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MATCH REPORTS 2023/24

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NOVEMBER
York City (H) FAC1 | Darlington (A) | York City (A) FAC1R | Nantwich Town (A) FAT2 | Alfreton Town (A) | South Shields (A) | Rushall Olympic (A)
Tuesday 28 November
Rushall Olympic 1 Chester 1
National League North
Attendance: 528 Half Time: 1-1
Booked: Williams.

Rushall Olympic: Weaver, Hudson, Fletcher, Brown, Bradley-Morgan, McLintock (Reid 76), Singh (Skeen-Hamilton 89), Nkalambi-Masidi, Carvalho-Landell, Clarke, Sullivan. Subs not used: George, Turner.
Chester:
Stanway, Burke, Williams, Edwards (Heywood 46), Coates, Whitehouse, Daly, Glendon, Weeks, Norton (Murray 85), Windsor (Caton 59). Subs not used: Roberts, Maguire.
Referee: H.Jones.

Barely 500 hardy souls left the warmth of their homes to visit Dales Lane on a freezing November night hoping for a non-league thriller on a Rushall Olympic’s artificial pitch.

But I can’t say they experienced a classic, as soft penalties for both Chester and Rushall led to them sharing the spoils, without either side seriously threatening to find the net in normal play.

Chester started the stronger of the two sides and seemed faster to the ball as it zipped along the slick surface. Chester debutant Owen Windsor made his first impact for his new team with a cross across the goal, but no-one in blue could connect with the ball.

Soon after, attention switched to the other end with Rushall’s Jourdain Masidi firing over the goal, and a corner being held by Chester ‘keeper Wyll Stanway.

The second half began much like the opening 45 minutes, with Chester looking the most threatening. On the 50th minute a Declan Weeks free kick went to Harrison Burke, who was tripped in the area by Luke Badley-Morgan.

The Chester fans gathered behind the goal in this unsegregated match were thrilled to see a penalty awarded, as it looked like one of those decisions that normally go against their team. Up stepped George Glendon, who made no mistake with the penalty to put the visitors ahead.

But barely five minutes had gone, when there was a penalty at the home end of the ground after Matty Williams was adjudged to have fouled Sonny Singh. Rushall’s Alex Fletcher also took an excellent spot-kick and we were back to all square.

Chester’s Charlie Caton came on as a 59th minute substitute, replacing Windsor. Some of the travelling fans thought he had scored when Rushall ‘keeper Jake Weaver made a great block from a Caton header after a Chester corner. The rebound fell well for the striker, but his instinctive shot only managed to hit the side netting.

Chester continued to look threatening, with Iwan Murray coming on in the 85th minute to replace Christian Norton. A cross/shot into the box from Weeks hit the crossbar and Rushall's Fletcher had a shot which blazed over at the other end.

But, just as conditions at the canalside ground were getting really bitter, the referee blew for full-time. Although it wasn’t a classic, Chester can feel satisfied with a valuable point on the road.

Sue Choularton


Picture © Rick Matthews

Latest table
| Match highlights [YouTube]
Saturday 25 November
South Shields 0 Chester 1
National League North
Attendance: 2,325 Half Time: 0-1
Booked: Stanway, Heywood.

South Shields: Boney, Adams, Liddle, Broadbent, Clarke (Lufudu 46), Smith, Woods (James 66), Hasani, Heaney, Blackett, Mongoy (Morse 84). Subs not used: Briggs, Abbey.
Chester:
Stanway, Burke, Williams, Edwards, Coates, Whitehouse, Murray (Daly 60), Glendon, Weeks, Norton (Heywood 66), Caton. Subs not used: Windsor, Rosenblatt, Maguire.
Referee: T.Wilson.

This was a tremendous win for Chester as Liam Edwards scored his first goal for the club to bring to an end South Shields’ unbeaten home record.

Manager Calum McIntyre named new forward Owen Windsor on the bench for this match. It was a slow cagey opening with both sides showing their defensive qualities. Mackenzie Heaney saw an effort fly high and wide while at the other end Chester created a couple of half chances for Christian Norton and Charlie Caton both of which were cleared.

The only goal of the game came six minutes before the break as Harrison Burke flicked on a Declan Weeks corner for Edwards to score past Myles Boney from close range at the far post.

Charlie Caton had a chance to double the lead early in the second period but Boney did well to save and deny the Blues striker. Moments later Elliott Whitehouse put a shot wide when well place. The Mariners themselves missed a great chance to equalise with Heaney again shooting over from close range following a knock down from a corner as the Blues rearguard held on for a clean sheet and three important points.


Picture © Rick Matthews

Latest table | Match highlights [YouTube]
Tuesday 21 November
Alfreton Town 1 Chester 1
National League North
Attendance: 452 Half Time: 1-1
Booked: Whitehouse, Maguire.

Alfreton Town: Willis, Clackstone, Lund, Wiley, Thewlis (Day 86), Cantrill, Waldock (Perritt 75), Brisley, Fewster (Motley-Henry 56), Newall, Taylor. Subs not used: Digie, Askew.
Chester:
Stanway, Burke, Williams, Edwards, Taylor, Whitehouse, Murray (Daly 57), Glendon, Weeks, Norton (Maguire 69), Caton. Subs not used: Davies, Heywood, Rosenblatt.
Referee: D.McCarrick.

