Tom Shaw’s first game as interim manager ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Ebbsfleet United after James Akintunde’s delightful left-footed finish ruled out Jack Powell’s sensational opener.
The game was the Seals first after the departure of manager Jon McCarthy on Wednesday and despite a great result might feel they could have come away with more.
Ebbsfleet United came into the game unbeaten in the league so far – a run that stretches back to December 2016.
The first half provided very few chances for both teams.
An effort from Wade Joyce from the edge of the area, after a bit of a scramble in the box, was blazed over the bar.
Ebbsfleet’s main threat was coming from Bagasan Graham down the left hand side. A pacy run resulted in a floated cross that found Kedwell but his header flew safely over the bar.
Chester pressed on in search of the opener. A ball over the top from Sheron found Kingsley James who nodded down to Nyal Bell but his shot was blocked and trundled into the hands of Nathan Ashmore.
Ross Hannah had an effort from outside the area deflected over. The resulting corner eventually ricochet out to Paul Turnbull who thundered his shot just wide of the post. The best chance of a relatively tight goalless first half.
The game opened up in the second half and James Akintude found himself in space a number of times down the right-hand side.
But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 58 minutes after Jack Powell’s effort from 30 yards flew past Conor Mitchell right into the top corner. His third goal this season.
Chester laid seige to the Ebbsfleet goal in serch of an equaliser.
A deep cross from James found Bell at the back post but he could only divert his header into the hands of Ashmore.
Some fantastic work between James and Joyce led to a Joyce effort that was saved. The resulting corner found Bell whose header was tipped wide by the Fleet stopper.
The Blues eventaully got their much deserved equaliser on 83 minutes. Craig Mahon headed down a long ball into the path of James Akintude who placed a beautiful left-footed finish past Nathan Ashmore.
Chester looked the most likely to bag the winner in the final stages of the game. Lucas Dawson’s shot from 25 yards flew narrowly over the bar before Nyal Bell blasted an effort just wide from the edge of the area.
A late scare saw Darren McQueen break free from the Chester defence but he was unable to pull it back to a waiting Luke Coulson.
A good result and performance from the Blues.
Chester FC: 13 Mitchell, 2 Halls(booked, 24), 3 Rowe-Turner, 4 James, 5 McCombe(c), 8 Turnbull, 10 Hannah(Mahon), 14 Joyce(Dawson), 15 Bell, 20 Akintunde, 27 Sheron SUBS: 1 Lynch, 7 Mahon, 12 Davies, 17 Dawson, 24 Hellawell
Ebbsfleet United: 1 Ashmore, 4 Rance(booked), 7 Powell(Drury), 9 Kedwell(c), 14 McQueen, 15 Graham, 16 Payne, 17 Shields(Coulson), 18 Mambo(Clark), 24 Magri, 26 Bush SUBS: 13 Miles, 6 Clark, 8 Drury, 19 Mills, 25 Coulson
Match Report by Sam Lawrence.