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17:10 22nd November 2014
By  Albert Davies

Chester FC 2 Bristol Rovers 2

Chester fought back to earn a point in a pulsating game at the Swansway to stretch their unbeaten home record to seven games.

Nathan Blissett gave the visitors the lead early in the second half, and Tom Parkes doubled the advantage. However, Chester then launched a fightback when Rhys Oates prodded home, before Matty Hughes drew the Blues level.

Chester started the game playing some attractive football, with John Rooney, Hughes and Kingsley James linking up well before Oates headed Gareth Roberts' cross comfortably wide of the goal.

But the away side, backed by an excellent following of 479 fans, had a chance of their own early on. Former Blues loanee Matty Taylor chested the ball down and ran in behind - but could only blast his attempted volley horribly wide of the mark.

Andy Monkhouse then exploited a large amount of space in behind the Chester midfield, driving towards the home penalty area but his shot floated wide of the post.

The visitors then had the best chance of the half. A free kick was whipped into the box, and when Monkhouse sliced his shot, the ball fell kindly for Taylor. However - completely unmarked - he could only fire a low shot inches wide of the post.

But Steve Burr's side ended the first half strongly. Rooney tried one of his speculative efforts, but Steve Mildenhall was wise to it in the visiting net. Moments later, a Craig Mahon cross was headed out to Ben Heneghan - who let fly with a blistering thirty yard volley which flew inches wide of the post.

Nevertheless, the visitors broke the deadlock moments into the second half. Taylor was involved again, picking the ball up on the left side of the penalty area before turning and firing the ball across the face of goal - and the ball was prodded home by Nathan Blissett, who held off Kieran Charnock.

Chester did look to respond, and nearly did when James fired a ball across the box which begged a touch which no one could provide.

However, Rovers hit the home side with a near fatal blow a matter of minutes later. Lyle Della-Verde's free kick caused problems, as Stuart Sinclair's effort was prodded off the line but defender Tom Parkes was on hand to smash home from close range.

Della-Verde was causing problems, and almost made it three. The Fulham loanee danced into the box, but Jon Worsnop pulled off an excellent one handed save to stop his deflected shot.

Loanee Rhys Oates then halved the deficit midway through the half. Mahon did brilliantly to escape on the right wing and deliver a low cross, and the Barnsley loanee opened up his body to guide a brilliant left footed shot into the far corner.

Incredibly, Steve Burr's side then clawed their way back level with the Gas minutes later. A cross found McConville who had the composure to touch the ball back into his body and shoot - before his deflected shot found Matty Hughes - and the Fleetwood loanee headed home from close range.

Rovers - who looked in a state of shock following the Blues' comeback - had a glorious chance in the last ten minutes when Blissett had a shooting opportunity, but his effort was lackluster and well wide.

The two Chester goalscorers then combined as Oates flicked the ball on to set Hughes clear, but the forward rolled his shot wide of the far post.

Parkes then nearly won it in added time, leaping highest to a Jake Gosling corner, but his header cleared the crossbar.

Chester: Worsnop, Heneghan, Brown (c), Charnock, Roberts, James, Rooney, O'Keefe (McConville 46), Mahon, Hughes (Hobson 87), Oates (Touray 89).
Subs Not Used: C Roberts, Kay.
Booked: James
Bristol Rovers: Mildenhall, Brown, Lockyer, McChrystal (c), Parkes, Mansell, Taylor (Harrison 77), Monkhouse, Sinclair, Blissett (Goldberg 87), Della-Verde (Gosling 66).
Subs Not Used: Clarke, Balanta.
Booked: Lockyer
Goals: Oates 67, Hughes 70; Blissett 51, Parkes 57.
Referee: Wayne Barrett.
Attendance: 2,936 (479 away)


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