Once again Chester and Alfreton shared the points as the Blues were pegged back after an early Declan Weeks goal.

Chester started well and there were early claims for a Blues penalty in the seventh minute but a George Cantrill tackle on Harrison Burke was deemed fair by referee McCarrick.

It wasn't long before the visitors broke the deadlock through as a fine through ball from George Glendon was met by Weeks who scored from 12 yards out.

The lead was short lived, only ten minutes. Alfreton forced a corner and when Nathan Newall’s flag kick came over defender Liam Edwards could only put the ball into his own net.

Chester continued to press for the remainder of the half but found George Willis in the Alfreton goal in fine form. Referee McCarrick waved away penalty claims against Glendon for a possible hand ball in the box. Few chances were created in the closing stages as the game petered our for a fourth successive draw between the two sides.


Picture © Rick Matthews


Latest table | Match highlights [YouTube]
Saturday 18 November
Nantwich Town 0 Chester 0 (Nantwich win 4-2 on penalties)
FA Trophy Round 2
Attendance: 1,414 (630 Chester) Half Time: 0-0
Booked: Murray, Sparrow.

Nantwich Town: Roberts, Bourne, Hill, A.Ali, Okome, Butler, Kay, Hewitt, Harrison, Cooke (Evans 68), Rankin (Leitch-Smith 81). Subs not used: M.Ali, Bircumshaw, Kirby, Heath.
Chester:
Stanway, Sparrow, Burke, Roberts, Heywood, Whitehouse, Daly, Murray (Taylor 68), Maguire (Weeks 57), Caton, Norton (Thomas 53). Subs not used: Davies, Evans, Bott, Edwards.
Referee: D.Rogers.

Chester were knocked out of the FA Trophy 4-2 on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes at Nantwich Town.

It was The Dabbers who had the better of the opening exchanges with goalkeeper Wyll Stanway saving a Steve Hewitt effort following a corner, minutes later Connor Rankin headed wide when well placed. Chester saw Christian Norton, who was making his Blues debut, break through on goal, following a Iwan Murray through ball, only to slide the ball just the wrong side of the post.

Charlie Caton saw a shot deflected wide before Stanway was called into action again, making a double save to deny Byron Harrison and Sean Cooke to keep Chester level at the break.

The second half saw very little action, the Blues were reduced to ten men for the final 15 minutes as, having used all their substitutes, saw Adam Thomas leave the pitch with an arm injury.

With the game reaching a stalemate after 90 minutes it went straight to penalties. Both Declan Weeks and Caton missed giving the home side the advantage, and despite Stanway saving from Hewitt, Nantwich ran out 4-2 winners to book a home third round tie against York City.


Picture © Rick Matthews
Tuesday 14 November
York City 2 Chester 1
FA Cup Round 1 Replay
Attendance: 3,850 (755 Chester) Half Time: 1-0
Booked: -.

York City: Stockdale, Howe, Cordner, Smith, Fallowfield, Burgess, Woodyard, McLaughlin, Latty-Fairweather, Akinyemi (Kennedy 78), John-Lewis. Subs not used: Duckworth, Dyson, De Castro, Kouhyar, Siziba, Barrow, Watcon, Green.
Chester:
Stanway, Coates, Edwards, Williams Burke, Taylor, Roberts, Weeks, Whitehouse (Daly 82), Glendon, Thomas (Caton 46). Subs not used: Davies, Evans, Sparrow, Murray, Heywood, Rosenblatt, Maguire.
Referee: Aaron Bannister.

A great effort from Chester whose FA Cup run came to an end as they were beaten at York City.
It took the National League side just five minutes to open the scoring as a Scott Burgess near post corner was met by home captain Lenell john-Lewis who turned sharply to score from close range. Minutes later Wyll Stanway was called into action saving smartly from Dipo Akinyemi as the minstermen pushed for a second.

Chester’s only real effort of note in the opening half came in the 12th minute with Adam Thomas' angled effort forcing a save from David Stockdale. With the opening period drawing to a close Callum Howe twice saw efforts cleared by the Blues' rearguard.

Chester almost snatched an equaliser in the 58th minute as a goalmouth melee ended with Elliott Whitehouse prodding the all just wide of goal.

Ten minutes later John-Lewis doubled the lead for York. A sliced clearance from Liam Edwards bounced over Stanway giving the York skipper the easiest of chances from close range.

George Glendon responded immediately forcing a fine save from Stockdale as Chester, urged on by an impressive away following of 775, looked for a way back into the tie.

On 71 minutes Glendon pulled a goal back racing on to a sublime through ball from Harrison Burke to finally beat Stockdale and find the back of the net. Chester pushed for an equaliser and substitute Charlie Caton came closest forcing another fine save from Stockdale.

The final effort of the game fell to York's Scott Burgess whose effort was blocked by the Chester rearguard.


