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Spennymoor Town (H) | King’s Lynn Town (A) | Boston United (H) | Gloucester City (A) | Bradford (Park Avenue) (A) | Hereford (A)
Tuesday 28 February
Hereford 1 Chester 2
National League North
Attendance: 1,639 (148 Chester) Half Time: 1-0
Booked: -.

Hereford: Visser, Thompson-Sommers, McLean, Lloyd, Amadi-Holloway, Hanson (Livermore 89), Pendley, Barnett (Storey 61), Holmes (Pinchard 61), Andoh, Latty-Fairweather. Subs not used: Klukowski, Campbell.
Chester: Tyrer, Morgan, Williams, Edwards, Heywood, Roberts, Weeks, Hughes (Lynch 76), Murray, Caton, Willoughby (Thomas 90+2). Subs not used: Brown, Stephenson, Earl.
Referee: D.McCarrick.

Chester’s amazing streak of away match success continued at Hereford on Tuesday where goals from Charlie Caton and ‘King’ Kurt Willoughby saw them move up to third in the league.

On a cold night at Edgar Street, which started with a moving minute’s silence to John Motson at the ground which made him famous, Chester proved to be the best in most departments. They could have been in the lead within the first five minutes when Willoughby pounced on a rebound, but failed to find the target.

Chester’s top scorer had another chance halfway through the first half, but his shot went over the bar. At this stage, the Hereford fans were very quiet, while the travelling army of 148 were sounding more like 500!

The Bulls came close to scoring just before the end of the first half, when a powerful shot from Levi Andoh went just wide. But Chester goalkeeper Harry Tyrer wasn’t really called into serious action during the first 45 minutes.

Hereford came close after the re-start, with a strike from Jack Holmes going close to the target. But, as the hour-mark approached, it was Chester who were first to find the net. A cross from Declan Weeks was headed home by Caton to turn the Edgar Street away volume up again.

It felt like Chester were still celebrating when Hereford won a free kick about 15 minutes later. Bulls’ dangerman Thierry Latty-Fairweather collected the ball from a free-kick and made a good strike past the diving Tyrer to level up the score.

But ten minutes later, the Blues were back in the lead when Matty Williams hit the crossbar from a corner by Declan Weeks. The ball fell nicely for goalpoacher Willoughby and he had an easy job of finding the net.

The Bulls tried to come back into it, and there was a nervy four minutes of injury time as they pressed forward. Credit throughout the game must go to Chester’s Iwan Murray who was a continuous thorn in Hereford’s side. But the whole team deserved to leave Hereford with a valuable three points.

Sue Choularton

Picture © Rick Matthews

League Table | Match photographs |
Saturday 25 February
Bradford (Park Avenue) 1 Chester 2
National League North
Attendance: 674 Half Time: 1-0
Booked: Roberts, Brown.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Sykes-Kenworthy, Ross, Staunton, Lancaster (Spencer 64), Havern, Fielding, Hooper, Richman (Hinds 90+2), Dockerty, La-Bastide (Chorlton 61), Longbottom. Subs not used: Hall, Johnson.
Chester: Tyrer, Morgan (Coates 46), Williams, Earl, Heywood (Brown 61), Roberts, Weeks, Murray, Caton, Dudley (Thomas 71), Willoughby. Subs not used: Hughes, Edwards.
Referee: D.McCarrick.

It was another late show from the Blues as Charlie Caton and Kurt Willoughby score to secure another vital three points

Following on from the midweek point gained at Gloucester City, Chester made three changes to the side for the Bradford match, Lewis Earl, Jamie Morgan and Anthony Dudley joined the starting X1 in place of Liam Edwards, Kieran Coates and Rhys Hughes.

It was the home side that started well and indeed opened the scoring after just two minutes as Simon Richman rose to head home from a free kick.

Chester started to grow into the game following the early setback and they almost drew level on 15 minutes as Kurt Willoughby saw a free kick hit the post with Iwan Murray putting the rebound wide.

It was a stale game of very few chances but with ten minutes remaining the Blues drew level through Caton who produced a quality finish from a Declan Weeks cross to give George Sykes-Kenworth no chance in the Avenue goal. Chester, sensing the chance of a victory, continued to apply pressure for the final ten minutes.

With the game deep into stoppage time Adam Thomas sent over a deep cross that was headed back cross goal by Caton for Willoughby to glance the ball home and grab all three points to the delight of the Chester following behind the goal.

Picture © Rick Matthews

League Table | Match photographs | Match highlights
Tuesday 21 February
Gloucester City 1 Chester 1
National League North
Attendance: 828 (147 Chester) Half Time: 0-0
Booked: Coates.

