Chester FC 3-1 Rushall Olympic

Reporter:

Dennis Wall

LEADING marksman Michael Wilde’s injury time goal in extra time cemented the Blues’ place in the second round of the League Challenge Cup.

Wilde netted his 11th goal in 11 games when he slotted a low strike beyond visiting keeper Luke Cunningham to complete a victory against nine man Rushall.

Rushall had broken the deadlock in the 49th minute when Mitchell Tolley smashed home from close range of a Anthony Maguire corner.

But Chester levelled matters in the 83rd minute when Kyle Wilson slotted home after receiving a flick on from Michael Wilde.

And Tom Field edged the Blues ahead in the eighth minute of extra time with a superbly struck 20-yard shot from Mark Peers’ free kick.

Rushall, who had Decio Gomez sent off for a second bookable offence in the 72nd minute, were reduced to nine men after 108 minutes when Lucan Spittle was shown a straight red card for a late tackle on Wilson.

Blues boss Neil Young made a total of nine changes from the side that had scored a 4-1 league weekend victory at Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Striker Rob Hopley started as a centre half alongside Gareth Evans in a 4-5-1 formation that featured debutant Richard Foulkes in central midfield, Chris Williams as a left winger and Kyle Wilson making his first home start as a lone striker.

Chester enjoyed the majority of possession during the early exchanges against their Walsall-based opponents.

Defender Evans picked out Williams with a diagonal pass after just three minutes, but the Welshman’s shot from the left edge of the six yard box was deflected high and wide of the target.

Olympic countered two minutes later when striker Ahmed Obeng received a through-ball but sliced his 20-yard right-footed wide of the right post.

Foulkes was presented with a shooting opportunity after 19 minutes, but his goalbound effort deflected off a defender and onto the left post.

The visitors responded seconds later when a pull back from Obeng found Gary Fitzpatrick who blazed over the bar from 22 yards.

Chester hit back in the 25th minute when Mark Peers raced to the edge of the box from the right flank and found Tom Field who in turn picked out Wilson in space eight yards from goal, but the striker miscued his effort which was gratefully gathered by visiting keeper, Luke Cunningham.

The visitors then began to trouble the Blues’ rearguard, with Stanford Hepburn latching on to a long ball from Mitchell Tolley in the 32nd minute and rifling a powerful right-footed shot that Oldfield was forced to gather at the second attempt.

Rushall were awarded a penalty two minutes later when Blues defender Stuart Graves was booked for flooring Obeng, but right back, Tolley, crashed his spotkick against the bar.

Chester remained on the backfoot in the 39th minute when substitute Anthony Maguire sprinted into a shooting position and forced Oldfield into a save from 25 yards with his low drive.

Wilson was gifted with a close range header from Greg Stones’ right wing cross in the 45th minute, but he steered his effort straight at Cunningham.

And Gareth Evans failed to find the target with his six yard volley after Rushall had failed to clear Peers’ left-sided corner.

Substitute Michael Aspin was introduced for his home debut immediately after the interval in place of Evans, and Rushall replaced John Littler for Danny Ashton.

But the visitors caught Chester cold in the 49th minute to break the deadlock.
Maguire’s left sided corner was completely missed by Oldfield and miscued by Andy Burgess to find Tolley who smashed home from close range.

Wilson was provided with a chance to redress the balance in the 56th minute when he seized on a long pass from Peers but blazed his powerful shot well wide of the mark.

Leading marksman Michael Wilde replaced Foulkes in the 57th minute as Chester attempted to produce a positive reaction.

And Bradley Barnes was introduced as a 66th minute replacement for Graves as the Blues tried to regain control in the midfield areas.

But Hopley had to make a well-timed tackle to deny Rushall substitute Chris Morris as he was about to pull the trigger, and Oldfield was well placed to catch a glancing header from Maguire seconds later.

Morris looked a threat in the 71st minute when he beat Williams on the right edge of the area and drilled a low shot across the face of goal and fractionally wide of the left post.

But Rushall were reduced to 10 men a minute later when Gomez was shown his second yellow card for a deliberate handling offence to deny Peers a run on goal.

Peers and Aspin combined on the right wing in the 80th minute and Aspin’s inch-perfect delivery into the box found Wilson, but the striker’s first time shot flew straight at Cunningham.

Chester continued to press and were rewarded for their persistence after 83 minutes when Oldfield’s kick was brilliantly flicked on by Wilde for Wilson who slid the ball beyond Cunningham to find the bottom left corner of the net.

The Blues were now playing with a spring in their step, and a goal from Williams two minutes from time was ruled out by an offside flag.

Barnes then forced Cunningham into a save with his header from Peers’ right-sided cross as Chester continued to push for a late winner, but were forced into extra time.

Tom Field scored a stunning 96th minute goal with a 20-yard shot from a squared free kick by Peers to give the Blues a deserved lead before Wilde rounded off the proceedings.

CHESTER (4-5-1): Oldfield 7; Stones 7, Evans 7 (Aspin 45), Hopley 7, Graves 7 (Barnes 66); Peers 8, Burgess 7, Foulkes 7 (Wilde 57), Field 7, Williams 9; Wilson 8. Subs (not used): Barnes, Howard, Jones.

RUSHALL OLYMPIC (4-4-2): Cunningham 8; Tolley 7, Littler 7 (Ashton 45), Spittle 7, Gomez 7; McNaught 7, O’Kelly 7, Fitzpatrick 8, Brady 7 (Maguire 16); Hepburn 7 (Morris 58), Obeng 8. Subs (not used): Dacres, Melbourne.

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