Torquay United 0 Chester
Attendance: 2,245 Half Time 0-0
Torquay United: Marriott, Hockley, Woods,
Taylor, Sharp, Constantine, Hill (McGlinchey 45),
Coleman (Bedeau 45), Hewlett (Garner 27), Kuffour,
Sako. Subs not used: Skinner, Hancox.
Chester City: MacKenzie, Vaughan
(Drummond 67), McNiven, Bolland, Artell, Regan,
Davies, Curtis, Bertos (Blundell 69), Richardson
(Lowe 45), Branch. Subs not used: Dimech, Walker.
Referee: P.Miller (Bedfordshire).
I do like to be beside the seaside” ...and
so did 14 Chester players and 230 overjoyed travelling
Blues fans when Ryan Lowe scored a last-gasp winner
to ensure victory at struggling Torquay.
The three points were no less
than City deserved after a 15-minute final assault
on the Torquay goal that saw Gulls’ goalkeeper
Andy Marriott make several top-class saves until
Lowe finally got the better of him.
City started the game at a
much slower pace in the sweltering Bank Holiday
and with a line-up that raised a few Blues’
eyebrows – there was no starting place
for Gregg Blundell, Stuart Drummond or Luke
Stephen Vaughan Junior was also making his first
start of the season.
Torquay, under some pressure
after failing to win so far this season, had
most of the ball in the game’s opening
spell, but failed to test Chester ‘keeper
Chris MacKenzie. He wasn’t seriously called
into action until half-way through the first
the Gull’s 6ft 7ins Frenchman, Moriko Saco,
had a shot from distance which rebounded off
Macca then managed to snaffle the ball just ahead
of on-rushing Torquay striker, Jo Kuffour.
At that stage the closest City
had come to testing the Gulls’ well-travelled
‘keeper was when Michael Branch unselfishly
the ball to Ben Davies, only for Davies to shoot
But towards the end of the first
half, Chester started looking brighter. Leo Bertos
– the Kiwi who seems to have inspired one
of the oddest chants I’ve heard the ‘blue
army’ sing – made a couple of threatening
runs from midfield. He had one long-range shot
easily saved by Marriott, then the Torquay ‘keeper
had to make a dive to keep out his second effort.
By now Marriott was busier than
the ice-cream sellers on the nearby beach. First
he made one save from a Ben Davies’ effort,
then he finally appeared to be beaten by a Phil
Bolland header from a corner. However referee
Patrick Miller disallowed the effort for a foul
in the box.
Just a few minutes later, it
was the Torquay fans’ turn to be disappointed
by referee Miller. A Torquay free-kick just outside
the box was headed out by Bolland, then crossed
back into the box before Torquay’s Steve
Woods headed the ball into the net. But the linesman
flagged for offside, and the teams went into the
half-time dressing rooms on level pegging.
City boss Keith Curle replaced
ex-Torquay man Marcus Richardson with Ryan Lowe
for the second half. The first drama of the re-start
came with an accidental clash of heads between
Dave Artell and James Sharp. Artell was badly
cut and was off the pitch being treated for several
minutes, leaving City down to 10 men.
Torquay had a couple of excellent
chances to score, but wasted them with rather
rash shots which went over the bar. The City supporters
breathed a collective sigh of relief when Artell
trotted back onto the pitch, complete with ‘Terry
The direction of the match really
changed in Chester’s favour when Vaughan
and Bertos were replaced by Drummond and Blundell
for the last 20 minutes. Chester were soon marauding
on the Torquay goal and Michael Branch had an
excellent opportunity to score from a few yards
out, but squared the ball and the chance went
Then Lowe found himself in the
box and chose to shoot rather than pass it to
the unmarked Blundell – resulting in the
Chester strikers having a ‘few words’
with each other. It was actually getting hard
to keep track of the Chester attempts on goal
at this stage, with Marriott keeping out everything
thrown at him – including a great reflex
stop with his legs from a Blundell strike and
another diving save to keep the ball from top
The deadlock finally appeared
to be broken on the 80th minute when Davies took
a free kick and Branch headed the ball into the
net. But once again the goal attempt was ruled
out for offside.
