Wakefield 1-2 Chester FC

Reporter:

Dennis Wall

BLUES fans had every reason to celebrate Chester’s first league win of the season.

More than 400 supporters had made the trip across the Pennines for another momentous day in the club's history.

And Chester boss Neil Young emerged after the match with a contented grin on his face after securing his first victory from three visits to the College Grove ground.

George Horan and Stuart Graves accounted for Chester's all important goals which ensured their club remain unbeaten despite a stop-start campaign to date.

Chester made four changes from the side that prised a point from their 1-1 opening draw at Warrington Town 14 days earlier.

Nick Rogan and Bradley Barnes were making their first league starts, while Carl Ruffer and Stuart Jones were named in the starting line up in place of Danny Mahoney and Chris Peers.

The Blues enjoyed the majority of possession during the first half and earned a well deserved 1-0 interval lead courtesy of a George Horan header.

Midfielder Andy Burgess created the first scoring chance after just two minutes, but his powerful 20 yard goalbound effort was held by home keeper Josh Herring.

Burgess and striker Michael Wilde then tried to set up Rogan on the edge of the area, but Wilde's intended pass to the on loan Fleetwood player ran into Herring's grasp.

Wilde looked an increasing threat and forced Herring into two successive saves after 10 minutes.

Barnes' searching 12th minute forward pass for Rogan was judged to perfection as Chester continued to boss the opening exchanges, but Rogan's eventual 10 yard shot was well saved by Herring.

Ruffer created the Blues next opportunity with a fine cross-field ball for Jones who steered his header wide of the right post.

Wakefield punctuated the Chester pressure after 16 minutes when Steve Nicholson's free kick was launched towards the imposing 6ft 6in targetman Tom Denton, but Blues keeper, Richard Whiteside was alert to the danger and did well to punch clear on the edge of his box.

Chester countered in the 20th minute when Burgess' long ball for Rogan was controlled by the striker, but his shot was blocked by defender Aidan Morris.

The Blues then capitalised on their dominance in the 25th minute when Greg Stones' long throw was headed by Horan into the right corner of the net.

The game then turned physical, but Delroy Ferguson's late tackle on Burgess went unpunished, and Tom Field was booked for dissent after seeing another late tackle ignored by the Sheffield referee.

Wilde was set up by Stones in the 38th minute as Chester attempted to build on their lead, but the striker's effort was blocked by the home team’s defender Marc Roberts.

Wakefield hit back in the final minute of the half when Ian Robinson produced a jinking run on the right flank and threaded a pass beyond the Blues defence to find Ferguson whose 10 yard effort was superbly saved by Whiteside.

Burgess provided Ruffer with the final scoring chance of the half, but his left-sided corner kick saw Ruffer's header easily gathered by Herring.

Wakefield looked determined to get back on level terms immediately after the resumption with Denton seeing his goalbound effort saved by Whiteside in the 48th minute.

The Yorkshire club were beginning to turn the screw on the Blues and equalised in the 52nd minute after Elliott Firth created space on the edge of the box before rifling a low shot from 20 yards into the bottom right corner of the net.

Chester should have regained a one goal cushion six minutes later when Whiteside's long kick was back-headed by home skipper Wes Milnes into the path of Rob Hopley whose first time angled volley from eight yards fizzed over the bar.

Young opted to introduce Stuart Graves and Iain Howard in place of Tom Field and Nick Rogan respectively in the 61st minute and the duo played a key role in pocketing the Blues maximum points.

Andy Burgess stung Herring's fingers in the 63rd minute with a low left wing cross, and Milnes cleared the danger under pressure from Hopley who was ready to pounce.

Chester continued to press in the 67th minute when Wilde's powerful shot was parried by Herring before Ruffer drilled a close range effort into the sidenetting.

A loud penalty appeal from Chester's players and bench was turned down by the referee after Milnes looked like he had controlled a Burgess cross with his hand in the 75th minute.

But Chester's disappointment turned to celebration a minute later when the substitute duo of Howard and Graves combined.

Howard twisted and turned his way into space before feeding Graves who made no mistake with a rasping 20-yard shot which found the bottom right corner of the net.

Barnes looked as if he had extended Chester's advantage in injury time with a sweet dipping volley, but Herring brilliantly palmed his goalbound shot wide of the mark.

Wakefield were presented with the final scoring chance five minutes into stoppage time when the ball fell invitingly for Denton inside the Blues' area, but the striker miscued his effort and Whiteside gratefully grabbed possession.

See full story in the Leader

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