|28 April 1990
Chester City 2 Rotherham
Football League Division Three
Scorers for Chester Gary Bennett 16, Graham Abel 25.
Chester City: Stewart, Butler, Woodthorpe, Hamilton, Abel, Lightfoot,
Pugh, Barrow, Dale, Bennett (Painter 75), Croft. Sub not used: Reeves.
Rotherham United: O’Hanlon, Pickering, Cash,
Grealish, Johnson, Robinson, Buckley, Goodwin, Williamson,
Mendonca, Hazel. Subs not used: Evans, Barnsley.
Referee: M.Peck (Kendall)
CITY BOW OUT IN STYLE
Sizzling City snuffed out the
shadow of relegation that has cast even more gloom over
doomed Sealand Road.
And today it’s time to salute
the side that pulled Chester away from the dreaded
drop zone. They are the men who should be in the spotlight
every week rather than the behind-the-scenes businessmen
plotting the club’s future.
Rotherham, in with a sniff of the
play-offs, had everything to play for themselves. But
they were packed off home as the unwelcome gatecrashers
at a celebration party.
It was difficult to believe that
they were the side that roasted Chester 5-0 back in
November. Five months on and the boot was on the other
McNally had the luxury of an unchanged side but shuffled
his pack with Colin Woodthorpe shifting to right back
to rope in John Buckley and later Dez Hazel. Woodthorpe
stuck to his task superbly and there was a polished
look all round from a defence which has had its fair
share of jitters this season.
Billy Stewart still had plenty to
do, pulling off five excellent saves mainly from Clive
City could have been three up in
six minutes after a fuel-injected start from the blocks.
Brian Croft, revelling in front of the buzzing crowd,
cut loose from a Graham Abel hooked clearance and flashed
a shot inches wide. Chris Lightfoot headed over the
bar and Gary Bennett did likewise as the blue shirts
I thought we could be in real
trouble when we didn’t put them away. It starts
to nag at you when you miss clear opportunities like
we did, defender David Hamilton said later.
And skipper Graham Barrow admitted: I
was relieved when we put one in. It worried me that
we didn’t score early on.
Bennett headed City in front after
15 minutes powering a Croft free kick in after keeper
Kelham O’Hanlon flapped at thin air.
Croft was provider for Abel nine
minutes later with a smartly struck corner which the
big man smashed past O'Hanlon. McNally had done his
homework and it was blatantly obvious Rotherham couldn’t
cope with quality set-piece pressure.
Stewart’s acrobatics prevented
any comeback before half-time and 21 seconds after
the restart Carl Dale, busy and dangerous throughout,
pushed a shot wide of O'Hanlon. Croft cannoned a drive
off defender Ronnie Robinson with ten minutes left
but the celebrations had already started.
Scenes at the finish were reminiscent
more of promotion than avoiding the drop as dazzling
camera flashes welcomed the players off the pitch for
the last time. It was a truly fitting way to play out
the last rites at The Stadium.
Harry McNally takes
the ovation from the crowd following the game
and City’s survival.
Report by Nigel Wiskar from
the Chester Tonight newspaper