Worsnop, Higgins (Kay 76), Heneghan, Brown, Charnock,
Mahon, Abbott (Hobson 60), James, Rooney, McConville,
Hughes (G.Roberts 63). Subs not used: Viscosi, Peers. Woking: Crowe, Ricketts, Jones, Saah,
Arthur, Goddard (Banya 68), Payne, Murtagh, Betsy, Rendell,
Odubabe (Sole 74). Subs not used: Little, Nutter, Oyeleke. Referee: Richard Wigglesworth (Doncaster).
poor run of results at home continued as they lost out
to the odd goal in five against play-off chasing Woking.
But it took a world class finish from midfielder Josh
Payne to seal the match after the Blues had twice fought
back to equalise. Payne volleyed the winner from outside
of the box into the top corner with just six minutes of
the ninety remaining.
Payne along with Murtagh dominated the midfield battle
today even though City began with five across the middle
as Steve Burr experimented once again with their formation.
It meant that Chester began with three across the back
– Brown returning to link up with Heneghan and Charnock,
the latter on the left. Higgins was pushed forward as
a right wing back. City looked uncomfortable defending
on the right as a result with the Cards appearing to have
an extra man over that side initially. Goddard was given
too much room and caused panic in the Blues’ defence.
Rendell netted but was just offside.
Charnock was yellow carded after just five minutes for
a late challenge on the veteran Betsy. It was a mistake
that proved costly later in the game. The visitors continued
to capitalise on some sloppy passing by Chester who could
not hold on to the ball long enough to cause their opponents
Once again Woking attacked down their left and Goddard’s
prodded pass into the box took a small deflection which
caused Worsnop and Charnock to hesitate. Rendell nipped
in between them to score.
Both teams tried to contend
with the difficulties caused by a swirling wind, which
if anything was at Chester’s backs in the first
half. Heneghan made a sweeping wind-assisted pass out
to Mahon on the left and he found McConville, operating
in central attack along with Hughes. McConville’s
low cross-shot was spilled by Crowe, Mahon nipped in
and seemed to take an age to bring the ball under control
but he turned and twisted and eventually clipped it
past the keeper for a timely equaliser for the Blues.
A clumsy mistake by Higgins gave away a corner to the
Cards early in the second half and led to a spell of
prolonged pressure. In an untidy game Woking were still
in the ascendancy as they pressed City relentlessly.
Charnock seemed to get the ball trapped under his feet
and was robbed of possession by Betsy and the Blues
defender received a second yellow card for bringing
his man down on the edge of the box. Worsnop saved magnificently
from Payne’s resulting free kick.
The Cardinals made their man advantage tell when Jones
headed a corner at the far post across goal for Rendell
to nod past Worsnop. Chester would now struggle to get
on equal terms as Hughes had been sacrificed after Charnock’s
dismissal as Roberts came on to shore up the defence.
Hobson had come on earlier in place of Abbott as McConville
It was Hobson who won a vital free kick as he turned
Arthur and beguiled the defender into bringing him down
and conceding a yellow card to boot. Mahon whipped the
free kick in only to be cleared for a corner by Jones’
diving header. Rooney took the corner from the right
and Heneghan timed his clever run to perfection as he
headed down and just inside the far post. It looked
as though City might after all claim a point until,
five minutes later, Payne struck with his worldie finish.
Many in the main stand sportingly applauded one of the
finest goals scored at the Deva in many seasons. It
was disappointing to lose after City had worked hard
to get back in the game but fans can afford to be generous
from a securely mid-table vantage point.
21 March Alfreton
Town 1 Chester 1
Football Conference Premier
Attendance: 857 (269 Chester) Half Time 1-0
Mooney, Graham, Howe, Lenighan, Wood, Rowe-Turner, Johnston
(Speight 55), Thanoj, Shaw, Ironside, Hawley. Subs not
used: Courtney, Howell, Leesley, Heaton. Chester: Worsnop, Higgins, Kay, Rooney
(Peers74), G.Roberts (Charnock 74), Heneghan, James, Abbott
(McConville 46), Mahon, Hughes, McBurnie. Subs not used:
Viscosi, Hobson. Referee: Colin Lymer (Hampshire).