The Torquay man-of-the-match
was rightly named soon after as Andy Marriott,
the ex-Wrexham man earning himself a round of
applause from Chester and Torquay fans alike.
But moments later his smile was wiped off his
face when a Blundell strike hit the crossbar,
then Marriott’s back, before the ball seemed
to cross the line. Marriott clawed the ball out,
but it was hit home again a split second later
The City fans went wild
and the players were equally delirious. The referee’s
whistle went soon after and the Chester fans were
left pinching themselves – undefeated in
the League throughout August, a sunny Bank Holiday
Monday in Torquay, a last-minute winner away from
home AND still above Wrexham – does life
get any better as a City fan? I’m still
coming down to earth.
City 4 Darlington 4
Attendance: 2,469 Half Time 0-2
Booked: Bolland, McNiven, Curtis.
Chester City: MacKenzie, McNiven, Dimech,
Bolland, Regan (Hessey 45), Drummond (Curtis 45),
Davies, Walker, Bertos (Richardson 45), Branch,
Blundell. Subs not used: Vaughan, Artell.
Darlington: Bossu, Martis (Duke
45), Hutchinson, Clarke, Valentine, Wainwright (Jameson
83), Peacock (Webster 71), Dickman, Logan, Sodje,
Johnson. Subs not used: Wijnhard, Ndumbu-Nsungu.
Referee: G.Sutton (Lincolnshire).
in the final two minutes by Gregg Blundell and Marcus
Richardson gave City a remarkable 4-4 draw to maintain
their unbeaten start to the League season. Manager
Keith Curle gave a home debut to both Blundell and
Leo Bertos after the pair had come on in midweek
at Wolves. David Artell recovered from injury to
make the subs bench but there was no place for the
still sidelined Abdou El Kholti.
looking to recover from the mauling in midweek
started well, Ben Davies forcing a save from Bertrand
Bossu in the visitors goal as he tried his luck
with a 30-yard free-kick. The Blues however fell
behind as early as the fourth minute as Phil Bolland’s
outstretched leg was adjudged to have felled Simon
Johnson in the box. Johnson picked himself up
to send MacKenzie the wrong was from the spot-kick.
Chester pressed and forced a
series of corners, Bolland saw a header saved
by Bossu from the pick of them. There were shouts
for a penalty when the lively Davies fell in the
box. Bossu cut-out a dangerous cross from Blundell
before City went two down as Akpo Sodje was left
in space to head home Carlos Logan free-kick giving
Chris MacKenzie no chance.
Curle wasted no time in changing
things at the break making a triple substitution.
Sean Hessey, Tom CUrtis and Marcus Richardson
coming on for Carl Regan, Stewart Drummond and
Bertos respectively. The move paid dividends two
minutes later as Richardson slotted the ball home
after Blundell had forced a save from a Davies
City fell two behind again just
two minutes later though as the dangerous Sodje
took advantage of a Johnson touch to shoot well
past MacKenzie in front of the traveling support.
Davies saw two more corners
cleared, City forced 14 in the match, before Blundell
pulled the score back to 2-3 on 55 minutes as
he took advantage of a Scott McNiven shot that
seemed to be going wide to beat Bossu from the
edge of the six yard box.
The Blues pushed for an equaliser
and Richardson saw a header fly past the left
post from six yards, minutes later he sent a similar
effort wide of the right upright. Hutchinson also
had to be alert to save an effort from Michael
Branch after a fine move involving Richardson
Nine minutes from time Sodje
completed this hat-trick as he beat his marker
to head home at the near post and it looked game
over for City.
Bolland was on hand to clear
as Darlo forced a couple of corners in the dying
stages but with a minute remaining Blundell pulled
a goal back as he ghosted in at the back post to
score with ease from close range. Sixty seconds
later Blundell turned provider as he intercepted
a pass and rounded Bossu on the left before clipping
a cross over to the unmarked Richardson to head
home from three yards to complete a remarkable match.
