Halls returned to the Deva with Guiseley as their captain.
His inside information led him to make the teams change
ends when he won the toss, to irritate the home fans no
doubt. His free kick on the left, awarded for a debatable
handball, found the head of veteran Kayode Odejayi who
found ample room to head firmly past a stranded Shenton.
But Halls’ afternoon went downhill shortly before
half time when he was dismissed for a reckless tackle
on Gary Roberts which had the main stand baying for a
red card. After consulting her linesman, the referee duly
Chester had begun brightly and seemed capable of getting
behind the visitors’ defence which looked shaky.
Dudley was put through but took too long to get his shot
away and his effort was stymied by a last ditch tackle.
Lions’ forwards Liburd and Odejayi were a handful
on the break and Liburd might have done better when he
got through on goal only to curl his shot wide of the
Mahon was brought down on the edge of the box as City
strove to weave a way through but the free kick came to
nothing and then Deane Smalley shot narrowly over. New
signing McAllister looked neat in City’s midfield
and whipped in one superb cross from the right which just
eluded the head of Dudley and the lunge of Mahon.
Blues had the whole of the second half to play against
just the ten men of the visitors but struggled to find
a way through an increasingly stubborn defence. They did
manage a breakthrough after ten second half minutes when
Jackson ran strongly down the right and cut along the
line but his low cross was cleared. Roberts picked up
the loose ball and twisted deftly to hang up an inviting
cross for Dudley who headed home the equaliser.
But the winning goal that Blues’ supporters craved
did not materialise. Youngsters Waters and Brown were
thrown on in place of the out-of-sorts Mooney and the
tiring Smalley but despite flashes of skill they could
not unlock a the Guiseley defence either. To relieve the
pressure the Lions had the ever-dangerous twin outlet
of Liburd and Odejayi and sought to make the most of set-
pieces. Kingsley James – whose beard has grown immensely
since he was here last season – launched a couple
of free kicks (similar to the pass which found Ben Heneghan
THAT sublime time a few years ago) but Howson and Livesey
marshalled the defence well.
The visitors seem to be specialists at drawing games at
the moment and went away with another point to their tally.
They would have been the happier of the two teams this
afternoon. City will see this as a missed opportunity
but in all honesty did not do enough to win, the lack
of a cutting edge and inconsistent play meant that they
had to be content with a draw.
Two goals from Nathan Brown and further efforts from George
Green and Iwan Murray see Chester through to the third
round of the Cheshire Senior Cup.Saturday
5 January FC United of Manchester 0 Chester
2 Conference National North
Attendance: 2,260 Half Time: 0-1
FC United of Manchester: Allinson, Morton,
Richards (McDowell-Jallou 82), O’Halloran, Lynch,
Wallen (Donohue 64), Simoes, Winter, Sharp, Willoughby,
Banister. Subs not used: Palinkas, Potts, Brierley. Chester: Shenton, Howson, Grand, Livesey,
Jackson, Mooney (Waters 64), Mahon, Roberts, Noble (Marsh-Hughes
46), Green, Dudley. Subs not used: Moran, Deane Smalley,
Murray. Referee: Dean Hulme.
Goals from Anthony Dudley and Gary Roberts bring a first
away win since September.
Chester picked up their first point of the festive season
with a hard earned draw against Southport.
The Sandgrounders started well and it took a Simon Grand
block in the opening minutes to deny Devarn Green a shot
on goal, at the other end former Blue Ryan Astles was
well placed to clear a Matty Waters cross shot off the
line to deny the Blues an opening goal.
The best chance of the half fell to another former Chester
player Jordan Archer who failed to connect with a Jack
Sampson cross with the goal at his mercy, moments before
the interval the same striker was denied by a smart save
from Grant Shenton.
Dan Mooney just failed to meet an Anthony Dudley cross
as Chester finished the half strong. The home side enjoyed
plenty of possession in the second period without really
troubling Dan Hanford in the Port goal.
Chester introduced both Lloyd Marsh Hughes and Adam Dawson
from the bench for the final ten minutes but only had
a Craig Mahon effort blocked in the box following a goalmouth
scramble to show for their efforts.