years to come, I'll probably remember this match as a
great day out, despite the disappointing result. But as
I drove away from Bromley, it distinctly felt like two
points dropped through Chester squandering more chances
than some teams get in a month.
Both Craig Hobson and Jordan Chapell
had chances to score in the opening minutes of the game,
as the Blues looked to put on a livelier performance
than their last visit to south-east London a mere four
However, it was Bromley who found
the net first when Ben Heneghan lost the ball to Moses
Emmanuel. The home side's deadly striker made no mistake
when he struck a great strike past the diving Jon Worsnop.
Soon after Chester missed a golden
opportunity to equalise when Ross Hannah managed to
volley the ball over the bar from a corner. He was only
about six yards out, and it had seemed easier to score
It wasn't long before the Blues paid
for failing to equalise when Bromley's Louis Dennis
scored another excellent goal as he slotted for home
as Worsnop came out of his net.
But the 250 or so Chester fans thought
their team were about to get back into it as they continued
to press forward and won another corner towards the
end of the first half. Somehow Ian Sharps also missed
the target from close range. Soon after it was game
over when Emmanuel scored another quality goal, with
a dipping volley from outside the penalty area.
The second half wasn't quite a non-event,
although there were no more goals scored by either team.
Chester's Craig Mahon, Chapell and Tom Peers all had
chances to make the scoreline a bit more respectable.
But it managed to remain at 3-0 to the Ravens.
There are definitely days when the
luck doesn't go quite your way and, with 18 shots in
the game, this was definitely one of those days for
Chester. I'm a firm believer than luck will always even
out across the season, and before long the Blues will
net a hatful of goals. I just hope I'm there to witness
were unable to build on Saturday’s home victory
over Eastleigh as they lost by the odd goal in three to
Welling. The Blues fielded the dame starting line-up as
Saturday and started well despite only arriving 45 minutes
before the kick-off.
John Rooney forced a save from
John King in the home goal in the eighth minute as Chester
started well. George Thomson then saw a goalbound effort
blocked, Thomson saw another effort from a Jordan Chapell
cross fly over the bar.
Craig Hobson had the best chance
midway through the half as he met a Ryan Higgins cross
at the far post only to see King push his effort wide.
Welling had the ball in the net only
for Jefford to see his effort ruled out for offside.
The post cam to the home side's rescue when the unlucky
Ross Hannah saw a fine volley hit the woodwork.
Not for the fist time this season
the Blues were made to pay for their squandered chances
just before the break when the Wings took the lead as
a through ball from Xavier Vidal was met by Reece Harris
who chipped the advancing Jon Worsnop.
In the last action of the half
Thomson saw another close range effort blocked by King.
The home side doubled their
advantage 20 minutes from time as Ricky Wellard took
advantage of some indecision by Worsnop who didn't deal
with a downward header in the box and Wellard pounced.
Chester had appeals for a penalty
waved away as Kane Richards appeared t be brought down
by Michael Chambers but referee Whitton booked the Blues
midfielder for diving.
Chester finally found the net
in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time s Hannah
turned home Craig Mahon’s cross from close range.
the nation celebrated the seventy-fifth anniversary of
the Battle of Britain, Chester won their own battle in
the air against the Spitfires as Ben Heneghan nodded in
the only goal of the game.
How Chester did not add further goals to their tally is
something Steve Burr will wonder about as City had chance
after chance to make this victory more emphatic. They
began brightly and carved a few openings in the first
quarter of an hour. The same team that started against
Grimsby in midweek took the attack to Eastleigh. Their
movement was slick and passing clever – one left
wing touch pass from Hannah inside the full back was sublime.
The one and only goal came from the right. Chapell did
well near the corner flag and was fouled by Harding. Rooney’s
free kick was nodded down and in by a surprisingly unmarked
Heneghan. He had double cause to celebrate as it was his
twenty-second birthday too.