Gloucester City: Hall, James, Digie (Evans 21), Morgan, Tiensia, Obadeyi, Berkeley-Agyepong, O’Sullivan, McHale, Phillips, Nirrenold. Subs not used: Jones, Barnes-Homer, Demira.
Chester: Tyrer, Weeks, Willoughby (Dudley 77), Roberts, Williams, Coates, Murray, Heywood, Caton (Stephenson 82), Hughes (Thomas 60), Edwards. Subs not used: Morgan, Earl.
Referee: Jonathan Maskrey.

Substitute Adam Thomas opened the scoring for Chester but a Kieran Coates own goal levels for Gloucester.

Gloucester started the game brightly on their 3G pitch with Blues ‘keeper Harry Tyrer producing a fine save to deny Tope Obadeyi on 15 minutes, the same player had earlier threatened but headed wide from a good position.

It was a cagey opening with Rhys Hughes having Chester’s only real effort of note in the opening 30 minutes but his shot was comfortably saved by Brandon Hall in the gloucester goal.

Matty Williams and Charlie Caton both had half chances as Chester grew into the game as the half wore on and they almost snatched the lead just before the break as Kieran Coates’ cross into the box evaded everyone and rebounded back off the post.

Chester introduced Thomas on the hour mark at the expense of Hughes and the player made an immediate impact with the opening goal as he reacted quickest to a poor clearance form a Declan Weeks corner to volley the Blues in front.

The Blues thought they’d added a second moments later but Caton’s effort was cleared off the line. Kurt Willoughby headed wide and Caton saw a shot well saved by Hall as Chester pressed for a second goal.

The home side drew level with twelve minutes remaining as Jack James’ low cross from the right was pushed clear by Tyrer but only onto the legs of Coates who deflected the ball into his own net.

In the final minute the Blues had a great chance to claim all three points as Ollie Heywood’s cross was met by Iwan Murray but he could only turn the ball agonisingly inches wide from six yards out.

Picture © Rick Matthews

League Table | Match photographs |

Saturday 18 February
Chester 1 Boston United 0
National League North
Attendance: 2,266 (84 Boston) Half Time: 0-0
Booked: Coates, Roberts.

Chester: Tyrer, Weeks, Stephenson, Willoughby, Thomas (Caton 78), Roberts, Williams, Coates, Heywood, Hughes (Dudley 71), Edwards. Subs not used: Morgan, Brown, Murray.
Boston United: Gregory, Sephton (Atkinson 61), Platt, Shiels, Burrow, Pollock, Goodson (Wright 70), Chadwick (Mitford 83), Mills, Cummings, Nixon. Subs not used: Munakandafe, Hasani.
Referee: Gareth Thomas.

Declan Weeks showed impeccable timing as he fashioned one last shooting opportunity from the edge of the box. He threaded the ball through the eye of a needle to score in off the post with virtually the last kick of the game.

Boston had provided a stout rearguard action for ninety plus minutes, while offering little threat at the other end of the pitch. Against the expectations of many the visitors find themselves near the wrong end of the table but came to the Deva on the back of an impressive 3-1 victory against Darlington last weekend. Chester, stymied by too many draws at home, started this game with two wingers – Thomas and Stephenson on right and left in an effort to take the game to the opposition.

Both wingers carved openings in the first half. First Stephenson found Roberts in the box. His first time swing lacked the power and accuracy to trouble Boston’s keeper. Thomas forged a crossing opportunity down the right linking up well with Coates and Hughes, but Willoughby stumbled as he met the cross allowing Cummings to clear.

Gregory in the Boston goal spilled a corner and Stephenson’s flick was scrambled off the line. A superb diagonal pass from Williams found Stephenson again and he cut in to release a venomous shot – parried by Gregory. But the closest City came to scoring was Weeks’ shot from distance which Gregory saved at full stretch.

The pattern of play continued after the break. Yet for all their dominance City managed to create little in the way of clear chances and Gregory was relatively untroubled. The Pilgrims managed a shot on goal themselves when experienced striker Burrow fired a half volley from distance which Tyrer caught just below the crossbar.

The tension in the game began to spill over when Roberts and Wright were booked for tangling with each other on the halfway line and then City refused to give the ball back after Gregory kicked it out for a throw seeking treatment for Platt – which wasn’t needed. Cummings was booked for crashing in to Willoughby in the argy bargy that followed.

The excellent Roberts crossed for substitute Dudley to volley well over as the game crept into stoppage time and the opportunity to win seemed to evaporate. Roberts had turned in what many saw as a man of the match performance but the match sponsors showed prescience in choosing Weeks instead. He then proceeded to create the sensational match winning moment which led to wild celebrations. Manager McIntyre was cautioned for transgressing way beyond his technical area to join in with the exuberant Blues players and fans.

Colin Mansley

Picture © Rick Matthews

League Table
| Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]
Saturday 11 February
King’s Lynn Town 0 Chester 1
National League North
Attendance: 1,389 Half Time: 0-0
Booked: Tyrer, Roberts.