Wanderers 5 Chester City 1
Carling Cup Round 1
Attendance: 9,518 Half Time 1-0
Booked: Bolland, Hessey.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme, Kennedy,
Lescott (McNamara 80), Gyepes, Edwards, Davies,
Seol (Ndah 55), Cameron, Anderton, Clarke (Ganea
70), Miller. Subs not used: Olofinjana, Postma.
Chester City: MacKenzie, Regan
(Bertos 69), Bolland, Dimech, McNiven, Hessey, Walker
(Blundell 45), Curtis, Drummond, Davies, Branch
(Vaughan 75). Subs not used: Brookfield, Curle.
Referee: T.Leake (Lancashire).
fans enjoyed a night out in the big time and turned
out in force at Molineux. The team were vociferous
supported throughout the evening even when they
were eventually overwhelmed. At least we could claim
a stake in the “goal of the night” competition
as Ben Davies curled a free kick perfectly into
the corner of the net to give us the consolation
of a goal that we craved.
The new Molineux is a magnificent venue and much
changed from the last time City played competetively
here. Back on the 2nd January 1989 Steve “Mean
Machine” Johnson scored and also missed a
penalty in a 3-1 defeat in front of over 21,000.
The pitch was then a long way from the John Ireland
Stand, the only part of the new ground completed
at that time. Now the stadium is one of the best
outside the Premiership with great views and the
pitch in perfect condition. It was a shame that
the crowd, even with reduced admission prices was
still just under 10,000.
Perhaps the only disappointment on a very entertaining
occasion was that City did not show so much of the
“Mean Machine” era and gave their illustrious
opponents plenty of room to play their football.
Wolves players seemed to have plenty of time and
space on the ball. There again they are a good side
and City did not get much of a look-in really.
For the better part of
an hour, though, only Miller’s sharply taken
but wickedly deflected goal separated the two
sides. There was a moment when Michael Branch
was bearing down on goal from the left wing and
might have shot or crossed first time when we
dreamed of an equaliser but caution seemed to
overtake him and the moment was gone.
When substitute George Ndah raced past two defenders
and cut in to set up Cameron for a second goal,
City’s bubble well and truly burst. MacKenzie
made a hash of a free kick from debutant Darren
Anderton and two minutes later a shell shocked
Chester defence were overwhelmed again as Davies
slalomed through and set up Cameron’s second.
Vio Ganea added another but still the City fans
kept on singing and deserved the reward they got
in cheering a quite superb Davies goal.
All in all, a good night out and further consolation
was provided by results from elsewhere and some
sparkling Black Country bitter.
& Diamonds 1 Chester City 1
Attendance: 2,682 Half Time 0-0
Booked: Walker, Regan, Richardson. Sent-off: Lowe.
Rushden & Diamonds: Young, Gier, Gulliver,
Allen, Hawkins, Bell, Savage (O’Grady 58),
McCafferty, Kelly, Chillingworth (Taylor 65), Pearson.
Subs not used: Woodman, Dempster, Nicholls.
Chester City: MacKenzie, McNiven, Bolland,
Artell, Regan, Davies, Walker (Curtis 70), Drummond,
Lowe, Branch, Richardson (Vaughan 87). Subs not
used: Hessey, Dimech, Brookfield.
Referee: D.Deadman (Cambridgeshire).
was honours even at Nene Park as Chester and Rushden
& Diamonds, both pre-season bookies’ favourites
to finish in the bottom four, each maintained their
unbeaten start to the season.
side could actually have shaded the three points,
with both missing easy scoring opportunities,
although fussy referee Darren Deadman kept spoiling
the flow of the game, particularly in the second
opening spell was dominated by the Diamonds, playing
in all red this season, as David Bell, Daniel
Chillingworth and captain Dave Savage all had
attempts on goal in the first few minutes. But
Chester, with two changes from the last match
as Dave Artell and Justin Walker replaced Luke
Dimech and Tom Curtis, were able to soak up the
Defender Scott McNiven tried
to turn the game around when he made an impressive
run up the park from deep in his own half. It’s
encouraging to watch a back-four defender have
a run on the goal – something we’ve
not seen too often at Chester in recent years.
