makeshift Blues side stuttered to a feeble draw to Guiseley.
George was injured and Shaw dropped to the bench. Heneghan
returned but not to a back three as some might have guessed
but instead took his place in midfield. It was a role
that did not suit him and he struggled to get a foothold
in the play.
The formation was further disrupted on 23 minutes when
centre forward Hobson – still revelling in the injury
time winner at Moss Rose a couple of days ago had to retire
hurt after turning his ankle in the warm up. Mahon replaced
him but played in midfield and George Thomson was left
to fill the lone striker’s role – but in all
truth he was isolated from the ball most of the afternoon.
City tried to press down the flanks but could not maintain
sustained pressure on the visitors’ goal because
they could not hold on to the ball long enough and were
sloppy in possession. Instead it was the Lions of Guiseley
who played the passing game that City fans are used to
seeing the home side play. But neither goal came under
The game spurted to life midway through the second half
when, following a corner, Danny Lowe was adjudged to have
handled the ball. It undoubtedly made contact with his
arm but was only debatably intentional. Nevertheless the
referee, in consultation with his linesman awarded it
and Rooney converted the spot kick coolly.
Chester were lifted for a while and looked to increase
their lead. Kane Richards, who was one bright spot in
the City line up – went through on the left and
cut in to the box. He went down under challenge from the
defender in his wake only to see the referee book him
for diving. It looked more of a penalty than the one that
had been given – these things even up.
Guiseley were still smarting
from the original spot kick and plugged away at an equaliser.
They had one effort ruled out for offside but, with
six minutes remaining, substitute Adam Boyes had the
simple task of notching a goal when a cross rebounded
back to him across goal. It was disappointing for the
City faithful but no less than the visitors deserved.
Rooney came forward in the dying embers of the match
to try to snatch a win from the jaws of a draw but his
shot cum cross was deflected away from the goal by substitute
Captain Sharps was deserving of his man of the match
award – but in general it was a flat afternoon
after the euphoria of a late away win on Saturday. Chester’s
squad – which we all know to be small –
is perhaps looking a bit threadbare now that they are
carrying some injuries. It was brilliant news then that
the crowd funder appeal, which closed today, had exceeded
its target of £20,000. It gives Steve Burr a bit
more leeway as he looks to boost playing numbers.
last minute equaliser from substitute Tom Peers and a
stoppage time winner from Craig Hobson make for a happy
return to Moss Rose for Blues boss Steve Burr.
Burr was forced to make two changes
to the side beaten at Woking last week, Ben Heneghan
was ruled out through suspension and Ross Hannah through
injury, in came Craig Mahon and Michael Kay.
Both sides cancelled each other out
in a scrappy first half with the home side creating
the better chances. Jon Worsnop was forced into saves
to deny Danny Whitehead’s long range effort and
Danny Whitaker. Earlier both Jordon Chapell and Craig
Hobson had a sight of goal both putting their efforts
The Silkmen broke the deadlock seven
minutes after the break as Whitehead's shot passed through
a crowded penalty past Worsnop and in at the far post.
With the home side beginning to gain
the upper hand, manager Burr made changes bringing on
George Thomson and Kane Richards. John Rooney saw a
well executed free-kick cleared off the line and Thomson
went close a minute after coming on when he also saw
an effort cleared from the line by Neil Byrne.
With time running out another Rooney
free-kick was swung into the area and the loose ball
was prodded home by Peers. Not content with a point
in the fourth and final minute of stoppage time Worsnop
found Hobson with a long clearance, the Blues striker
turned on the edge of the box to shoot into the bottom
right corner of the net to send the 800 Chester supporters
on the terrace behind the goal and in the corner of
the stand wild.
afternoon that didn't start very well for Chester and
their fans – with road and rail problems affecting
many people heading to Kingfield – didn't end as
they wanted either, with the Blues being on the wrong
end of a 5-2 scoreline.
The team didn’t reach the ground until gone 2pm,
which could hardly have helped preparations on an afternoon
which saw the thermometer nudging towards 30°c.
Chester actually started the brightest of the two teams,
as they shot towards Woking’s small covered terrace,
with a good atmosphere created by those travelling Blues
who were able to get to the ground in time for kick-off.
Ross Hannah, who was struggling with an injury, came off
on the 16th minute to be replaced by Craig Mahon. By that
stage, both sides had only had half chances, with Jordan
Chapell shooting one over the bar for Chester.
