Chester FC 1-2 Chorley

Reporter:

Dennis Wall

THE Blues paid a heavy price for failing to take their chances against the league leaders.

Chester should have sewn up the points by half time after creating a string of gilt-edged goalscoring chances, but they were left to reflect on what might been.

Chorley demonstrated just why they had started the season with such an impressive unbeaten run of results as they bossed the midfield areas.

But visiting goalkeeper Aaron Grundy deservedly earned the man of the match award for his series of unbelievably good reflex saves.

Andrew Russell had earned Chorley a 32nd minute lead before Rob Hopley headed Chester’s equaliser 10 minutes before half-time.

But the visitors pocketed all three points in front of the 3,092 crowd when Jack Dorney converted a 61st minute penalty after George Horan had floored substitute Shelton Payne on the edge of the area.

Blues boss Neil Young made just one change from the side that registered a 5-0 midweek victory at Bamber Bridge, with midfielder Andy Burgess replacing Iain Howard.

Burgess so nearly created an opening after just 30 seconds when his long ball forward for Michael Wilde eluded the striker and rolled into the possession of visiting keeper, Grundy.

Chorley looked like a team that were prepared to extend their impressive start to the season with Andrew Russell hoisting a ball towards Chris Simm whose header was promptly cleared by Chester centre back Danny Meadowcroft.

The Blues hit back in the 12th minute with Michael Wilde seeing his header fly wide of the left post from George Horan’s cross on the left of the area.

The contest became feisty and physical as the game progressed with both Simm and Meadowcroft booked for separate incidents.

But Chester should have capitalised with a 25th minute chance from Chris Williams’ inch perfect free kick, but Grundy superbly pushed Stuart Jones’ goalbound header wide of the mark.

The resulting corner from Robbie Booth found Horan who forced Grundy into a great save from point blank range.

But Horan was then booked for a cynical foul on the halfway line seconds later when Chorley were in the process of constructing a break.

Bradley Barnes kept Grundy on his toes in the 28th minute with a goalbound volley which was comfortably gathered.

But Chorley then pressed and broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when Simm’s free kick from the left edge of the area was only half-cleared and found Russell who slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.

Chester were denied an equaliser two minutes later when Wilde’s glancing header from Williams’ cross on the left was superbly saved by Grundy.

Jones then forced in-form Grundy into another impressive save after he powered a header towards goal from Booth’s corner.

But Chester did level matters 10 minutes before the break when Williams’ right-sided corner kick was superbly headed home by Rob Hopley who then came close to edging the Blues in front in 42nd minute, but his header was saved by Grundy.

Iain Howard replaced Booth just before the break after the young striker picked up a knock.

Chorley produced the first opening after the interval when Mark Houghton raced into the box before failing to make contact with an attempt from the right edge of the six yard box.

The Blues countered in the 47th minute with Meadowcroft connecting with a Williams cross, but the effort was easily gathered by Grundy.

Hopley maintained Chester’s pressure two minutes later when his right-footed 18 yard shot was punched clear by Grundy.

Andy Burgess, clearly struggling from the recurrence of an injury he picked up in pre-season, was then replaced by substitute Stuart Graves.

Chorley always looked a threat whenever they ventured forward, particularly after the introduction of lightning fast substitute Shelton Payne, who had replaced Tom Ince in the 54th minute.

Payne’s ability to sprint towards the Chester rearguard led to him being brought down on the edge of the Chester box by George Horan on the hour mark, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot from where Jack Dorney made no mistake, sending Whiteside the wrong way with his spotkick.

Williams tried to spark a response from Chester in the 66th minute, but his cross deflected out for a corner, before the Blues opted to replace Barnes with substitute Nick Rogan in the 69th minute.

A clash of heads between Horan and Jamie Vermiglio in the 73rd minute punctuated play and provided a chance for the Blues to catch their breath.

Williams was then presented with Chester’s final scoring chance of the match in the 82nd minute, collecting the ball in space from a squared pass on the edge of the box, but after controlling the ball he then saw his attempted lob over Grundy fly over the bar.

Chorley finished strongly and could quite easily have increased their advantage two minutes from time when Simm scampered into the box to find a superbly measured pass, but his low goalbound shot was brilliantly saved by Whiteside.

 

CHESTER (4-4-2): Whiteside; Williams, Horan, Meadowcroft, Jones; Stones, Barnes, Burgess, Booth; Hopley, Wilde. Subs: Sharrock, Howard, Rogan, Graves, Connolly.

CHORLEY (4-4-2): Grundy; Woodyatt, Walker, Maden, Russell; Whitham, Dorney, Vermiglio, Simm; Houghton, Ince. Subs: Smith, Payne, Jansen, Ross, Fairhurst.

Referee: DP Meeson.

Attendance: 3,092.

 

 

Full report and pictures in Monday's Leader.

See full story in the Leader

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