The Marcus Bignot era got off to a dream start as Chester produced a stunning performance to beat Maidenhead United 2-0 and earn their first home win since December 2016.
Chester started the game brightly with some neat early play which was rewarded with a free kick when Craig Mahon was brought down on the edge of the area. Lucas Dawson’s superb delivery was cleared by the Maidenhead defence only to fall to James Akintunde who picked up the loose ball to find Blues defender Ryan Astles inside the six yard box who rifled home his shot into the roof of the net to give the Seals a 1-0 lead in the opening 7 minutes and get Marcos Bignot’s reign as Chester Manager underway in a buzzing Swansway Chester Stadium atmosphere.
Maidenhead looked to respond with a Free kick in a dangerous area but the cross was fired straight into the hands of Lynch with a comfortable save from the Blues keeper.
Chester nearly doubled their lead when Akintunde again found space to receive a pass and drove a low cross which nearly found its way through to Ross Hannah at the back post to slot past keeper Carl Pentney but the Leicester academy graduate got low to parry away however his save fell to Dawson who’s lofted pass went high and wide of the goal.
The Blues began to assert their dominance on the game and nearly added another goal when James Akintunde who was a constant threat throughout the first half battled Maidenhead skipper Alan Massey to outmuscle the Defender off the ball and then cut a pass back to Ross Hannah who fired agonizingly over to deny Marcos Bignot an almost perfect first half.
Another terrific chance for the Blues to double their lead when Lathaniel Rowe-Turner beat two men with some superb footwork and trickery to pick out Akintunde who couldn’t execute his shot. However, the ball was picked up by Ross Hannah who’s shot was fired wide.
An almost identical scenario arose when that man again Lathaniel Rowe-Turner was let loose on the left-hand side gliding through the Maidenhead defence and drove a low cross towards Kingsley James who’s shot was cleared off the line by Magpies Captain Massey with a terrific low block.
Maidenhead nearly picked up on a Chester error as a loose pass found Jake Hyde who fired towards Lynch but the Blues keeper stayed strong to deny the 27-year-old forward and keep the score at 1-0.
The second half got underway similarly to the first with Chester seeing the majority of the ball. Ryan Astles found Rowe-Turner down the left who charged at goal and fizzed a dangerous cross that deflected for a corner.
The Blues were still looking to find that second goal to give them some deserved breathing space and it came close when Ross Hannah found Tom Shaw whose majestic turn bewildered his marker but his shot was tame and straight at Pentney.
Another fantastic opportunity for that crucial second goal when Kingsley James was slotted through down the right flank and pulled a ball back for Craig Mahon who’s shot was superbly blocked and deflected wide.
Maidenhead’s best chance came on 65 minutes when a cross was put straight onto the head of Clifton who met the header well to fire low and hard but Lynch did well to deny the forward the equalizer.
The Harry McNally terrace almost erupted when some smart play between Akintunde and Dawson which saw Akintunde through on goal but he pulled back to Dawson who drilled a hard shot that was pushed away with a smart save from Pentney to deny the 23-year-old a deserved goal in a superb performance.
Chester were finally rewarded for their persistence when a handball in the box was awarded a penalty and Ross Hannah stepped up and slotted the ball into the left-hand corner to give the Seals the deserved cushion in a game that has been largely dominated by Bignot and his side.
A standing ovation from the Chester fans for Tom Shaw Craig Mahon who were replaced by Paul Turnbull and Wade Joyce.
The Blues almost found a third on the 81st minute when a Ross Hannah corner found the head of Astles but just went wide of the post for a goal kick. Hannah had another chance two minutes later when the ball fell to him from a long throw but the strikers shot was high and wide.
Maidenhead were still trying to get back into the game and some clever play from substitute Maximlian Kilman found Sam Barratt who fired a thunderous cross straight into the path of Lynch who comfortably saved to calm the nerves of the Blues fans.
The biggest cheer of the day came when the supurb James Akintunde who was a menace all game for the Seals was replaced by the young Nyal Bell as the game came into the closing minutes.
The final scare of the match came on the 93rd minute when Harry Pritchard hit a shot from 30 yards out that went desperately close to finding the top corner but went just shy of the crossbar.
It proved to be the last real play of the match as Chester held out to take all three points and give Marcus Bignot a dream start to his tenure as Chester manager and earn the Blues their second win of the season and their first home win in 10 months.
Chester FC: Lynch, Halls, McCombe, Astles, Rowe-Turner, James, Shaw, Dawson, Mahon, Akintunde, Hannah
Maidenhead United: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Massey (c), Inman, Comley, Hyde, Pritchard, Clifton, Upward