King’s Lynn Town: P.Jones, A.Jones, Crowther, Coulson, Denton, J.Jones (Omotatyo 46), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Hughes, Widdrington, Cosgrave, Ponticelli (Walker 87). Subs not used: Fleming, Callan-McFadden, Blair.
Chester: Tyrer, Weeks, Willoughby, Roberts, Williams, Coates (Morgan 66), Murray (Stephenson 53), Heywood, Caton, Hughes, Edwards. Subs not used: Brown, Thomas, Lynch.
Referee: Stephen Parkinson.

Chester responded perfectly to Tuesday night’s disappointing home defeat at the hands of Spennymoor Town, with a narrow victory at league leaders King’s Lynn Town, who were previously unbeaten at home this season.

Lynn had won 11 of their 12 home matches so far and almost opened the scoring in the first couple of minutes as Harry Tyrer was forced into a good save to deny Jordan Ponticelli from close range, pushing the ball out with his legs for a corner. The resulting flag-kick saw Josh Coulson head wide.

The first effort for the visitors came on 20 minutes as Rhys Hughes met an Ollie Heywood throw-in but saw his curling shot go narrowly wide. Tyrer saved the Blues again minutes later as Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain forced another fine save from the Chester shot-stopper.

Ten minutes before the break there was a let off for Chester as Lynn wasted a great chance to open the scoring as Adam Crowther planted a header wide from Theo Widdrington’s free-kick.

Tyrer saved a swirling long range effort from Aaron Jones before Oxlade-Chamberlain tested Tyrer again.

The Linnets started the second half strong with Ponticelli seeing along-range volley flash just wide after being set up by substitute Gold Omotayo. The home fans appealed for a penalty for a pull-back on Aaron Cosgrave but referee Stephen Parkinson was having none of it.

Twelve minutes from time Chester got the all important goal. Persistent work from Kieran Coates saw the ball crossed into the near post where Hughes took advantage of a moment of hesitancy br Crowther to intercept and steer the ball home from a narrow angle and seal all three points.

League Table | Match highlights [YouTube]

Saturday 4 February
Chester 1 Spennymoor Town 2
National League North
Attendance: 2,061 Half Time: 0-1
Booked: -.

Chester: Tyrer, Coates, Williams, Edwards, Burke (Thomas 66), Brown, Roberts, Weeks, Hughes (Stephenson 46), Dudley, Willoughby. Subs not used: Morgan, Murray, Caton.
Spennymoor Town: Langley, Lufudu, Wombwell, Curtis, Taylor, Ramshaw, Ross, Kendall, Faulkner, McKeown (Shanks 90), Blackett (Anderson 62). Subs not used: Flatters, Ravenhill, Thomson.
Referee: Darren Rogers.

Chester suffered their first league defeat since early October as Spennymoor grabbed all three points at Deva Stadium.

Following on from the last gasp draw with Alfreton Town on Tuesday, there was a start for goal here Anthony Dudley and also a return in defence for Harrison Burke. Making way, and starting on the bench, were Iwan Murray and Charlie Caton.

It was a scrappy start to the game with Chester creating the first opening as Dudley tested Dan Langley in the Moors goal with an acrobatic effort (pictured).

It wasn’t long though before Moors took the lead in the 12th minute. Ryan Wombwell was given space and his cross deflected to Paul Blackett who did just enough to force the ball over the line. Chester were under pressure and John Lufudu almost doubled the lead moments later but shot wide after his initial effort was well blocked.

Harrison Burke saw a great header equally well saved by Langley who prevented the youngster from finding the net. Langley was in the thick of the action again moments later to deny Dudley, sent through one-on-one, saving with his legs.

Rhys Hughes saw a flashing free-kick somehow evade everyone in the box before going out.

Chester were creating plenty of chances but found Langley in inspired form as he once again denied the Blues with a great save to stop a Declan Weeks effort finding the net. The final action of the half was t the other end though as Harry Tyrer produced a fine save from Corey McKeown.

Burke was denied again early in the second period, his goalbound header cleared off the line by Wombwell. Despite Chester creating plenty of chances earlier on, it was to be the visitors who found the net with a second goal on 65 minutes as McKeown’s cross found dangerman Glen Taylor who made no mistake.

The Blues responded well, substitute Darren Stephenson fire just wide before the Blues were awarded a penalty after Matty Williams’ header was handled in the area. Kurt Willoughby stepped up to convert the spot-kick to reduce the arrears.

Chester pressed for an equaliser and had a great chance to level in the dying minutes as Weeks' deep far post cross found Kieran Coates but the defender was unable to keep his effort down and it blazed wide of the target.

Picture © Rick Matthews

League Table | Match photographs | Match highlights [YouTube]























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