Michael sends the Blues fans’ Wilde

Reporter:

Dennis Wall

STRIKER Michael Wilde turned the contest on it's head by converting two impressive headers in four second half  minutes.

The 26-year-old tormented his home town club as part-time Chester defeated their full-time opponents with a highly entertaining display.

Max Power had put the visitors 1-0 up after 38 minutes with a close range header, but the Blues were always battling to compete and Wilde's second half brace of goals deservedly earned Chester a memorable victory.

Goalkeeper, Chris Oldfield, Danny Meadowcroft, Kyle Armstrong, and Rob Hopley all returned to the Chester starting line-up in place of Richard Whiteside, Adriano Rigoglioso, Mark Peers, Mark Connolly, and Iain Howard who had all contributed in
the Blues' 3-0 home win against Aberystwyth on Saturday.

Tranmere included new signing Enoch Showunmi in their squad who had signed for the Wirral club earlier in the day.

Nigerian-born Showunmi, 28, started the match in the Rovers forward line and spent the second half of last season at Scottish Premier League club, Falkirk.

Chester picked up from where they had left off against Aberystwyth by providing plenty of effort and commitment  against their Wirral neighbours.

Left winger Chris Williams again caught the eye with a series of promising forays to spark a number of attacking  options.

The former Llangefni midfielder jinked his way forward after just four minutes and tried to pick out striker Rob  Hopley in the area, but the ball escaped him and ran into the grasp of grateful visiting keeper, Joe Collister.

Showunmi countered for Rovers two minutes later when he curled a 25 yard free kick over the defensive wall and over the bar.

But Chester hit back when Greg Stones initiated an eighth minute attack and fed Hopley from the left flank who  nodded the ball down for Andy Burgess, but the former Rushden midfielder's first time effort was rifled straight at  Collister from eight yards.

Burgess suffered a knock and had to be substituted in the 10th minute by Mark Connolly.

Williams produced a terrific left wing cross in the 14th minute as the Blues continued their positive start to the  proceedings. His centre had to be tipped away from Collister from beneath his bar and fell for Mark Connolly who saw his eight yard attempt fly over the target.

Connolly was making a lively start after his introduction and delivered a perfect right sided corner in the 17th  minute which Blues skipper, George Horan, headed fractionally wide of the right post.

Ryan Fraughan countered for Rovers in the 23rd minute when he attempted to pick out the imposing figure of Showunmi in the area from the left flank, but Oldfield read the situation and did well to grab possession.

Stones regained Chester's momentum after 24 minutes when he drilled a powerful effort wide from 25 yards after  Williams' corner had only been half cleared by the Tranmere defence.

Hopley looked alert when he latched onto a 27th minute headed pass from Graves, but Collister seized on the ball as the striker teed himself up for a shot.

Chester continued to press seconds later and forced Rovers right back, Matty Hollyoak, to find his keeper with a  headed pass under pressure from Williams.

Stones produced a timely tackle in his own box to deny Power on the half hour mark as he was preparing to test Oldfield, and Tranmere started to increase their tempo towards the end of the opening half.

Rovers diminutive substitute, Steve Conor, did well to cut his way into the left side of the area in the 31st minute, but he saw his 20 yard strike well held by Oldfield.

Conor then posed more problems two minutes later when he hoisted a dangerous looking centre towards Showunmi, but Horan was well placed to head behind.

Tranmere capitalised from their next attack in the 38th minute when Conor's left wing centre was headed into the left corner by Power.

Chester managed to create two opportunities before the break, with Kyle Armstrong hoisted a pass to the back post where Williams could only get a partial contact and the ball was easily claimed by Collister.

Connolly crafted the final effort of the half with a free kick from the left edge of area with curled only inches wide of the far post.

Tranmere attempted to extend their advantage within a minute of the second half when Conor headed over the bar from Jack Mackreth's right wing cross.

Chester then pulled themselves right back into the match by producing two goals in four minutes.

The Blues' equaliser in the 56th minute arrived courtesy of Michael Wilde steering home a back post header from Connolly's right-sided corner.

And Wilde then put Chester in the driving seat with another trademark header from Michael Aspin's 59th minute cross.

Chester began to take a stranglehold of the contest and could easily have increased their lead in the 65th minute  when Williams found the sidenetting from close range after Wilde's glancing header from substitute Chris Peers'
delivery.

And Wilde was presented with a incisive pass in the 32nd minute, but steered his shot wide under pressure from  Collister.

Trialist, Peers, provided hope of another goal six minutes from time but saw his close range effort saved by  Collister.

Tranmere responded when Jay Gibbs forced substitute Blues keeper Richard Whiteside in a fine save, and Conor steered a far post shot wide in the dying seconds.

CHESTER (3-5-2): Oldfield (whiteside 55); Stones (Peers 50), Horan, Meadowcroft (Ruffer 50); Williams, Graves  (Rigoglioso 69), Burgess (Connolly 10), Armstrong (Ryan 50), Aspin; Hopley, Wilde. Subs (not used): Jones.

TRANMERE ROVERS (4-4-2): Collister; Abou Bakayogo (Stockton 63), Benson (Healing 55), Zoom Bakayogo, Hollyoak; Fraughan, Gibbs, Power, Manga (Conor 22); Mackreth, Showunmi. Subs (not used): Coughlin, Vaulkes.
Referee: John Dowd.

Attendance: 1,927 (553 from Tranmere).

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