Eastleigh did not take this set-back lying down and came
at City with a vengeance. Following a well worked move
from a throw-in down the right, Lee Cook, scorer of two
goals for Barnet against City in the opening match of
last season, arrowed a cross-cum-shot in to the net at
the far post. Constable, however, in attempting to head
the ball in had strayed into an offside position. It was
a fair cop.
The former Oxford striker and leading goalscorer threatened
again when he headed over from a right wing cross and
again when his perfectly executed overhead kick passed
just the wrong side of the post from the visitors’
point of view.
Chester’s own attempts at going forward were frustrated
time and again as Hannah and Hobson fell into Eastleigh’s
offside trap organised by veteran centre-back Jamie Turley.
All in all they were caught out nine times – it
seemed like twice that. In the second half Chester had
a procession of chances as they got behind the Spitfires
last line of defence repeatedly. Chapell got clear and
blazed just over. Then Hannah had a go with similar result.
A later chance came his way and he might have done better
as Noice was poorly positioned but the Blues’ forward
went for power instead of precision and again wide of
the mark. Thomson scooped a shot on target only to see
it plucked out of the top corner as Noice kept Eastleigh
in the game.
Mahon replaced Thomson towards the end and Hobson gave
way to Hughes so that he could receive a well-deserved
ovation from the appreciative home crowd. So hard had
Hobson worked, it was all he could do to hobble off the
pitch. Eastleigh sub Odubade complained to the referee
that the Blues’ cult hero was time wasting but we
all knew better. It was summary justice when Odubade missed
a glorious chance to equalise – scooping the ball
over the bar momentarily before Worsnop clattered into
him and left him in a heap on the ground.
As the referee indicated four
minutes added time and Lee Cook lined up a dangerously
placed free kick conceded by the indefatigable Higgins
it looked like deja vu all over again and a late late
equaliser similar to Tuesday night might be on the cards.
But Worsnop rose to palm Cook’s effort round the
post and City survived to hail a good and hard earned
City faithful had been given a glimpse of an unexpected
but welcome win against much fancied Grimsby for the
final seventeen minutes of normal time. They endured
another four minutes of added time and saw referee Jason
Whiteley look at his watch as the ball was launched
into their penalty area one final time. Then, with the
tortureful timing worthy of the cruelty of Torquemada,
the ball glanced off the head of a Blues’ defender
and onto Padraig Almond’s before slithering into
the bottom right hand corner of the Chester net.
On reflection a draw was not an unfair result but it
was harsh on City who had battled ferociously to hang
on to their hard fought but slender lead. They forged
ahead in a tight and gripping encounter when Hannah
was bundled to the ground by Gregor Robertson. After
Rooney’s miss from the spot on Saturday Hannah
picked himself and the ball up to take command of the
situation. He struck the penalty with relish and celebrated
with exuberance. It was a fair bet he was going to score
tonight against the team that let him go in the summer.
City gave a good account of themselves against one of
the pre-season favourites for promotion. They made a
number of changes following the disappointment of derby
defeat to Tranmere. Higgins resumed at right back and
Thomson started in midfield for the first time this
season. Hobson and Chapell were up front to partner
Hannah as the Blues adopted a 4-3-3 formation. It seemed
to work well for them going forward as Thomson worked
industriously to link midfield with the forwards. Hannah
and Shaw both had worthy efforts on goal as a result
and Thomson himself shot from outside the area only
for McKeown to gather.
When Grimsby countered, however, they were able to find
plenty of space in front of Chester’s defence.
As they spread the play neatly out to either wing City’s
full-backs were often outnumbered. Bogle had a shot
blocked on the edge of the area and later Worsnop saved
superbly as Bogle again got through on goal. The Blues
work-rate was high as they tried to contain the Mariners
and the latter’s frustration began to show. Bogle
was yellow carded for a late challenge on Hunt.