Picture © Rick Matthews
Saturday 11 November
Darlington 3 Chester 2
National League North
Attendance: 1,351 Half Time: 3-0
Booked: Sparrow, Edwards, Weeks, Roberts, Williams, Glendon.
Sent-off: Peers.

Darlington: Taylor, Hedley, Lawlor, Ngandu, Nelson (Hazel 80), Hatfield, Burton, Rivers, Salkeld (Moke 79), Griffiths (Rowe 71), Lindley. Subs not used: Lees, Simms.
Chester: Stanway, Sparrow, Edwards, Williams (Burke 86), Taylor (Coates 46), Roberts, Weeks, Whitehouse, Glendon, Peers, Thomas (Caton 58). Subs not used: Norton, Murray.
Referee: Alex Sawden.

Chester’s seven match unbeaten run came to an end at bottom of the table Darlington as the Blues have six booked and Tom Peers sent-off after the final whistle in an eventful match.

The Blues started well with skipper George Glendon forcing a fine save from Tommy Taylor who pushed his free kick onto a post before the ball was eventually cleared by the Quakers defence.

The home side opened the scoring on 18 minutes as Joel Taylor, in attempting to clear, sent a looping header over Wyll Stanway for an own goal.

There were appeals for a Blues penalty following a foul on Glendon before the home side doubled their lead through Cameron Salkeld, scoring low past Stanway following up from a free-kick.

Darlington added a third two minutes before half-time as Jarrett Rivers sent Jonny Ngandu through on goal and he beat Stanway to find the net.

Chester’s response was to pull a goal back through Tom Peers on 57 minutes as a shot from Declan Weeks deflected off the striker past the stranded Taylor, the goal saw the Blues bring on Charlie Caton for Adam Thomas a minute later.

With 20 minutes remaining Glendon reduced the arrears to one as he followed up Kevin Roberts’ cross that had come back off a post. Despite having plenty of possession in the closing stages the Blues were unable t find an equaliser as Darlington's defence held out for their first home league win since March.

Striker Tom Peers was shown a straight red card as the two sets of players squared up to each other at the final whistle.


Picture © Rick Matthews


Latest table | Match highlights [YouTube]

Saturday 4 November
Chester 0 York City 0
FA Cup Round 1
Attendance: 3,329 Half Time: 0-0
Booked: -.

Chester: Stanway, Sparrow (Coates 67), Edwards, Williams, Taylor, Roberts, Weeks, Whitehouse, Glendon (Murray 86), Daly (Burke 67), Thomas (Caton 59). Subs not used: Davies, Evans, Heywood, Rosenblatt, Maguire.
York City: Stockdale, Fallowfield, Cordner, McLaughlin, Castro (Burgess 62), John-Lewis, Howe, Kennedy (Akinyemi 62), Woodyard, Smith, Green. Subs not used: Watson, Dyson, Hancox, Siziba, Barrow, Latty-Fairweather.
Referee: D.Watson.

Chester and York battled out a thoroughly entertaining but ultimately goal-less cup tie to ensure a replay a week on Tuesday.

The Blues, having won at National League Hartlepool in the previous round will have fancied their chances of another cup upset against the Minstermen. York themselves under experienced new manager Neil Ardley are beginning to turn their season around – despite their current low position in the table. A big question beforehand was how Chester would line up in attack with Caton and Hall injured and Peers cup-tied. McIntyre went with Adam Thomas leading the line and young Reece Daly in assistance.

In a game of few clear-cut opportunities but plenty of attacking endeavour, Chester enjoyed the better chances while York had marginally more possession. Thomas picked up a pass from Glendon at the edge of the area and turned to fire a shot which was heading inside the post until Stockdale stretched to tip it wide. Later Glendon intercepted a pass just inside York territory and ran with the ball towards goal. As defenders closed in Chester’s skipper curled a shot wide of the target.

The visitors looked to attack down the flanks with Fallowfield and McLaughlin threatening down right and left respectively. York captain John-Lewis saw a cross-shot go wide of the goal and Castro and Green had shots blocked as Chester defended the box well.

York began the second half strongly but then Chester retaliated with a spell of pressure of their own. Roberts was again instrumental in breaking up play as York were pinned back. Glendon found Sparrow overlapping on the right and his cross was met by Whitehouse who was unable to direct his header on target. Then Sparrow himself got on the end of a diagonal cross from Weeks but aimed his header at goal when Thomas was lurking on the six hard line, and Stockdale gathered.

A brilliant turn set Whitehouse free down the left to find Glendon’s forward run but a covering defender managed to block his effort on goal. Blues fans’ hopes were raised with half an hour to go when Caton was brought on to replace the excellent Thomas. Minutes later Coates replaced Sparrow to inject fresh pace down the right.
As the minutes ticked away Caton twice went close to breaking through as he glanced a header narrowly wide from Weeks’ corner and then slid in to try and get on the end of Taylor’s tantalising low driven cross across the goal.

In the end both sides had defended well and had to settle for a replay in ten days’ time. It means another home league game (Buxton) being postponed for City who will have to get used to being on the road for the next half dozen fixtures. More importantly, the match was further evidence of Chester’s progress as they seek to prove they are worthy potential members of the league above.

Colin Mansley


Picture © Rick Matthews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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