Early goals from captain
Kieran Charnock and Craig Hobson bring three vital home
points for Chester.
13 September Woking
1 Chester 0
Football Conference Premier
Attendance: 1,629 Half Time 0-0
Cestor, McNerney, Clarke, Payne, Rendell, Sole (Goddard
76), Lewis (Newton 56), Jones, Morgan (Murtagh 76), Arthur.
Subs not used: Little, Arnold.
Chester: Worsnop, G.Roberts, Heneghan, Charnock,
Kay, Harrison (Morris 79), James, Rooney, McConville (Mahon
59), J.Hall, Hobson (Iwelumo 79). Subs not used: C.Roberts,
Jourad. Referee: Nicholas Kinseley.
Burr’s visit to Woking was not as profitable as
the last time, when the newly-crowned Chester manager
celebrated an away win and it looked like his team were
heading for a higher-placed finish than the Cards.
It was an encouraging performance
from the visitors though, that could have earned them
a valuable away point if luck had gone in their favour.
A nervy start saw the unbeaten home
team pushing ahead from the off, and Chester defender
Gareth Roberts was in the right place to clear the ball
off the line after a corner in the first five minutes.
Chester settled into the match after
that, with new boy Jaden Hall making some promising
runs. A Hall cross into the box saw Sean McConville
head it wide in front of Woking’s
incongruously-sized main stand. Hall was prepared to
take people on, and another cross/shot had to be cleared
from the box by the Woking defence.
But it was Kingsley James who had
the best chance for the Blues before the end of the
first half when the ball came to him outside the area.
His powerful shot from 25 yards out thundered against
the inside of the crossbar, but dropped on the wrong
side of the line. The linesman signalled for offside
straight after that when Craig Hobson tried to connect
with the rebound.
An appeal for a Chester penalty when
McConville seemed to be pulled down inside the area
was turned down. It was a decision that the Woking fans
felt was lucky to have gone their way.
The second half saw Chester attacking
towards the smaller Kingfield Road terrace. The away
fans tried to generate an atmosphere in the more enclosed
space – but nothing could match the noise at Kidderminster
the previous month.
And just when the Blues fans were
in full voice, a defensive blunder by Chester saw Woking
go 1-0 up. Chester ‘keeper Jon Worsnop came out
of his goal as Woking pressed forward, when a good pass
found Guiseppe Sole in space. He’s
already scored nearly 100 goals for Woking during his
career, and made no mistake this time.
He was taken off when Woking manager
Garry Hill made a double substitution on the 73rd minute.
Burr held back from putting Chris Iwelumo on until the
79th minute, but the target man had another ineffectual
best chance of the second half came from a John Rooney
free kick. But Woking’s
on-loan ‘keeper, and man-of-the-match, Ross Warner
held onto it.
Chester pressed as full-time approached
and you couldn’t
fault Hobson for effort around the area. But a goal
was not forthcoming and it was a disappointing return
to Woking for Steve Burr, who later argued that his
team had missed out on a first half penalty.
Steve Burr named an unchanged side as he looked to build
on Saturday’s win over Macclesfield Town but the
Blues turned in a poor performance and were eventually
beaten by a stronger Torquay outfit.
Jon Worsnop was called into action in the opening minutes
saving well from Ryan Bowman before denying the Gulls
player again moments later when he was sent through on
a one-on-one with the ‘keeper.
It was a frenetic start with the action switching straight
to the other end where Craig Hobson was just unable to
divert with a Kingsley James effort on goal.
Torquay always looked a threat going forward and Jordan
Chapell saw an effort clip the crossbar with Worsnop beaten.
There was controversy on 30 minutes when referee Karl
Evans gave a second yellow card and sent-off Kieran Charnock
in a case of mistaken identity after Michael Kay had brought
down Gulls dangerman Ryan Bowman. The decision was overturned
after protests from players and officials and Kay was
eventually booked when normality resumed.
Heneghan shot over high and wide as Chester looked to
get on top in the closing stages of the opening period
but the final effort of the half saw Torquay hit the
woodwork again as Duane Ofori-Acheampong’s effort
came back off the post.
Ofori-Acheampong forced Worsnop into
a fine save after the break before the visitors took
the lead on 60 minutes as Aaron Downes headed home Luke
Burr made three substitutions,
including a debut for Callum Morris, as Chester looked
for an equaliser but Torquay added a second goal to
seal the three points in the 78th minute as Bowman raced
onto a through ball to beat Worsnop from close range.
Chester finally got their home season up and running with
a hard fought victory against a previously unbeaten, but
rather disappointing Macclesfield side. Believe me, this
was a vastly improved performance from the Barnet debacle
which I witnessed. The effort and hard work was apparent
and they looked organised and at last like a team. Chester
are no means the finished article, but this performance
gives hope going forward that the struggles of last season
will be a thing of the past. Only time will tell.
The winning goal came after 14 minutes from a sublime
John Rooney free kick, after Craig Hobson had been fouled
off the ball. Buoyed by the early lead, the confidence
flowed through the team and various half chances were
not converted as there was a lack of cutting edge in the
Ironically, the main chance of the first half fell to
Macclesfield, but Worsnop (unfairly singled out for criticism
after the Barnet game – let’s face it they
were all poor!) saved at the feet of Macclesfield forward
second half began with Chester still in control. Hobson
brought a great save out of Taylor from an outrageous
chip and loanee Hall caused problems with his pace up
front. Kingsley James was outstanding as Chester controlled
midfield andKay and the returning MOTM Charnock comfortably
marshalled a poor Macclesfield forward line. The only
clear cut chance for Macclesfield fall late on to Holroyd,
who produced a brilliant save out of Worsnop.
There was a cracking atmosphere
as the game drew to a conclusion, with the vocal support
second to none all afternoon. More performances like
this both on and off the field and the future will be