He chipped his shot towards the goal, but it went
just wide of the crossbar.
Chillingworth then found himself
well-placed in the Chester box, but somehow headed
wide in front of the 341 travelling Blues’
fans, when it seemed easier to find the target.
1, Chris MacKenzie, would probably have gone into
the half-time dressing room the happier of the
two ‘keepers, despite something like four
goal kicks that just went direct from one box
Towards the end of the first
half, referee Deadman had booked City’s
Walker and Carl Regan for an accumulation of fouls.
Savage was booked on the 17th minute for a tackle
on Walker. In the second half, three more yellow
cards and a red were to follow as Mr Deadman attempted
to keep control of the game.
R&D made a threatening start
to the second half, with Bell squandering another
golden opportunity as he shot the ball well wide
in front of goal. And soon the travelling supporters
were in raptures after McNiven had a shot deflected
for a corner. The ball came to Dave Artell who
headed down to an unmarked Ryan Lowe. He took
his chance well and thwacked the ball home in
front of the away end.
But the Blues’
delight did not last longer than five minutes.
manager Barry Hunter responded to the goal by
bringing on striker Chris O’Grady,
on-loan from Leicester. With barely his first
touch of the game, he received a good pass, shot
on the turn and saw the ball go in the net past
the diving MacKenzie.
Marcus Richardson had a good
chance to make amends when he found himself running
into the box, but his first touch was too strong
and the ball ran away from him. He was back in
the action again with an attempted bicycle kick
on goal, but he failed to connect properly with
the ball and fell badly.
He lay prostrate on the ground
while the ref allowed play to continue at the
other end. But he blew up as the shaken Richardson
was recovering when a Diamonds’
player went down injured near the Chester box.
Play was re-started with a drop ball, and soon
after the ref was at the centre of attention again
when he waved away an appeal for a penalty from
Chester fans were also left
puzzled by Mr Deadman’s
response to an apparent elbow on Lowe. He failed
to see the elbow, but blew up for a foul within
striking distance of the goal. However the R&D
appear to retreat the full 10 yards and Ben Davies’
free kick went straight into it and out of danger.
Mr Deadman made himself even
less popular with the City faithful when he booked
Richardson for persistent fouling after he was
apparently dragged down in the penalty area. And
to add to the catalogue of oddities in the ref’s
notebook he promptly booked Diamonds’
a clear case of mistaken identity with Greg Pearson.
It was as well Justin Walker had been substituted
by Tom Curtis at that stage, or else the confused
ref was in danger of accidentally mixing him up
with Davies (easily done), and somehow getting
Walker sent off for a second bookable offence.
On the 86th minute, Keith Curle
replaced Richardson with Stephen Vaughan Junior
(despite the Tannoy announcement of Sean Hessey).
Soon after Lowe missed a clear-cut chance to score
a well-timed winner when his shot from a Davies
cross went agonisingly wide.
Lowe was back as centre of attention
a minute or so later when he was the victim of
another apparent elbow, this time on the touchline.
The linesman saw the incident and waved his flag
for a foul. The referee responded by booking R&D’s
Pearson (who really should have been sent off
for a second bookable offence), then red-carded
Lowe for foul and abusive language.
Just a few moments later, Mr
Deadman blew up for full-time. Both sides were
left reflecting on a 1-1 draw that was probably
a fair result, in a game spoilt by questionable
Earlier in the day, there was
no question of dodgy refereeing when nine players
gathered for the bi-annual Exiles All-Comers Cheese
Skittles challenge at the Locomotive Inn in Wellingborough.