The visitors began the second half brightly and Rooney
cleared Amond’s effort off the line but Blues
recovered their foothold in the action. Hobson worked
tirelessly on the left and proved a real handful to
defend against. Thomson had an effort from the outside
of the area but was beginning to flag and was replaced
by Sam Hughes. Following good work by Hobson, Chester
won a corner and as the ball was half cleared Robertson
clattered into Hannah for the penalty kick. It was a
soft award but accepted gratefully by City players and
Chapell might have made it 2-0 as Hannah set him up
to shoot at the end of a sweeping move until East threw
himself into a last ditch blocking tackle. Richards
and then Peers came on to give City fresh impetus and
energy up the field. The Mariners also threw Mackreth
and then Jon-Paul Pittman into the fray. Blues defended
tenaciously until in the added time to added time they
finally succumbed. Grimsby joy was matched by Chester
misery but when they reflect upon the quality of their
performance they can take heart. Most City fans would
have settled for a draw before the game – that
they felt cheated of a victory at the end shows how
well the Blues played tonight. With a tiny additional
amount of composure they would have gained the three
points their effort deserved.
turned out one of their worst performances for a very
long time when they were beaten by Tranmere Rovers in
the first competitive match between the sides for 25
Backed by an away support of
over 1,500 CHester were caught cold in a poor opening
half that saw Rovers score twice to claim all three
Manager Steve Burr was able
to name Craig Hobson, Ross Hannah and Kane Richards
i nthe starting line-up after all three had recovered
It took the home side just five
minutes to breech the Blues defence with Adam Mekki’s
corner flicked on and with Jon Worsnop and Ben Heneghan
getting in each other’s way Liam Hogan had the
simple task of heading into an unguarded net from six
The home side had a great chance to
double the lead moments later when a simple through
ball split the Blues defence to see James Norwood racing
through on goal but his attempted lob was caught by
Norwood did find the net on 25 minutes
but the linesman’s flag was already raised for
offside. It was a short reprieve for Chester though
at the striker added a second goal 12 minutes later.
Picking the ball up just over the half way line he weaved
in and out of the static defence to slot the all past
Worsnop into the bottom corner.
Burr brought on youngster Sam
Hughes for a debut at the break. There were lour appeals
for a penalty as Liam Hogan handled under pressure from
Hannah but referee Simon Bennett adjudged that the Blues
striker had fouled.
Both Hobson and Richards were
introduced form the bench as Chester looked to create
something and 15 minutes from time Bennett pointed to
the penalty spot after Hughes saw a header handled in
Up stepped John Rooney but his
weak effort was saved by Scott Davies low down to his
left, the rebound came back out but Rooney and Richards
got in each other’s way and the opportunity was
league leaders Forest Green Rovers in town, manager Steve
Burr made a host of changes from the side that drew with
Guiseley on the Bank Holiday. New loan signing Josh O’Hanlon
came in for a debut with Luke George, Ben Heneghan, Tom
Shaw and Dale Tonge also making starts.
were looking to set a Conference Premier record with
an eighth successive victor and they had the first sniff
at goal as Keanu Marsh-Brown forced a save from Jon
Chester created efforts too as both
Shaw and Higgins tested Jonny Maxted in the visitors
goal before Rovers were handed an opportunity to open
the scoring from the penalty spot. Worsnop was adjudged
to have fouled Kurtis Guthrie in the area but the goalkeeper
redeemed himself with a supers save low down to his
left to push away Jon Parkin’s spot-kick.
The reprieve proved short lived though
as Rovers took the lead five minutes before the break,
when Parkin sent Elliott Frear through on goal and he
slotted the ball past Worsnop for the opening goal.
Maxted saved a Johnny Hunt effort
as the Blues looked to bounce back but the final action
of the half saw Parkin send a weak shot at Worsnop when
he should have done better.
Chester came out after the break looking
for an equaliser. Shaw saw an effort well saved before
the Blues drew level on 62 minutes as Luke George sneaked
in at the far post to meet a John Rooney free-kick with
a diving header past Maxted.
Rooney saw another free-kick flash
just wide but Rovers responded with a second goal on
76 minutes as substitute Aaron O’Conner latched
onto a Guthrie through ball that split the Blues defence
to lift the ball past Worsnop.
Chester made three substitutes and
the oncoming George Thomson almost snatched an equaliser
heading over a Hunt cross from close range.