6 March Chester 0
Dover Athletic 2 Football
Attendance: 1,182 (17 Dover) Half Time: 0-0
Chester: Firth, Halls , Hobson, Astles,
Anderson (Hannah 68), Waters, Roberts, Crawford, Vose,
White, Archer. Subs not used : Jaaskelainen, Jones, Akintunde. Dover Athletic: Walker, Ilesanmi, Gallifuoco,
Parry, Essam, Brundle, Pinnock (Daniel 67), Bird (Jeffrey
62), Lokko, Bellamy (Passley 73), Azeez. Subs not used:
Okosieme, Nortey. Referee: Joe Hull.
snow deposited by the ‘Beast from the East’
meant that Saturday’s match against Bromley was
postponed. Chester resumed their campaign against play-off
chasing Dover and found that they were facing a team of
beasts from the south east. Four bookings in the first
half showed evidence of the visitors’ physical intent.
Two of the yellows might have been adjudged red by another
referee - Lokko for his flying tackle on Roberts and Bellamy
for another rash challenge in particular.
had worked their way back into the game after a sluggish start. Crawford and Waters’
energy in midfield combined with the guile of Roberts and Vose gave City a presence
which began to threaten Dover. Roberts curled a free kick narrowly over the bar.
Walker then saved Archer’s header and parried White’s shot just before
half time from almost point blank range. Athletic had few clear cut chances for
their early possession but applied pressure with a succession of corners as the
It was from a corner that the visitors took the lead
just after the hour. City had given the ball away when pressing down the right
and from the corner conceded, defender Lokko rose to head home in glorious isolation.
Bignot re-arranged the formation as City chased the game. Anderson was withdrawn
for Hannah and the Blues reverted to a back three. The change backfired when Azeez
burst down the right and centred low and hard only for Astles to divert the ball
at full stretch into his own net.
It was harsh on Chester who had battled
hard throughout. Earlier Crawford’s deflected effort seemed to be beating
Walker but the Dover ‘keeper managed to get a glove on the shot and divert
it to safety. White had a shot blocked after promising work by Vose. But it was
all to no avail as Dover ran the clock down and saw the game out to gain the three
points they had come for. The Blues had matched and even bettered their opponents
for lengthy spells but in the end their experienced and physical opponents ground
A largely entertaining game was witnessed by one of the lowest
crowds for a league match since reformation. The Blues could not be faulted for
their efforts and the progress of some of the youth graduates on the pitch is
a source of real hope for the future. Though results may be going down, some things
are heading in the right direction and Chester need their fan owners to rally
round more than ever at the moment.