Chester FC moved back to the top of the Blue Square Bet North with an impressive 4-1 victory at bottom of the table Histon in tricky conditions.
The Blues lead 4-0 at half time thanks to goals from George Horan, Nathan Jarman and a Tony Gray brace, as well as John Danby saving a penalty. The hosts rallied in the second half and were able to get a goal back and possibly deserved more but were denied by a spirited display by John Danby in the Chester goal.
With the rain falling heavily throughout the game, there were fears that the game may have been abandoned but, despite the pitch cutting up, the game went ahead without any issue. Neil Young named an unchanged side from that who featured at Gloucester on Sunday, meaning that Chester fans had to wait to see new signing Ben Mills back in a blue and white shirt.
Chester took an early lead after Scott Brown played a beautiful ball to Craig Curran, who aimed a pass towards Jarman, the in-form striker stepped over the ball, leaving it for Tony Gray and the former Southport striker lifted the ball over Carl Pentney to register his first league goal of the campaign for Chester.
The Blues looked impressive going forward but Histon were nearly able to find a way back into the game as Lewis Taaffe shot from twenty yards and forced Danby into a diving save.
Five minutes later and Chester were able to double their lead, Wes Baynes’ corner found George Horan and the Chester captain was able to get his first goal of the season with a bullet header at the front post.
The visitors didn’t have to wait long before increasing their lead further, Antoni Sarcevic the creator after beating a couple of players down the left wing and shooting, Pentney was equal to it though but Nathan Jarman was on hand to tap the ball home for his tenth goal of the season.
Craig Curran went close to adding a fourth with a 25 yard effort but Pentney in the Histon goal was equal to it. Soon after Curran was harshly penalised for a handball inside the penalty area, resulting in James Stevenson stepping up to take the kick, but a poor effort saw John Danby save comfortably, the Chester ‘keeper leaping back to his feet and was also able to deny Lewis Taaffe’s rebounded effort.
With a couple of minutes remaining in the half Chester added a fourth, Tony Gray beating two players before cutting in on his left foot and shooting low into the far corner to send Neil Young’s men in happy at the break.
Histon came out revitalised after the break and James Stevenson lead the fightback, creating several good chances for Shane Tolley, which in turn resulted in multiple fine saves from John Danby.
The first came in the fifty third minute as Stevenson on the right picked out Tolley in the middle of the Chester area, his shot was brilliantly saved at point blank range by Man of the Match Danby.
Stevenson again was at the heart of the Histon chances as he released Matt Waters one on one with Danby but again the Chester stopper was on hand to prevent Histon from scoring.
That resistance was broken minutes later as Claudiu Hoban crossed from the left and Shane Tolley was on hand to bundle the ball home from three yards out.
This prompted Neil Young into a change that saw new signing Ben Mills come on for Nathan Jarman, although that didn’t stop Histon from creating chances as Danby again was forced into saving from Tolley before denying Hoban as Histon continued to push for a way back into the game as the rain continued to fall.
Mills struggled to get enough time on the ball and after his pass back to Baynes getting stuck in the pitch it lead to Histon playing a ball to Tolley who should have done better, rather than shooting wide from inside the penalty area.
Wes Baynes went closest to increasing Chester’s lead with minutes remaining after Scott Brown had picked him out down the wing. Baynes shot low and across the ‘keeper from a tight angle but saw his effort shave the far post.
The biggest blow for Chester was that in the last minute Scott Brown picked up a yellow card that will see him miss the Brackley game.
Histon: Pentney, Roberts (Hawkins 45), Fitzsimons, Sear (Waters 45), Clerima (c), Mills, Taaffe (Freeman 75), Stevenson, Tolley, Dowie, Hoban
Subs: Ahmed, Ola
Goal Scorers: Tolley (61)
Chester: Danby, Baynes, D Williams, Horan (c), Collins, A Williams, Curran (M Williams 78), Sarcevic, Jarman (Mills 62), Gray (Hankin 66), Brown
Subs: Linwood, Howard,
Goal Scorers: Gray (8, 43), Horan (22), Jarman (29)
Man of the match: John Danby
Referee: Mr A Quelch
Assistant Referees: Mr J Marin, Mr N Phillips