Ben Heneghan equaliser two minutes from time brings a
point from relegation threatened Alfreton Town. Manager
Steve Burr made one change from the side surprisingly
beaten at home by Dartford bringing in Gareth Roberts
who replaced Ibou Touray, while Tom Peers was recalled
from his loan spell at Marine and started on the bench.
Alfreton had won their previous four matches which has
seen them escape the bottom four relegation places. They
almost took the lead in the opening minute as Karl Hawley
saw his header cleared off the Blues goal line by Heneghan.
Jason Mooney in the home goal produced a save to deny
John Rooney before the home side opened the scoring midway
through the half as Tom Shaw’s effort from 25 yards
gave Jon Worsnop, playing against his former club, no
chance in goal.
A well time tackle from Michael
Kay prevented the home side from doubling their lead
as the home side pressed. Chester responded through
Rooney who saw an effort beat Mooney but come back off
With Chester struggling to make
a breakthrough Burr brought on Peers and Kieran Charnock
for Rooney and Roberts midway through the second period.
Ryan Higgins saw a long range
free-kick fly just wide and Ollie McBurnie saw an effort
blocked before the Blues forced the late equaliser as
Heneghan headed home Sean McConville’s right wing
The Blues almost snatched all three
points as Mooney saved a Higgins effort in added time.
the exhilaration of Saturday’s comeback against
Grimsby this was a hugely disappointing performance and
result against struggling Dartford.
Blues had worked hard, whilst never really getting into
top gear, against well-disciplined opponents and eventually
succeeded in breaking the deadlock when McBurnie glanced
home a brilliant header from Mahon’s right wing
cross shortly into the second half. Infuriatingly they
held the lead for less than a minute as Green appeared
in space on the edge of the box to flick the ball over
Worsnop for an immediate equaliser.
So it was back to square one with City striving to find
a way through serried ranks of defenders as the Darts
once more got at least nine men behind the ball. They
also played it around well when they got hold of it and
shortly after equalising Crawford then struck the bar
with a curling shot.
City’s best chance of forging ahead again fell to
James as Mahon’s cross was flicked on by McBurnie
and landed at the midfielder’s feet on the edge
of the six yard box. Instead of shooting, however, James
took an extra touch and was closed down by a Dartford
Rooney tried an effort from outside the box but was woefully
inaccurate and then he and Abbott were replaced shortly
afterwards by McConville and Richards respectively but
neither could help find a way through the visitors’
defence. Richards indeed had a cameo nightmare –
being brushed off the ball with ease every time he had
it. From one such incident the visitors broke away to
win a corner in the final minute. It resulted in Kingsley
James deflecting the ball past Worsnop at the near post
for an own goal.
The contrast with last Saturday could not have been greater.
The sense of anti-climax was palpable save a grudging
admiration for Dartford who were desperate for the points
and had held to their game plan with steely determination.
fans came en masse to the Deva sporting jester hats –
part of a themed fancy dress run in to the end of the
season as they push for promotion – but it was City
who had the last laugh as they forced an unlikely draw
from a losing position.
Steve Burr rang a few changes to the team with Touray
and Richards lining up down the left and Rooney dropping
to the bench and Hughes starting the match. With their
massed fans urging them on Grimsby pressed Chester back.
Ollie Palmer and Jon-Paul Pittman looked lively as did
former City loanee (From Trnamere) Jack Mackreth down
the right. It was from this direction that the opening
goal was worked as Palmer latched on to Pittman’s
flick and deftly lifted the ball over Worsnop.
City tried to respond and Hughes in particular looked
threatening down Chester’s right but Grimsby gave
little room for manoeuvre and would not allow Blues to
dwell on the ball. Thomson found McBurnie in the box with
a rifled pass and the youngster seemed to be bundled over
before he could shoot but the referee waived away appeals
for a penalty. Shortly after this Thomson had to be replaced
by Mahon after picking up a knock. At the other end Arnold
lifted his volley over the bar to the relief of the home
Following the break Chester began to dominate as they
looked for an equaliser and began to hold the ball better
as they applied pressure to the visitors. But then the
Mariners retaliated and pinned the Blues back in their
own half. Eventually a shooting opportunity was carved
out for Arnold and his effort hit the post. Pittman was
quickest to react and turned home the rebound for a second
goal for Grimsby.
