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16:55 26th December 2013

Southport 0 Chester 0

Chester FC battled hard but were unable to break down a stubborn Southport back line. Jamie Reed missed the best chance of the game, blazing over the bar from 20 yards when one on one with Danny Hurst.

Neil Young gave Tom Peers his first start for the club as a depleted Chester squad travelled to Southport. With Gareth Seddon, Paul Linwood and Jason Jarrett all out suspended and Danny Higginbotham injured it left the Blues boss with little choice but to make a few changes.

Blues 'keeper John Danby fumbled a couple of crosses but the defence were alert and able to clear away at the second attempt.

Neither side really troubled the opposing 'keeper early on though, Danny Hattersley's turn one way then another created space but his toe-poked effort went wide of Danby's left post.

Youngster Tom Peers looked impressive up top for the Blues in the early stages, causing problems for the Southport defence as he looked to get on to any balls over the top. Peers had Chester's best chance of the first twenty five minutes as he rose highest to meet John Rooney's corner but he could only head straight at Danny Hurst in the home sides goal.

Chester were winning plenty of corners in the first half and causing issues, George Horan's header was deflected into the path of Danny Hurst before Tom Peers nearly found an opener as he slid between two Southport defenders but was blocked by Hurst's legs.

Chris Almond did well from an angle as the ball broke to him just inside the Chester penalty area but Danby was able to save comfortably.

The clear threat from Chester was set pieces though, another Rooney corner found Michael Kay who's flashing header went just wide of the post.

Jamie Menagh had the first chance of the second half as he received a short corner and shot low but his effort was deflected out for a second corner.

Chester were much the brighter of the two teams as Ashley Williams saw his well struck effort take two deflections before going out for another corner. 

Southport's first chance of the half fell to Luke George, who met a Jamie Milligan corner but could only head wide, similar to Michael Kay's effort in the first half.

Set pieces continued to look the most likely way the Blues were going to score though as George Horan rose highest to meet a free kick but he couldn't get his effort on target.

John Rooney found some space on the edge of the visitor's area but his effort was deflected wide as Southport continued to defend well.

More chances were forged by Chester as Michael Kay and George Horan headed over before Tom Peers' snap shot went just wide.

Jamie Milligan's set pieces were causing plenty of issues, first creating a goal that was ruled offside then picking out Danny Hattersley, unmarked on the edge of the six yard area but he couldn't get his effort on target.

Chester had a golden chance to win the game as Jamie Reed got one on one with Danny Hurst, twenty yards out, but the Chester striker couldn't keep his shot down with the last kick of the game.

Chester: Danby, Kay, Horan, Reed, Lindfield, McIntyre, Peers, Williams, G Miller, Rooney, Menagh
Subs: Heath, Mahon, Titchiner, S Miller, Fearon

Southport: Hurst, Smith, Willis, Akrigg, George, Milligan, Brown, Logan (Fitzpatrick 65), Almond (Abadaki 70), Brodie, Hattersley
Subs: Challoner, Hand, Rutherford

Bookings: Chester: Horan.
Man of the Match: Chester: Horan. Southport: Milligan
Attendance: 1,872 (703 Chester fans)

Referee: Ross Joyce
Assistant Referees: Marc Edwards, Matthew Pope
Fourth Official: Kelvin Sarsfield

Match Report by Chris Graham


    Did you know that Chester FC celebrate 130 years of history in 2015?