Park Avenue (H) | Brackley Town
Brackley Town 0 Chester 0
National League North
Attendance: 955 (133 Chester) Half Time: 0-0
Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Lopes, Murombedzi,
Lomas, Cullinane-Liburd, Prosser, Richards, Mitford (Lowe
65), Gordon (Ndlovu 65), Walker (Armson 81). Subs not
used: Worby, Rolt.
Chester: Stanway, Roberts, Grand, Weeks,
Livesey, Glendon, Stephenson, Burke, Dackers (Sargent
65), Heywood, Simmonds. Subs not used: Gray, Fitzpatrick,
Referee: Jamie O’Connor.
Livesey made his 100th, and final start for Chester, and
there was a senior debut for Ollie Heywood as the Blues
completed their season with a draw at second placed Brackley
Manager Steve Watson took charge for the final time and
was forced into one change as Okera Simmonds replaced
on-loan Rob Apter who was recalled by his parent club
After a very consistent season that saw them sit in the
top three places for most of it, The Saints had already
assured themselves of second place and home advantage
in the play-off semi-final’s, as a result the game
had little riding on it with supporters enjoying an end
of season party atmosphere.
The home side enjoyed more of the possession, and many
corners, in the opening stages without really threatening
Wyll Stanway in the Blues goal. When the young ‘keeper
was called into action blocking a Tre Mitford effort the
ball fell to Jordan Richards whose shot on goal was deflected
for another flag-kick.
Chester went close twice in the dying stages of the first
half as Simmonds shot straight at Danny Lewis in the brackley
goal before Heywood saw an effort clear the crossbar by
Stanway pulled off a fine save to deny Fabio Lopes early
in the second period before pulling off another save to
prevent substitute Matt Lowe from opening the scoring.
Livesey was well placed to clear an effort off the line
from substitute Lee Ndlovu with 20 minutes remaining.
Up the other end Simmonds had Chester’s only real
late effort of note seeing his volley well saved following
a George Glendon free-kick.
The closing minutes belonged to Stanway who produced two
fine saves to deny both Jimmy Armson and Lowe and secure
Chester’s point and a third successive clean sheet
to end the season.
Picture © Rick Matthews
League Table | Match
photographs | Match
Chester 4 Bradford (Park Avenue)
National League North
Attendance: 1,899 Half Time: 1-0
Chester: Stanway, Roberts, Livesey (Williams
88), Grand, Fitzpatrick, Burke (Sargent 85), Weeks, Glendon,
Apter, Dackers (Simmonds 71), Stephenson. Subs not used:
Bradford (Park Avenue): Sykes-Kenworthy,
Ross, Hinds, Odunston, Havern, Fielding (Windass 75),
Knight, Toulson, Dockerty (Clee 70), Johnson, Hopper (Mottley-Henry
55). Subs not used: Hall, Ragan.
Blues and Steve Watson signed off the home campaign in
style at the Deva as they thrashed Bradford PA 4-0.
It could have begun horribly however when Kev Roberts
scuffed a back pass to Stanway and Lewis Knight latched
on to it for the visitors. But Stanway advanced and blocked
the forward’s shot on the edge of his area. Roberts
shortly made amends as he beat Johnson down the right
and crossed. The ball looped up off a defender and was
headed on by Glendon. Dackers shielded it for Apter to
strike inside the left post to give City the lead.
Earlier in Watson’s tenure, Chester had run rings
round Bradford at the Horsfall Stadium only to contrive
to lose the game one-nil. The Blues were in no mood to
be as profligate this time and Danny Livesey, making his
swansong at the Deva having announced his retirement earlier,
had the ball in the net soon afterwards. It was disallowed
for a push on a defender however and the score remained
1-0 at half-time with Chester having had most of the attacking
play. But Avenue had pressed City’s defenders high
up the field and threatened as the ball was passed around
the back on a bumpy and at times unpredictable pitch.
City did indeed double their lead six minutes into the
second half after Dackers found Apter on the right. The
winger’s shot was saved by Sykes-Kenworthy but Roberts,
lurking in unfamiliar territory, tapped the rebound home.
After this Avenue capitulated as City came forward again
and again and might have had a bag full of goals along
with the two more that they did manage. Apter had a field
day and should have added to his tally when he dribbled
through almost the whole Bradford defence. Livesey finished
a move by striking a shot that the keeper deflected on
to the crossbar. Weeks in particular gave a masterclass
of midfield play. As he picked his way into the Bradford
area and shot, his effort was blocked on the line and
Dackers, as the ball ran loose, scored City’s third.
Weeks was not to be denied a mention on the scoresheet
though. He added a fourth when Stephenson crossed from
the left and he saw his first shot saved before picking
up the loose ball and walking it into the net from a tight
The match ended in carnival atmosphere as the Harry Mac
chanted that if Livesey scored they would be on the pitch.
Danny had to be content not with a goal but a standing
ovation and the Man of the Match award as he was withdrawn
a couple of minutes before the final whistle to bring
down the curtain on his Deva Stadium playing days.
As the final whistle went, first children and then all
and sundry went on to the pitch to salute the players.
Dackers was surrounded with youngsters seeking selfies
with him whilst Stephenson was enveloped by a posse singing
his song. It was a bitter-sweet ending given the uncertainty
caused by the news this week that Watson will not be staying
at the Deva after this season. Perhaps this was the last
we would see in blue and white stripes of many of these
players, no-one knows at the moment. At least what has
been in many ways a disappointing campaign ended at home
in the sun with a good win.
Only a trip to Brackley on Saturday awaits – with
nothing important on the line – Gateshead secured
the championship today.
© Rick Matthews
table after this match | Match
photographs | Match
WINDSOR JOINS MARINE
Forward Owen Windsor has left Chester today to join Marine.
|BLUES HELD AT HOME
Chester take the lead through Christian Norton but are held at home by Spennymoor.
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