the eve of Bonfire Night it was Chester who scored a couple
of second half firecrackers to enable them to share the
spoils of this rearranged fixture.
But that finish seemed
unlikely from the outset as the visitors were caught
napping inside the first two minutes, when they failed
to clear the ball and gave Ben Williamson just enough
room to put the hosts ahead with a good strike.
The closest Chester came to scoring
in the first half was when Kingsley James had a glorious
opportunity just before the break after a great cross
by Lathaniel Rowe-Turner. But he somehow hit his shot
wide, leaving the 138 travelling fans open-mouthed.
Only eight minutes had gone in the
second half when much-travelled Gary McSheffrey –
once the youngest player in the Premier League –
put Eastleigh two-nil up with a near post header.
Chester didn't let their heads drop
at this stage though, and a great cross back from James
enabled James Akintunde to put an unstoppable strike
into the roof of the net on the 60th minute.
The Blues continued their fightback
and there were chances for Lucas Dawson and substitute
Nyal Bell. But it was Ryan Astles who netted the equaliser
on the 89th minute when his header from a corner went
past goalkeeper Ross Flitney to ensure the Chester fans
left the Silverlake Stadium with more of a smile on
their faces than they did after last month’s original
fixture was postponed.