well and it took a Simon Grand
block in the opening minutes to deny Devarn Green a shot
on goal, at the other end former Blue Ryan Astles was
well placed to clear a Matty Waters cross shot off the
line to deny the Blues an opening goal.
The best chance of the half fell to another former Chester
player Jordan Archer who failed to connect with a Jack
Sampson cross with the goal at his mercy, moments before
the interval the same striker was denied by a smart save
from Grant Shenton.
Dan Mooney just failed to meet an Anthony Dudley cross
as Chester finished the half strong. The home side enjoyed
plenty of possession in the second period without really
troubling Dan Hanford in the Port goal.
Chester introduced both Lloyd Marsh Hughes and Adam Dawson
from the bench for the final ten minutes but only had
a Craig Mahon effort blocked in the box following a goalmouth
scramble to show for their efforts.