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22:02 18th March 2014

Gareth Seddon in action against Southport

Chester 2 Southport 2

Chester were denied by a late equaliser to earn a point against fellow strugglers Southport. Chester lead at the break thanks to a Craig Hobson goal before Craig Mahon doubled the advantage. From there it went downhill and the visitors scored twice as well as missing a dubious penalty to leave with a point.

Steve Burr made three changes to the team that lost 1-0 at home to Alfreton on Saturday, with the injured Ross Killock, Joe Heath and Nathan Turner all going out and Burr opting for a 4-4-2 with Craig Hobson and Gareth Seddon up top, Jason Jarrett in midfield and Ricky Bridge slotting in at left back.

The game started brightly, with both teams having chances in the opening minute. First John Rooney tried to get on the end of a cross but ended up getting too much on it. At the other end a long throw found Jason Walker, unmarked five yards out, but his effort hit Aaron Chapman, with the Chester keeper hardly able to move in time.

In an end to end start it was the Blues who went closest with 20 minutes on the clock, John Rooney was involved again, this time taking the free kick. After an appeal for handball in the area it nearly fell to Jason Jarrett but the centre midfielder couldn't get his shot off and Paul Linwood unleashed a rocket of a shot that cannoned back off the crossbar.

A few minutes later and Linwood went off injured, further adding to the Blues defensive woes.

In the 25th minute Chester had another big appeal for handball as Gareth Seddon's effort appeared to be blocked by an arm, albeit at close range, the referee waved the appeals away.

It wasn't all Chester though and Southport looked dangerous and Mahon's clearance was brought back by David Fitzpatrick who flashed an effort just wide.

The Blues took the lead in the 34th minute with a strike from new-boy Craig Hobson. Craig Mahon beat two players before finding Gareth Seddon, the Blues striker saw his effort parried straight to Craig Hobson who smashed the ball in to an open goal.

Southport nearly struck back a few minutes later as David Fitzpatrick struck a low free kick and Aaron Chapman got down well to tip it around the post.

At the start of the second half Craig Mahon doubled Chester's lead with a wonder goal. Getting the ball just outside the Southport penalty area he twisted and turned to get away from two markers before firing low across Danny Hurst and into the bottom corner.

The Sandgrounders could have had one back as Luke George rode highest to a corner but couldn't direct his effort on target.

The visitors did get one back as Chester conceded another soft goal, a ball delivered to the back post was met by Karl Ledsham who headed past Aaron Chapman.

Southport nearly got an equaliser and would have if it wasn't for a stunning save by Aaron Chapman. With Osayamen Osawe stood three yards out trying to divert a goalbound effort Chapman appeared to be beaten clawed the ball back from behind him on the goal line.

With the visitors pressing Jason Walker went down under pressure from Aaron Chapman and the linesman awarded a very soft penalty. Justice was done though as Karl Ledsham stepped up and smashed it against the crossbar.

Chester once again had Aaron Chapman to thank for keeping them ahead as a cross wasn't dealt with and Danny Hattersley, with the goal gaping, fired low only for Chapman to fly across his goal and turn the ball away.

With Chester struggling for fitness and numbers the back line featured two midfielders, a back up centre back and regular right back Lewis Turner. The visitors took full advantage of this and the lack of marking and Karl Ledsham turned the ball into the back of the net to earn a point.

Chester: Chapman, L Turner, Linwood (Kay 23), Brown (N Turner 61), Bridge; Rooney, Bond, Jarrett, Mahon; Seddon (c), Hobson (Carlton 75)
Subs: Fearon, Menagh

Southport: Hurst, Brown (c), Nsiala, Walker, Ledsham, Hattersley, George, Fitzpatrick, Osawe, O'Sullivan, Daly
Subs: Mukendi, Challoner, Rutherford, Joyce, Brodie

Goal Scorers: Chester: Hobson (34), Mahon (49). Southport: Ledsham (57, 89)
Booked: Chester: Seddon, Brown, Bond. Southport: George, Walker, Ledsham.
Sent Off:
Man of the match: Chester: Mahon. Southport: Osawe.
Attendance: 2,274 (274 away fans)

Referee: Simon Bennett
Assistant Referees: Thomas Bramall, Joseph Johnson
4th Official: Michael Hanley

Match report by Chris Graham


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