The travelling hordes were bouncing now and even indulged
in a Poznan celebration. But Chester dug in and began
to sweep forward again. With fifteen minutes left they
were rewarded when Higgins overlapped and crossed low
into the box. The ball eluded McBurnie but there was Heneghan
to turn it in and the home support began to believe that
the Blues could get something from the game.
Rooney, having replaced Richards, was turning the tide
in City’s favour and it fell to him to stroke home
the penalty that resulted after Hughes was tripped by
Robertson as he cut in from the right. The equaliser set
up a grandstand finish as both sides went full pelt for
a winning goal. Worsnop pulled off a couple of incredible
saves as the ball pinged around in the area. Hobson came
on and had a good chance to score but his shot was beaten
away by McKeown.
Chester don’t seem to do draws very often this season
but this is the third time they have come back from two-nil
down to draw 2-2 and epitomised the never-say-die attitude
that Steve Burr seems to have instilled in his Blue Boys.
Thomson opened his Chester account on his full debut with
the winning goal at Plainmoor as the Blues bounced back
from the disappointing derby day defeat at the weekend.
Manager Steve Burr made three changes from the side that
lost at Wrexham. Injuries forced out Kieran Charnock and
Sean McConville with Michael Kay and Kingsley James returning
to the starting X1.
Thomson was in the action from the start forcing a save
from Martin Rice in the Gulls goal in the opening minute,
before Ryan Bowman responded for the home team heading
just over after a smart move.
A loose back pass let in Bowman who rounded Jon Worsnop
but saw his effort blocked by the back tracking Blues
defence. Great work from John Rooney set up Thomson who
controlled with his chest before seeing a volley well
saved by Rice.
The Blues woodwork was rattled as Luke Young went close
from a free-kick. Moments later Chester struck s a ball
over the home defence saw Thomson race through, take a
touch to control the ball before firing past Rice.
A great save from Worsnop denied Young at the start of
the second period and Louis Briscoe headed wide when well
placed from a Bowman cross. Minutes later it was Bowman’s
turn to head wide as the home side pressed for an equaliser.
Oliver McBurnie almost doubled Chester's lead with a header
that brought out a fine save from Rice. His opposite number
Worsnop once again pulled off a fine save to deny Young
diving low at the near post to preserve Chester’s
The home side pressed with a series of crosses in the
final minutes but the Chester defence held firm to pick
up three welcome points.
was a disappointing display from Chester that saw an early
Wrexham goal claim all three points. The Blues, without
a match for two weeks, were second best throughout the
first half failing to really test Andy Coughlin in the
home goal during the 45 minutes.
Manager Steve Burr made one change from the side that
lost to Eastleigh on the last outing with on-loan striker
Oliver McBurnie returning to the starting X1 at the expense
of Craig Hobson who started on the bench.
Wrexham had Chester on the back foot from the start with
Kieran Charnock handily placed to clear off the line after
a Louis Moult fifth minute effort had crept through Jon
Worsnop’s legs towards goal.
The only decisive goal of the game came three minutes
later as a through ball from Connor Jennings on the right
found on-loan Walsall striker Kieron Morris on the left
edge of the box, he controlled the ball before firing
past Worsnop into the bottom corner of the net.
Chester responded with two efforts as Charnock heading
wide following a corner and McBurnie seeing an effort
charged down on the edge of the box.
The home side created
several chances to double their advantage but found
Worsnop in good form saving well from a Kyle Storer
Morris missed a great chance to double the Dragons lead
as he shot wide after being sent through one-on-one
with Worsnop. The final action of the half saw Worsnop
make another fine save to deny Rob Evans a certain goal.
Chester started the second period brighter creating
a couple of chances, Gareth Roberts forced Coughlin
into a fine save from his stinging volley and then the
shot stopper palmed away a goalbound header from McBurnie.
Manager Steve Burr made changes bringing on Matty Brown
and Kingsley James (for Charnock and Brad Abbott), but
it was Wrexham who were finishing stronger. Worsnop
blocked a Wes York effort with his legs as the home
side saw the game out without any serious threat from
the Blues forward line.