But the game changed soon after that when Ben Heneghan
was red-carded after a foul in the box on Dan Holman.
Although I was right at the other end, I’m assured
it was a definite sending-off offence, with the possibility
of handball even being involved in the incident.
John Goddard netted a good penalty and, with Chester losing
their defensive talisman, it looked unlikely they would
reply. Craig Hobson actually came close to levelling matters
up when he found himself in a one-on-one with Cards’
keeper Jake Cole. But Hobson almost seemed to assume he
was offside and failed to capitalise on the opportunity.
Woking looked increasingly likely to score again just
before half-time, with one ball being cleared off the
Chester line and another shot heading over the bar.
Just as the Chester fans were settling into their seats
in Woking’s incongruous stand for the second half,
the home side did find the net. It was a well-taken goal
by Holman and left the 10-man Blues with little hope of
a result. It really was game over just six minutes later
when a well-struck free kick from Kadell Daniel found
the far corner to make it 3-0 to the Cards.
Chester didn’t roll over and die, however. In fact
they notched up their 500th competitive goal since they
were reformed when a John Rooney corner was passed back
to him. His great cross found Michael Kay’s header
and respectability was restored to the scoreline.
But Woking’s Joey Jones smashed another shot past
Jon Worsnop on the 76th minute to put the home side back
in the driving seat. For the neutral, there really were
some great goals scored in this match.
In fact, the goalscoring display was far from over after
Chester won a free kick in the danger area. Up stepped
John Rooney to score another sublime goal as his strike
dipped into the corner past Cole on the 89th minute.
There were four minutes of injury time in which it was
no surprise that yet another goal was scored. It was Woking’s
turn again when QPR loanee Ben Pattie lobbed the ball
over Worsnop to finish the scoreline at 5-2 to the hosts.
Chester fought out an entertaining draw with Cheltenham
Town, finding their feet in non-League football after
their relegation last season. Determined to make a swift
return they have recruited widely in the summer, fielding
eleven debutants in their first game at Lincoln.
It was Blues’ new arrival Ross Hannah though who
earned early plaudits by controlling the ball won in midfield
by Luke George and then cutting in from the right along
the edge of the penalty area before driving a fierce shot
past Phillips into the visitors’ net. It was a real
touch of class which lit up the evening and Hannah’s
performance throughout was good enough to earn him the
man of the match award. He did blot his copybook slightly
however when he latched on to a wayward backpass after
half an hour but screwed his shot wide with only the keeper
It looked like City would rue that missed opportunity
immediately as the Robins’ next attack saw Wright
nod a cross from the right back across goal only for Waters
– with the net at his mercy – hook the ball
narrowly over the crossbar.
Hannah did have the ball in the net again just before
half time as City counter attacked swiftly but he was
ruled offside and Blues went into the break just one goal
to the good. It was not long into the second half, however
before Chester conceded their first goal of the season
and they did so in the most calamitous of ways. First
Cheltenham forced a throw on the right as City dithered
at the back and then a miscued sky-high clearance by Hunt
gave enough time for Worsnop to dash off his line and
miss his punch completely on the edge of the box. Storer
was on hand to equalise.
For large periods of the second half the momentum was
with the visitors as they passed the ball around more
quickly and City could not maintain the same grip they
enjoyed earlier. Barthram on the right of midfield saw
a lot of the ball and was allowed to run towards goal
unchallenged only to see his shot crash upwards off the
bar. Blues did manage some response though and the best
effort of the half came when Hannah won the ball outside
the area and hammered a great shot towards goal. Phillips
was alive to it and tipped it round the post.
As Chester seemed to be losing ground in midfield, Hobson
replaced Rooney for the last quarter of an hour and his
aerial presence caused problems even for the Robins’
In the end, a draw was probably a fair result, though
on another day Hannah might have had a hat trick. For
a spell in the first half City were up to the dizzy heights
of third in the league while they were in front. At the
end they settled for a respectable seventh.
third clean sheet for the Blues defence who had to battle
hard to earn a point from the Crabble. Chester manager
Steve Burr named an unchanged side from the one that claimed
three points at The Shay on Tuesday night.
