Chester: Shenton, Moran, Howson, Livesey,
Grand, Stopforth, Roberts, Mooney (Jordan 78), Mahon (Pritchard
78), Murray (Dieseruvwe 63), Dudley. Subs not used: Dom
Smalley, Deane Smalley. Ashton United: Pilling, Jackson, Hill,
Ashworth, Baines, Chalmers, Sheridan, Kay (Martin 68),
Chadwick, Tomsett (Sangha 46), McHale (Holgate 46). Subs
not used: Lees, Regan. Referee: Lewis Smith.
off was delayed by fifteen minutes because of traffic
hold ups on the M56. Not only were the visitors delayed
travelling from Manchester but also many of Chester’s
management and players too. When the game got underway
though it was City who were quick off the mark.
Once again Mahon wove his magic on the left and drew three
defenders towards him like a magnet before slipping the
ball across to Dudley who opened the scoring after two
minutes. Chester’s early lead was short-lived on
Saturday but this evening they continued to dominate without
making too many clear cut opportunities. They did, however
double their advantage when Howson bundled the ball home
after Livesey headed a corner towards goal.
Ashton had offered very little in terms of attacking play
in the first half but they altered formation in the second,
switching to three at the back, throwing centre back Ashworth
up front and introduced a couple of substitutes (Sangha
and Holdgate). They began to mount more of a threat to
City’s goal and the home fans grew restless.
On the hour mark the match took a decisive turn when Mahon
chased a seemingly lost cause and won a corner on the
right. Mooney swung the ball in, Livesey’s header
found Dudley with his back to goal and City’s number
nine controlled it and then spun to whip the ball into
the back of the net. Blues began to dominate once more
as Dieseruvwe came off the bench to pep the attack up
once again. Soon Mooney provided the perfect cross for
the diminutive Mahon to head home a fourth goal.
The game was now beyond United but they continued to plug
away until the bitter end. In stoppage time their persistence
was rewarded when Jackson’s shot looped off Shenton’s
dive and on to the bar before spinning in to the net.
It sent the travelling fans home with something to cheer
about at least. Chester moved into the play off places
with this win and are now nine unbeaten in the league.
The Blues have a couple of games in hand on most of their
rivals and are well placed as they contemplate a tough
away trip to Brackley, just one place above them, at the
came into this fixture – the first in the League
for almost a month – boosted by the loan signing
of Mani Dieseruvwe on a month’s loan from Salford.
This was to cushion the blow of losing Matty Hughes, who
had been on fine form until his injury against Hereford.
Alfreton Town also recruited during the week. Reece Styche
had joined from Darlington. Sam Hird and David Lynch had
also signed. Hird and Styche started for the visitors
but Dieseruvwe began on the bench for City. On a sunny
afternoon the game began brightly for the Blues when Clifton
impeded Mahon’s run in the box and Roberts swept
home the resultant penalty after just four minutes. It
did not take long for a riposte from the Reds though,
as Shenton’s goal kick was headed firmly back where
it came from by Shiels and Styche took advantage of a
flat footed City defence to slot the ball past the advancing
Shenton for the equaliser.
Worse was to follow when Dom Smalley conceded a foul on
the edge of the box and Johnson’s free kick curled
round the wall and past a static Shenton into the net.
Alfreton were reduced to ten men shortly after this when
Clifton was dismissed for flying in to a tackle with Garry
Stopforth. The Chester player hobbled off after treatment
but returned to the fray only to be felled again by Hotte.
Although this appeared an even worse tackle the perpetrator
only received a yellow card this time.
Blues continued to be held after the break and Alfreton
continued to harry and press and even threaten to extend
their lead. But with the introduction of Dieseruvwe and
Pritchard for the Smalley brothers Chester gained new
momentum. The Salford player showed impressive movement
and good control and began to get City’s forward
play ticking. He cut in from the left and pulled the ball
back for Stopforth who found Roberts who in turn fed Mooney
on the right. The latter’s shot was blocked on the
edge of the box but as the ball bounced Roberts pounced
to lash it into the top corner for a sensational equaliser.
The goal prompted a purple patch for Chester who began
to dominate completely. Dieseruvwe clipped his shot from
Dudley’s pass wide when it seemed easier to score.
