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MATCH REPORTS 2022/23

Pre-Season | August | September | October | November | December | January | February | March | April | May
AUGUST
Alfreton Town (A) | Brackley Town (H) | Hereford (H) | Peterborough Sports (A) | AFC Fylde (H) | Curzon Ashton (A)
Tuesday 16 August
Chester 0 Hereford 1
National League North
Attendance: 2,237 (201 Hereford) Half Time: 0-0
Booked: -.

Chester: Tyrer, Weeks, Burke, Kenyon, Willoughby, Dudley (Stephenson 58), Devine (Lynch 68), Williams, Coates, Hall, Heywood. Subs not used: Stanway, Murray, Daly.
Hereford:
Wade, Hodgkiss, Evans, Haines, Lilly, Thompson-Sommers, McLean, Lloyd (Hanson 67), Pinchard (Pendley 90), Storey, Barnett (Amadi-Holloway 69). Subs not used: Klukowski, Latty-Fairweather.
Referee: Dale Baines.

A long-range goal three minutes from time by Luke Haines sees The Bulls take all three points from Deva Stadium.

League Table |

Saturday 13 August
Chester 2 Brackley Town 0
National League North
Attendance: 1,633 Half Time: 2-1
Booked: Weeks.

Chester: Tyrer, Coulton (Heywood 45), Weeks, Burke, Kenyon, Willoughby, Dudley (Stephenson 59), Devine, Williams, Coates, Hall (Thomas 87). Subs not used: Stanway, Murray.
Brackley Town:
Lewis, Carline, Walker, Murombedzi, Cullinane-Liburd, Dean, Calder (Putz 73), Armson (Lopes 73), Stead, Makama (York 55), Richards. Subs not used: Jones, Massey.
Referee: Richard Holmes.

Chester got their home League campaign off to a great start with a blistering beginning to match the baking temperatures at the Deva. The Blues were 2-0 up after just twenty-one minutes and despite resilience from Brackley in the second half, kept a tight grip on the game to bag three points.

City began with wingers Stephenson and Thomas on the bench but the front three of Dudley, Hall and Willoughby although sounding like a firm of solicitors, proved a potent strike force. Willoughby had the first meaningful effort when his direct free kick evaded the wall and cannoned back into play off the foot of the post. Kole Hall gave City the lead with a goal all of his own making. He won possession then beat two defenders to give himself the opportunity to tuck the ball into the net past the advancing Lewis in goal. Barely ten minutes later, Dudley rode a challenge and passed to Willoughby in yards of space. Chester’s number nine had time to pick his spot just inside Lewis’s left hand post.

Brackley’s consistency over the last few seasons had been built upon not conceding many goals. So for City to be two up so early in the game was promising – but they had led by the same score last week at Alfreton only to concede late-on for a draw. After a mid-half drinks break Brackley did get into the game more and Shep Murombedzi became increasingly influential in midfield. They forced a number of corners but City were well marshalled and defended well. The Blues ended the half on the attack with Weeks’ deflected effort parried round the post by Lewis.

Left back Coulton was withdrawn at half-time presumably because of injury. Ollie Heywood deputised. The Saints put the Blues under the cosh, launching more long throws and corners into the box. Again City stood firm. It looked like Brackley might get back in the game when Stead took advantage of a slip by Burke but Williams made a superb recovery tackle and Tyrer retrieved the ball. Both Burke and Williams defended like tigers throughout and took a fair number of knocks for their troubles.

Stephenson came on to replace Dudley as City sought to strengthen their grip on the game. Despite a couple of half-chances for the visitors the Blues managed the game well and might have added a third towards the end. Some superb footwork by Hall down the right allowed Weeks to square for Devine to shoot but the debutant’s shot was blocked by a last ditch defender. Hall then saw appeals for a penalty waved away by referee Mr Holmes. The experienced Alex Kenyon – a steadying presence especially in the second half - could not believe his eyes, judging by his body language to the referee.

The afternoon had begun with a carnival atmosphere – music and drinks outside the Blues Bar in the baking sunshine. Big Lupus supervised some football darts and for those with any appetite in the oppressive heat there were doughnuts and loaded fries on offer too. The pitch looked restored to great nick and the stray drops from the sprinklers that watered the goal mouths provided welcome relief on the Harry Mac terraces.

To the delight of the home faithful the mood continued into the game and after. The vocal support was consistently strong and the bond between players and fans was strengthened further in the celebrations at the final whistle. City had beaten Brackley at home for the first time.

Colin Mansley


Picture © Rick Matthews

League Table | Match photographs
| Match highlights [YouTube]
Saturday 6 August
Alfreton Town 2 Chester 2
National League North
Attendance: 724 Half Time: 1-2
Booked: Tyrer, Heywood, Weeks.

Alfreton Town: Willis, Clackstone, Preston (Witham 64), Cantrill, Smith, Wiley, F.Preston, Branson (Lund 72), Denton, Southwell (Dockerty 80), Hobson. Subs not used: Askew, Wilder.
Chester:
Tyrer, Weeks, Burke, Kenyon, Willoughby, Thomas (Stephenson 46), Roberts (Coulton 39), Williams, Lynch (Dudley 84), Hall, Heywood. Subs not used: Stanway, Murray.
Referee: B.Wyatt.


Chester were backed by a large away following, accounting for around half the crowd, as the new season got underway at the Impact Arena. It was the home side that started on the front foot with debutant Harry Tyrer in goal making a fine save to deny Dayle Southwell in the opening five minutes.

Down the other end, moments away, Kurt Willoughby found himself in a one-on-one with Alfreton goalkeeper George Willis who did well to deny the Blues striker. On 17 minutes Chester opened the scoring as Willoughby glanced home a perfect incoming left wing cross from Declan Weeks.


Six minutes later Chester doubled their lead and once again Weeks was the provider this time setting up Joe Lynch who sent an unstoppable volley past Willis.

The Blues were pegged back as summer signing Tom Denton headed home from close range following Dwayne Wiley’s header back across goal following a corner.

Chester were forced into a change as Kevin Roberts was taken off with an injury to be replaced by loans signing Lewis Coulton. Willoughby almost added a third just before the break but he was inches away form connecting to Kole Hall’s cross.

Substitute Lewis Whitham went close for the home side, firing over in the 75th minute and the same played also missed from close range finding himself through with just Tyrer to beat.

The home pressure finally paid off in the second minute of added time as Denton headed an inswinging cross goalwards. Tyrer made a save on the line only for the assistant referee to adjudge the ball had crossed the line.


Picture © Rick Matthews

League Table | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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