The tightly-fought game produced some quality
with a record score of 16pts for a single throw
achieved by Cheese Skittles ‘virgin’
Alan Beattie. He eventually finished a brave runner-up,
allowing former champion Howard Jolley to reclaim
his crown from yours truly. We’ll
have to wait until April 29 for a re-match before
the Northampton game and there’s
a lot of water to flow under the Chester City
bridge before then.
City U18 2 Preston North End U18 1
Youth Alliance North and Midlands West Conference
got off to the better start creating a few half
chances. However, after a disappointing start Preston
eventually got going, and both teams cancelled each
other out, turning the remainder of the half into
a scrappy affair, which saw Marsh-Evans and Scales
receive yellow cards along with the away number
Half Time 0-0
After the break Chester came out with all guns blazing
and created numerous chances.
Paul Rutherford got in behind the Preston defence
and sent in a low curving cross into the six yard
box, but Marsh-Evans and Holroyd failed to make
contact. A few minutes later and Rutherford beat
the offside trap to glance a header just inches
wide of the foot of the post.
In the 65th minute North End undeservedly took the
lead and Chester coach Jim Hackett introduced first
James Wilson at right back and then Nick Linford
at centre midfield. Three minutes later Carroll
set the ball up for Linford who curled the ball
into the keeper's top right hand corner from 20
Chester maintained to probe the Peston defence and
ten minutes later won a corner. When the Preston
defence failed to pick up James Wilson, he directed
a thunderous header into the back of the net to
earn Chester Youth a thoroughly deserved win.
U18 4 Chester City U18 3
Youth Alliance North and Midlands West Conference
the words of Jimmy Greaves, “this was a funny
The game started off at an even pace with Chester
finding the net first after 18 minutes, only for
the goal from Neil Carroll to be disallowed, the
Assistant correctly indicating that the ball had
gone out for a Burnley throw-in prior to him scoring.
Despite this early warning, Burnley where soon on
top with some quick flowing football, passing the
ball around with great accuracy. The deadlock was
broken in the 22nd minute when the Chester offside
trap failed. A few minutes later, and again the
Chester defence where looking raggered when they
were undone by some intricate passing.
At 2-0 down Chester had a mammoth task on their
hands and were having great difficulty in getting
hold of the ball; Burnley keeping the ball at times
for fun. With ten minutes left until the interval
Chester had a rare attack with Carroll sending in
a cross from the right wing, and James Scales looked
certain to score with his head only to be denied
by the keeper’s fingertips.
Half Time 2-0
Within ten minutes of the restart Chester found
themselves 3-0 down and where looking totally dishevelled.
A few minutes later Burnley produced the move of
the match culminating with a goal that would have
graced any Premiership ground. With Chester on the
attack Michael Deacon was dispossessed by the Burnley
left back, and within four passes the ball was in
the back of the City goal, a magnificent display
of counter attacking football.
Being four goals to the good Burnley looked home
and dry and I was looking at my watch praying for
the game to end, still 30 minutes left. ‘It
was going to be a long day!’
From the kick off, Paul Rutherford’s battle
cry of, “let’s have some pride lads”
seemed so pitiful and embarrassing. But still at
least someone wanted to fight to the death, and
gradually Chester somehow raised their game. The
introduction of Mark Cadwallader seemed to increase
the movement, and options up front and soon Caddy
got his just rewards when the centre half failed
to head the ball away. Caddy not one to look a gift
horse in the mouth coolly slotted home under the
Shortly afterwards, Rutherford picked the ball up
on the halfway line and ran with determination,
skipping past two challenges then playing the ball
wide to Deacon who cut back inside the penalty area
sending in a low cross. Not spurning the opportunity
Cadwallader swung his right foot at the ball and
found the bottom corner. Now with heightened confidence,
Chester probed at every given opportunity and Burnley
looked like a punch drunk heavyweight boxer clinging
on for dear life.
