Telford United (H) | Guiseley
(H) | Bradford (Park Avenue) (A) | Blyth Spartans
(A) | Southport (H) | Darlington (H)
Chester 1 Guiseley 0
National League North
Attendance: 0 Half Time: 1-0
Booked: Dudley, Morgan.
Sent-off: Grand (since overturned).
Chester: Gray, K.Roberts, Morgan, Weeks, C.Taylor,
Grand, Johnston (Waring 79), Glendon, Bauress (Askew 70),
Dudley (Elliott 90), Clark. Subs not used: Marsh-Hughes,
Guiseley: Wade, Lufudu, Cantrill, Jones,
Bencherif, Parsons (Hey 87), Felix (Haw 87), Butterfield,
Mbeka, Wafula (Gillam 78), Newall. Subs not used: Molokwu,
Referee: Liam Marshall.
Blues edged to their second home win in four days in this
encounter with Guiseley. It was a relief in the end for
City who had to endure the last twenty-three minutes of
normal time and almost seven additional minutes with only
ten men. Simon Grand had been caught in possession on
the half way line and, despite recovering, played a calamitous
cross-field ball which was intercepted by Mbeka for the
Lions. He tried to thread the ball through to Felix on
the right and the Guiseley forward took a tumble outside
the penalty area as Chester defenders rushed back. After
consulting the linesman, referee Marshall awarded a red
card to Grand who was deemed to have tugged Felix back
– and denied him a goal-scoring opportunity.
The award seemed harsh but the video stream was not conclusive
and, in any case, Chester had no choice but to accept
the decision. The Blues brought Askew on to go left back
and Roberts filled in at the centre. Despite the man advantage,
Guiseley were unable to capitalise on their long-throws
or set plays to carve out any decent goal-scoring opportunities.
George Waring also came on to replace John Johnston and
did a sterling job holding possession and winning free
kicks of his own to break up play. One defensive header
from a Guiseley corner even had backspin on it and rolled
along the touchline to tantalise the opposition –
much to the amusement of Callum McIntyre on the commentary
team. Instead Chester managed to negotiate the remaining
minutes well and retained their slender lead until the
It was a lead they had held since the fifth minute when
Kevin Roberts had timed his run to perfection as he met
Brad Bauress’s in-swinging corner and headed the
ball in the goal. Prior to this Connor Taylor, making
his full debut after an encouraging cameo on Saturday,
just failed to convert Weeks’ cross in the first
minute for what would have been a sensational start.
Chester continued to dominate play and create the clearer
openings. The best of all fell to Dudley whose header
was fumbled by Wade but the Lions’ keeper recovered
to complete the save. Guiseley moved the ball around well
too, especially in midfield but didn’t threaten
the goal unduly. Lively full back Lufudu went closest
when his shot hit the angle of post and bar and Felix
also had half a chance when the ball fell to him from
a long-throw but his misdirected shot was cleared by Taylor.
The young loanee from Stoke looked a classy deputy for
the injured Danny Livesey – comfortable in possession
and unafraid to run forward with the ball and launch City
on the counter attack.
Chester moved up to second in the table following the
game – although the discrepancy between teams in
games played gives the whole a rather patchwork feel at
the moment. Nevertheless, forward momentum is being created
by this increasingly impressive group of players –
let’s hope, despite the uncertainty of entering
another nationwide lockdown, they see some reward for
their efforts – much appreciated by their fans as
they watch on from a distance.
Picture © Rick Matthews
Pictures | Match
Chester 3 AFC Telford United
National League North
Attendance: 0 Half Time: 1-0
Booked: Askew, Livesey, Weeks.
Chester: Gray, Morgan, Askew (Elliott 58), K.Roberts,
Livesey (C.Taylor 46), Grand (Waring 58), Weeks, Glendon,
Clark, Dudley, Johnston. Subs not used: Bauress, Goodwin.
AFC Telford United: Griffiths, Vaughan,
Jones, Byrne (Hardy 71), Walker, Bond, Streete, Meppen-Walter,
Davies, Williams (Oswell 65), McHale (Daniels 65). Subs
not used: Lilly, White.
Referee: Daniel Locker.
New Year began for City with a comprehensive win against
Shropshire neighbours Telford. Team selection caused eyebrows
to be raised among City supporters as it looked like four
fullbacks had been picked along with two centre backs.
Clark and Askew, who had replaced Elliott and Bauress,
took up positions in midfield.
The Bucks were still smarting from their Boxing Day loss
to City and tried to play with a higher line and press.
These tactics, however, unravelled on eight minutes when
Weeks’ through ball exposed the visitors to Askew’s
dash forward. As the snow fell increasingly heavily, he
outpaced Meppen-Walter to tuck the ball past the on-rushing
Griffiths to give the Blues the lead. Askew’s first
goal for Chester came just a minute after his first booking
for an overenthusiastic challenge in the Telford area.
Sandwiched in between Jones had a good opportunity to
put Telford ahead when McHale’s ball found him in
space on the left but his shot only troubled the side
Telford were enjoying the lions’ share of possession
but failed to test Gray to any great extent. The nearest
efforts came from Davies who saw his lobbed shot tipped
over and a later one soar over the bar. Chester had a
great chance to double the lead when a counter-attack
found them outnumbering the visitors’ defence by
four to two – but Glendon’s pass pushed Johnston
out too wide and the opportunity evaporated.
As with the previous game against Chorley, the decisive
moment of the match came in first half stoppage time.
This time, however, it went in City’s favour. The
experienced Lee Vaughan went into a challenge with Clark
over-aggressively and was deemed worthy of a red card
by referee Daniel Locker. Livesey and Byrne were booked
in token of their contributions to the scrimmage which
followed the incident – it looked like there were
plenty of other candidates.
With the man advantage Chester – with Weeks and
Glendon excelling once again in the middle – passed
their way to a convincing victory. Two superbly executed
goals from Weeks and then Dudley capped glowing moves.
Dudley, Roberts and Johnston were all involved in the
approach for the second goal which began and concluded
with Weeks as he swept Johnston’s precise cross
into the net. For the third, Glendon found Elliott (on
as a sub for Askew) whose clipped pass out wide was retrieved
by Johnston. The winger found Weeks on the edge of the
box who exchanged passes with Dudley before the latter
fired home his fifth goal in consecutive matches to clinch
the result for City.
By the end of the contest the Bucks were down to nine
men as Brendan Daniels, on as a sub from the 68th minute
had to retire injured and could not be replaced. Telford
had looked a handy side – with arguably more of
the ball in the first half but could not respond once
City had the numerical advantage. So Chester completed
a festive double over Telford and begin to turn their
attention to another home match, re-arranged after the
Covid-break, on Tuesday with Guiseley.
Picture © Rick Matthews
Today’s game at Bradford (Park Avenue) has been postponed because of snow.
|BLUES MOVE SECOND
A sixth minute goal from Kevin Roberts is enough to give Chester a close victory over Guiseley.
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