Hannah tried an ambitious long range effort in the opening
minutes that failed to test Mitch Walker in the home
goal. At the other end Jon Worsnop was called into action
as he saved well low down to deny Ricky MIller after
he's cut in from the left and shot from the edge of
Ben Heneghan forced a save from Walker
before Luke George made a great challenge to deny Stefan
Payne a clear chance of goal before the forward blazed
the loose ball over as the Whites pressed.
Hannah was denied the opening goal
by the Dover woodwork as the Blues forward latched onto
a through ball before sending in a shot that came back
form the bar.
The final effort of the bar fell to
Duane Ofori-Acheampong who shot over Worsnop’s
bar after he'd shake off a Ryan Higgins challenge.
Johnny Hunt did well to clear a Ricky
Miller effort off the goal line and over the bar to
safety after the home forward had chipped an effort
over the advancing Worsnop. The resulting corner was
put wide by Jamie Grimes.
With the home side getting on top
Miller missed another good chance shooting tamely at
Worsnop having been set up by Payne.
Craig Hobson replaced Craig Mahon
and the striker almost got on the scoresheet after heading
a Tom Shaw cross onto the bar. The Blues hit the bar
for a third time in the closing stages as a Heneghan
cross was deflected onto the woodwork.
followed their home win over Braintree Town on Saturday
with three more points and another clean sheet as their
unbeaten start to the season continued with an entertaining
victory at The Shay.
injury to Craig Hobson meant that Craig Mahon started
in an otherwise unchanged line-up. Jordan Burrow almost
opened the scoring for the home side in the opening
minutes heading wide of Jon Worsnop’s post.
Burrow had another sniff of a chance
moments later but Ryan Higgins was on hand to clear
the danger. Chester’s best chance of the opening
period came on 20 minutes when Josh MacDonald deflected
a Higgins centre that former Blue Matt Glennon in the
home goal did well to push round the post.
Ben Heneghan rose to meet a Mahon
cross to head just over as Chester came more into the
game. Mahon shot wide, Ross Hannah forced a save from
Glennon and skipper Ian Sharps headed wide before Chester
opened the scoring on 34 minutes.
Jordan Chapell scored the all important goal picking
up a loose ball outside the box and sending in a shot
that took a deflection off Graham Hutchison to give
Glennon no chance to the delight of the near 500 away
Hutchison and Jake Hibbs both headed
over the bar as Halifax unsuccessfully pushed for an
equaliser before the break.
Hannah pushed a header wide at the
start of the second period having met an inswinging
John Rooney free kick. Rooney himself forced a good
save our of Glennon following a free kick for the edge
of the box.
Danny Hattersley had the ball in the
net for Halifax but referee Wayne Barratt ruled the
effort out for offside after consulting one of his assistants.
James Bolton saw two efforts saved by Worsnop as the
home side pressed.
The Chester rearguard stood
firm under home pressure in the final period before
producing a couple of late efforts themselves that saw
Glennon palm a Hannah header over the bar and Chapell
send a shot into the side netting before Barratt blew
for full time.
fewer than six playes made their debuts in the opening
match of the new season and it took just four minutes
for one of the summer signings, Johnny Hunt, to score
the only goal of the game to seal the three points. Hunt
picked up the ball from a John Rooney short corner, turned
three defenders before firing home from the edge of the
box for a fine individual goal.
Iron hit back form their early setback with Jon Worsnop
forced into a couple of saves and captain Ian Sharps
heading clear under pressure from the visitors.
Ross Hannah went close to doubling
the lead on 15 minutes as his shot which beat ‘keeper
Will Norris was cleared off the line by Remy Clerima.
Craig Hobson fired wide from a good position, and Norris
also denied Rooney just before the interval with a fine
save from a trademark free-kick from the Blues midfielder.
Worsnop produced a great save to deny
Dan Sparkes an equaliser as Braintree pushed for an
equaliser in the second period.
The nearest Chester came to adding a second was an effort
from Jordan Chapell that rattled the crossbar. The woodwork
also denied John Rooney who also saw a 20-yarded come
back from the bar.
Sparkes just failed to make
contact with a teasing cross as Braintree pushed for
an equaliser, but Cheste weren’t to be denied
their first home win in three attempts against the Essex
HOME WIN FOR BLUES Early goals from Kole Hall and Kurt Willoughby set Chester up for a home win over Brackley Town.Early goals from Kole Hall and Kurt Willoughby set Chester up for a home win over Brackley Town.