Within minutes the boys where on the attack again
when Carroll cut the ball back to Rutherford; he
jinked inside past his marker and from 25 yards
out unleashed a thunderous shot that cannoned off
the crossbar. With less than two minutes remaining
Deacon crossed the ball into the Burnley box over-shooting
everyone except for Carroll who cut the ball back
onto his right foot and guided the ball home under
the keeper’s body. Despite their gallant effort,
it was not to be and Burnley held on by the skin
of their teeth.
City 2 Lincoln City 2
Attendance: 2,637 Half Time 0-2
Booked: Drummond, Branch.
Chester City: MacKenzie, McNiven (El Kholti
45), Regan, Bolland, Dimech, Drummond, Lowe, Davies,
Curtis (Walker 45), Richardson (Artell 79), Branch.
Subs not used: Vaughan, Hessey.
Lincoln City: Marriott, Beevers, Mayo,
McCauley, Morgan, McCombe, Brown, Cryan, Green (Bloomer
85), Birch, Molango (Asamoah 59). Subs not used:
Referee: R.Booth (Sutton Ashton).
Curle’s new look Chester City mounted a
second half come back against a tough, uncompromising
Lincoln City, to snatch a point at the death.
Chester went into the half time break slightly
unlucky to be two nil down. As in recent seasons
Lincoln proved difficult to break down, giving
City little room to manoeuvre. Only rarely did
the Blues managed to compose a passing movement
to threaten a strike at the visitors’ goal.
Ben Davies had Chester's first attempt but his
rasping shot was defelected wide.
Lincoln’s main threat came from set pieces
but they broke the deadlock from open play. The
ball was hoofed out to the left corner flag and
then returned swiftly and venomously into the
six yard box where Brown scored with a thumping
header. It was classic route one football, brutally
effective and strangely beautiful. City were then
unfortunate to go further behind just before half
time. A free kick was given for hand ball on the
left hand corner of the penalty area. Chester
seemed to defend slightly too deep and the kick
was met first time by Birch’s left footed
volley which flew into the net. Birch ran to the
City supporters in celebration before
he remembered which end he had scored in and tempered
Curle acted decisively at half time and threw
on two substitutes. City attacked like a whirlwhind
from the kick off and when Ryan Lowe got behind
the defence his right wing cross was met by Branch.
His flicked shot rebounded off the crossbar and
back into open play. Still Chester came forward,
managing to play more of a passing game. Branch
crossed from the right again and his chipped centre
was fumbled by Marriott under pressure. Davies
gleefully lashed the loose ball home. Marriott
clearly felt he had been impeded and went after
the referee but the goal stood and all he received
was a yellow card for his pains.
City continued to press for an equaliser and had
the lion’s share of the ball without making
their pressure tell until the fourth minute of
injury time. Davies was brought down in the box
during a hectic finale. Branch ignored Marriott’s
antics on the goal line to send him the wrong
way from the penalty spot and jubliant celebrations
followed – which resulted in a booking for
Had they not equalised this would still have been
a good display by City. There were lots of promising
signs in both style of play and fitness. Lincoln
were difficult opposition and will probably be
there or there abouts in the play offs again.
It was therefore a stern test which City did well
United 0 Chester City 1
Attendance: 4,980 Half Time 0-0
Booked: Davies, Dimech, Curtis, Bolland, Lowe.
Peterborough United: Tyler, Holden, St.
Ledger, Burton (Plummer 89), Arber, Kennedy (Day
73), Boucaud (Semple 58), Gain, Carden, Benjamin,
Crow. Subs not used: Harrison, Logan.
Chester City: MacKenzie, McNiven, Dimech,
Bolland, Regan, Davies, Drummond, Curtis, Lowe (Walker
82), Richardson, Branch. Subs not used: Vaughan,
Artell, El Kholti, Brookfield.
Referee: M.Messias (S.Yorkshire).
fair few ghosts were laid to rest at London Road
when a determined Chester team came away from
Peterborough with a much-deserved three points.