Then Moran advanced and fired an excellent drive which
crashed against the bar and away to safety. Mooney shot
venomously just past the far post. Then he was set through
on goal and body-checked by Wilde who was lucky just to
receive a yellow for his troubles.
At the other end Alfreton introduced Chester old boy Hobson
to respectful applause from the home crowd. In inimitable
style Hobbo soon began to make a nuisance of himself –even
more so when Howson became entangled in his flailing arms
and legs and emerged to see referee Speedie brandishing
an extremely harsh red card. Shenton did well to tip Bateson’s
free kick on to the cross bar.
The game was once again in the balance. Deep into stoppage
time, Josh Gowling lunged from behind at Dieseruvwe in
the penalty area. As the tall striker fell to the ground,
referee Speedie pointed to the spot. Roberts addressed
the penalty kick for the second time in the game but this
time went for the other side of the goal. Keeper Ramsbottom
anticipated and saved the shot but could not hold on to
the ball and City’s captain gleefully tapped home
the rebound to complete an unlikely hat trick and send
the home supporters into ecstatic celebrations.
Tempers ran high on the pitch after such a hard fought
game and climactic result but its entertainment value
could not be questioned.
had Danny Livesey sent off as they were dumped put of
the FA Cup in a seven goal thriller at Northern League
Division One side Dunston UTS.
The Blues got off to the worst possible start as striker
striker Liam Brooks put Dunston ahead inside the opening
two minutes with a low shot into the corner following
a one-two on the edge of the box. The home side continued
to pile on the pressure with Chester’s back four
struggling to cope in the early periods of play.
Chester slowly began to carve out some chances of their
own, Livesey headed over and Dan Mooney shot just wide
from distance before the equaliser came ten minutes before
the break. Craig Mahon sent in a cross that was met perfectly
by Dean Smalley who steered his header past Karl Dryden
in the home goal.
Mahon sent Mooney through with a fine ball on the stroke
of half-time and the on-loan player couldn’t have
struck the ball better finding the top corner of the net
to give Chester an interval lead.
Dunston came out for the second period on the front foot
and were soon level. Scott Burton brought down Jack Elliott
to concede a penalty that was converted by Mark Fitzpatrick,
and four minutes later Livesey was red carded for a foul
on Fitzpatrick as Chester were reduced to ten men.
Andrew Grant-Soulsby then headed the home side ahead from
a corner, but Mooney was on hand to restore parity with
a fine low shot into the corner for 3-3.
With Chester players appealing for a foul on Matt Thompson,
Fitzpatrick raced through the Blues back line to fire
the winning goal past Shenton. There was still time for
Dryden to make a great save to deny Mooney a late equaliser
as the minnows held out for a famous victory and a home
draw against local side Gateshead.
moved fifth and extended their unbeaten run to eight matches
with this deserved home victory over Hereford.
The Blues started well and on ten minutes they had their
first sight of goal as Dan Mooney’s 20-yarder flew
inches wide of Martin Horsell’s post.
Marlon Jackson saw an effort fly over the bar for the
Blues before Chester opened the scoring on 15 minutes.
Craig Mahon won a tackle and set Gary Stopforth free and
his cross was cut back for Matty Hughes to score via a
Iwan Murray saw a free kick drift wide as Chester looked
to build on their lead. Grant Shenton, who had had little
to do in the home goal, had to move smartly to deny ex-Blue
Harry White who sent in a dipping shot that was pushed
away for a corner.
There were huge appeals for a penalty following a foul
on Hughes in the box by Harvey Smith, referee Sam Mulhall
waived play-on and the injured Hughes had to be replaced
by substitute Deane Smalley.
Mahon saw an effort fly inches over the bar as Chester
started the second half on the front foot. Bulls midfielder
Mike McGrath was booked for diving in the penalty area
and picked up a second yellow card minutes later for a
late foul on Mahon to reduce the visitors to ten men.
John Pritchard doubled Chester’s lead on 72 minutes
shooting into the far corner following Jon Moran’s
pass. The Blues continued to press and sealed victory
three minutes from time as Smalley headed home Stopforth’s