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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
17:00 7th January 2017

Braintree 1-2 Chester

James Alabi's double at Cressing Road earned Chester their third win on their travels this season - beating Braintree Town 2-1 in the National League.

Braintree began the encounter just one point above the drop zone – and Hayrettin’s side had a great opportunity to take an early advantage in the game. Elliott Durrell was adjudged to have fouled Michael Cheek from 30-yards out, who duly took the free kick – as he fired inches wide of Alex Lynch’s near post.

Ryan Lloyd kept his place in the Chester starting line-up after the Blues fought off competition to extend the midfielder’s loan from Port Vale. Blaine Hudson was promoted to the first eleven with Sam Hughes omitted from the travelling squad due to injury.

The on-loan midfielder’s return to the club was almost awarded with a goal twenty minutes in. James Alabi’s pass destined for Kane Richards was intercepted by Lloyd – but Sam Beasant came quickly off his line to deny his effort.

A crucial mistake from Luke George led to the home side’s goal on the half hour mark. A cross-field ball for Kris Twardek was missed by the Blues captain, and the Iron winger found Jack Midson rising within the area is head home.

It was fair to say the Blues came faster out of the blocks in the second half – and almost made that count ten minutes in. Birthday boy and first half substitute Matty Waters collected the ball from Durrell on the edge of the area, turned to find room to shoot and fired inches over the crossbar.

The Blues pulled the game level on the hour mark through striker James Alabi. Credit to the counter attacking move from the midfield, which initially started the movement for the goal. Richards reached the by-line before swinging in a cross for his strike partner to glance a header past Beasant. 

And that is what confidence can do to a striker – as Alabi claimed his second of the game with just over five minutes to go. Tom Shaw did most of the hard work – and on the counter charge, fed the ball across to Alabi who put his foot through the ball to fire home. 

Braintree Town: Beasant, Clohessy, Okimo, Gayle, Isaac (Maybanks 87), Twardek, Midson, Corne (Lee 78), Barnard, Cheek (Henshall 70). 
Subs not used: Goodman, McNamara.

Chester FC: Lynch, George, Hudson, Astles, Horwood, Durrell (Joyce 85), Lloyd, Shaw, Chapell (Waters 25), Alabi, Richards.
Subs not used: Roberts, Marsh, Evans.

Referee: Adam Bromley

Attendance: 707

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