Town (A) | Alfreton
Town (H) | Brackley Town (A FAT1) | Bradford (Park
9 November Chester 3 Alfreton Town 0 National League North
Attendance: 1,687 Half Time: 1-0
Booked: G.Roberts, Taylor.
Chester: Griffiths, K.Roberts, Livesey,
Grand, Taylor, Waters (Dudley 75), Glendon, G.Roberts
(Stopforth 66), Jackson, Waring, Hughes (Elliott 75).
Subs not used: Morgan, Burton. Alfreton Town: Andrew, Clackstone, Thacker,
East (Grice 59), Smith, Qualter, Killock, Clarke, Blake
(Bacon 64), Morgan-Smith, Johnson (Witham 66). Subs not
used: Atkinson, Bennett. Referee: Richard Holmes.
Blues ended a seven match sequence without a win as they
fought hard to overcome a dogged Alfreton Town.
The weather conditions were pretty atrocious, cold, wet
and windy to boot which will have had an effect on the
attendance but did not dampen the spirits of those who
were there. After a silent tribute to the fallen on this
weekend of remembrance, City began attacking the clock
end. The Reds pressed City high up the field and were
stubborn competitors in the middle, generally quicker
to the second ball on the rare occasions that it landed
on the ground. Alfreton were also adept at winning free
kicks in threatening positions and saw this as their principle
route to goal.
Griffiths was rarely troubled, however, and the closest
Alfreton came to breaking the deadlock was Shane Killock’s
header from a corner which skimmed the top of the crossbar.
As half time approached it was Chester’s turn to
win a free kick over on the right. Waters launched a curling
ball towards the far post. Waring knocked it down and
then, following a scramble, the ball ended in the back
of the net. It was difficult to see how and for a while
it was hard to believe a goal had been scored. It must
have been one of the most underwhelming reactions to a
home success at the Deva for a long time. The goal was
initially attributed to Grand but replays showed that
a defender’s clearance rebounded off a prone Livesey
to make him the scorer.
Shortly afterwards City should have doubled their lead.
A clever flick by Roberts set up Glendon to cross from
the right, Waters, headed on and gave the unmarked Waring
the chance to volley. Unfortunately his effort was high,
wide and handsome as the ‘goal of the season award’
flashed before his eyes.
In the dying embers of the half, Amari Morgan-Smith –
who tormented City last season in a Telford shirt –
ran with the ball towards goal. Gary Roberts won the ball
with his tackle on the edge of the box but as Morgan Smith
stumbled and went down in stages, Mr Holmes the referee
awarded a free kick. To rub salt in the wound he showed
Roberts the yellow card (Meaning a suspension). A truly
harsh decision considering some persistent offences from
the visitors. Still, Johnson’s free kick sailed
over the cross bar and Mr Holmes was greeted with a chorus
of boos as he stepped off for half time.
Blues began after the break on the front foot and were
soon two goals to the good. Livesey was again the scorer,
drilling the ball home the Reds had struggled to clear.
Gary Roberts returned the ball into the area, and Grand
nodded down for Livesey to notch his, and his team’s
second of the afternoon. Skeins of geese flew northwards
across the stadium as Chester too swept forward looking
for a decisive third. Substitutes Elliott and Dudley added
fresh impetus to the attacks.
When the third goal did arrive it was in the most bizarre
of circumstances. As City forced a succession of corners,
Reds’ keeper Andrew came under pressure. He had
a lucky escape from one effort as he fumbled at the far
post and the ball went out between his legs for another
corner. Next time Taylor’s kick curled beyond Andrew’s
despairing grasp and straight in. Some, on and off the
pitch thought that a goal had been given, others that
Mr Holmes had awarded a free kick for an infringement.
Andrew assumed the latter, took it quickly and passed
to a defender who, (thinking that it was a goal and it
had to go back to the centre circle) helped it casually
forward – straight to Danny Elliott. The Chester
forward had the presence of mind to beat another defender
and stroke a left footed shot past a frantic Andrew. This
time the goal stood but the confusion was comical.
The rain continued to pour and the wind to blow but City
fans were at last re-acquainted with that resultant warm
inner glow following a home win.