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16:52 19th October 2013

Braintree Town 3 Chester FC 0

Chester FC only had themselves to blame as poor defending once again cost the Blues any chance of points on a disappointing afternoon in Essex. A first half brace from Charlie Strutton and a Dean Wells goal ensured the Irons lead 3-0 at half time. The second half got even worse for Chester as Paul Linwood and Lee Pugh were both shown straight red cards.

Neil Young made one change, bringing Nathan Turner in for Craig Lindfield who missed out after picking up a knock last weekend against Cambridge.

The Blues got off to a nightmare start as Chester failed to clear a Braintree attack and Charlie Strutton's shot went between Danby and Horan and trickled over the line.

A minute later and it was two, Strutton breaking through the back line and finishing powerfully past Danby.

It was nearly three as Dan Sparkes' free kick was on target but Danby was able to push it over the bar, the Blues yet to get a foothold in the game.

Chester began to get a bit more possession but struggled to break down the Braintree back four, Lee Pugh and Michael Kay both had efforts on target from over 35 yards out but they were comfortably dealt with by Nathan McDonald.

Chester's afternoon soon got worse though as Dean Wells added Braintree's third. A corner was curled across the penalty area and Wells acrobatically flicked the ball in at the far post.

As the hosts took their foot off the pedal Chester started to come into the game again, Alex Titchiner with a couple of efforts that had Nathan McDonald worried, without causing too many problems.

Jamie Reed went close for Chester as the first half drew to a close as his flicked header forced McDonald into a save in a crowded penalty area but the Irons 'keeper gathered at the second chance.

In injury time John Danby forced his opposite number into a save as his free kick from the half way line bounced in the area and made McDonald stretch to keep it out.

To compound the Blues misery Paul Linwood was shown a straight red card for barging Charlie Strutton off the ball, it seemed a harsh decision but with Linwood being the last man and preventing a potential goal scoring opportunity the referee felt he had no other choice.

Chances were coming very easily for the hosts as James Mulley's pace caused issues down the right, himself having two efforts that Danby pushed away.

Charlie Stretton nearly completed his hat-trick when he rose highest to meet a Sean Marks cross but John Danby was on hand to push the ball round the corner, before being substituted moments later.

With seven minutes remaining Lee Pugh saw himself sent off for a daft, challenge to cap off a truly awful afternoon for Chester.

Braintree: McDonald, Griffiths, Habergham, Wells, Massey, Isaac, Paine, Sparkes, Mulley (Daley), Marks (Cox), Strutton (Holman)
Subs: Enver-Marum, Hamann

Goal Scorers: Braintree: Strutton (6, 7), Wells (27)

Chester: Danby, Kay (Seddon), Horan (Higginbotham), Linwood, Harrison, Reed, L Turner, McIntyre, N Turner, Pugh, Titchiner (A Williams)
Subs: Heath, Mills 

Bookings: Braintree: Wells, Paine. Chester: Harrison, N Turner
Sent Off: Chester: Linwood, Pugh
Man of the Match: Danby

Attendance: 1,132

Referee: Mr Colin Lymer
Assistant Referee: Mr Jason Richardson, Mr Robin Cox
4th Official: Mr Paul Burnham

Match Report by Chris Graham


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