were knocked out of the end of season play-offs after
an entertaining game hinged on a controversial penalty
and red card for John Johnston early in the second half.
The Blues had little under two weeks to prepare for the
match and were of course without the now departed leading
scorer Akwasi Asante. Captain Gary Roberts was another
There was a fast scrappy start to the game, the first
competitive one since the defeat on 7 March at Bradford
(Park Avenue), and Louis Gray was forced into the first
save of the match as he did well to push a Josh Hancock
shot onto the bar and out for a corner.
Alty, with five ex-Blues in their line-up, went close
again soon after as one of them, Dan Mooney, found the
side netting from just outside the area.
Chester grew more into the game and striker Danny Elliott
had a couple of chances, first forcing a save from Tony
Thompson with a 25-yarder, then seeing his close range
header from a superb Joel Taylor cross kept out.
Simon Grand’s misplaced back pass saw Mooney race
through on goal but Gray raced out to deny the midfielder.
Eleven minutes before the break the Robins broke the deadlock.
Bradley Jackson was dispossessed wide outside the area,
the ball fell to Hancock whose long-range effort slipped
under the diving arms of Gray into the net.
As the half drew to a close, Grand saw a header tipped
over the bar by Thompson.
Chester started the second half with purpose, forcing
three corners in as many minutes but the game hinged on
53 minutes when Altrincham broke quickly with Jordan Hulme
putting through Mooney, Johnston was left chasing and
in his efforts to get his tackle, in Mooney went down
in the box. Referee David McNamara pointed straight to
the penalty spot and produced a red card for Johnston.
Elliott Durrell stepped up and sent Gray the wrong way
to double the lead. Blues managers Anthony Johnson and
Bernard Morley, made a double substitution bringing on
Anthony Dudley and Gary Stopforth, for Elliott and Scott
It got worse for Chester just six minutes later as Durrell
was sent away down the left, cut inside and beat Gray
from a narrow angle.
Chester responded quickly as good work by Dudley ion the
right saw the striker square the ball for George Glendon
who shot past Thompson to pull a goal back.
Two more substitutions were made with Matty Waters and
Matty Hughes coming on for Taylor and George Waring. Waters
went so close to adding a second as his neat curling free-kick
found the wide netting by the top corner.
Eleven minutes from time, Waters broke down the left and
his perfect cross was met by the head of Hughes who made
it 3-2. It was all Chester in the final stages as the
hosts looked visibly shaken by the ten-man fight back.
With Danny Livesey taking on the role of makeshift centre
forward Chester pressed, but, despite seven minutes added
time, couldn’t find that elusive third goal to force
a penalty shoot-out.