When City last won an away game
on the opening day of the season, Margaret Thatcher
had just become Prime Minister, InterCity 125
trains were new in service and the Boomtown Rats
were top of the charts with ‘I Don’t
Like Mondays’. It seems a long time since
that victory at Wimbledon’s Plough Lane
back in 1979, but Blues fans know all about being
City fans of a slightly younger
vintage still have to stretch their minds back
to 1983 for our last victory at Peterborough,
a match witnessed by a mere 1,661. But for all
Blues followers, the last match with Posh which
saw Chester relegated to the Conference in May
2000 was still sharply in focus.
It was certainly payback time
for all sorts of reasons and few Chester fans
were sorry that Mark Wright, now managing Peterborough
a year after walking out on City on the eve of
last season, was on the receiving end of a quality
second half performance by the Blues.
The match kicked off ten minutes
late as Peterborough seemed ill-prepared for the
number of home and away fans and didn’t
appear to have enough turnstiles open. Once we
were underway, the home team had the best of the
first 20 minutes, with Luke Dimech and Phil Bolland
both making quality clearances, as they did throughout
the rest of the afternoon. It certainly seem like
Chester wanted to make their point to Mark Wright
– with Ben Davies and Dimech both being
booked for fouls in the opening stages.
Neither goalkeeper were particularly
challenged until Ryan Lowe beat a Peterborough
defender and had a clear shot on target, which
was safely smothered by Mark Tyler.
Soon after another familiar
figure was yellow-carded, Posh captain Paul Carden
– ex-Chester captain and veteran of 194
City appearances, including the fateful relegation
match. Referee Matt Messias was also on the pitch
for that relegation game. I can’t remember
much about his performance on that day, but during
this match he simply did not let the game flow.
The third City booking within
28 minutes, came with a foul by Tom Curtis on
Posh’s ex-Leicester frontman, Trevor Benjamin.
The resultant free kick by Sagi Burton just shaded
over the crossbar, watched closely by the newly
shaven-headed Chris MacKenzie.
Chester came into the action
a little more and a Ben Davies corner was headed
over the crossbar by Stuart Drummond. Soon after,
Bolland also found himself in Mr Messias’s
book when he challenged Tyler in the goalmouth.
Booking number five came just before half-time
when Ryan Lowe protested after Chester got the
ball in the net after a goalmouth scramble, only
for the goal to be disallowed.
The second half started much
as the first – with Posh having more of
the ball in the opening spell. They appealed for
a penalty when Bolland tackled tricky Danny Crow,
but the ref gave a corner instead. That corner
came to nothing, as did another Posh corner not
long after – the Blues’ defence did
put on a reassuringly impressive show.
Lowe was now looking more dangerous
and made a couple of teasing crosses into the
Peterborough box, which didn’t quite result
in quality finishes. But that soon changed on
the 70th minute when Branch made an excellent
cross after a good Chester combination. His cross
found Ben Davies’ head, and ‘keeper
Tyler could only parry the ball out. Drummond
was completely unmarked about seven yards out
and had no trouble slotting the ball home. The
City fans went wild – I’m not sure
I’ve seen such goal celebrations since the
Conference promotion winner against Scarborough!
There was an edgy 20 minutes
left on the clock, and Posh’s Benjamin continued
to threaten the Blues’ goal. MacKenzie was
wrong-footed by a Crow lob and just went it looked
like the ball was going in the net, Dimech somehow
ran back and cleared it off the line.
MacKenzie redeemed himself in
the dying minutes with an impressive-looking diving
save from a Posh free-kick to keep Chester ahead.
Just when it seemed Mr Messias would never blow
up, Chester won a corner and look-alikes Davies
and sub Justin Walker killed time around the corner
flag. Soon after the whistle went, and the Chester
players saluted the 600-700 travelling fans, who’d
given the team tremendous support all afternoon.
Well, the last time City had
a victory away from home on the first day of the
season, they went on to reach the fifth round
of the FA Cup in the same season – beating
Barnsley, Newcastle and Millwall on the way. Let’s
all hope that history for once repeats itself.