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17:00 8th August 2015

Chester FC 1 Braintree Town 0

Johnny Hunt's tremendous individual goal proved the difference against Braintree - as Steve Burr's men kicked off the National League season with a victory.

The Blues started the game - and the season - in remarkable fashion, taking the lead on four minutes.

A short corner was fed to Hunt, who cut inside of two Iron defenders before meticulously curling the ball past the keeper and into the far corner.

The lead was almost doubled inside a quarter of an hour as Ross Hannah nipped onto a loose ball and clipped it beyond Will Norris, but Remy Clerima was back to hook his effort off the line.

Steve Burr's team were playing some delightful football, with Hunt, John Rooney and Hannah doing brilliantly to set up Craig Hobson who fired just wide.

The visitors looked to respond on the half an hour mark, but Taylor Miles' long range drive was comfortably held by Jon Worsnop.

Simeon Akinola was also denied by Worsnop - as the visitors slowly but surely looked to work their way back into the game.

However, Chester almost doubled their advantage on the half time whistle, as Rooney's lowly-driven free kick was pushed away by the keeper.

The creative flow from the hosts did not stop in the second half, as Craig Hobson hit the side netting with an audacious effort from an acute angle.

Nevertheless, Braintree almost got level following a lapse in concentration as Dan Sparkes was let in behind the defence - but was denied by a brilliant low stop from Worsnop.

Chez Isaac then drove a low shot wide for the Iron, as the Blues' slender lead was pushing the visitors higher up the field.

But Chester were not to be deterred, and were still posing a threat on the counter - Jordan Chapell spinning brilliantly before cracking a long range shot against the woodwork.

Visiting sub Michael Cheek was then bundled over in the box by home sub Craig Mahon, but the referee waved away the protests.

At the other end, John Rooney hit a rasping drive which clipped the crossbar on its way out the ground.

Braintree dominated the closing stages territorially, but could not conjure up the chance to equalise - meaning the Blues started the season with a win.

Chester: Worsnop, Higgins, Heneghan, Sharps, Hunt, Shaw (Mahon 64), George, Rooney, Chapell (Tonge 89), Hannah, Hobson (Peers 69).
Subs Not Used: Forth, Thomson.
Braintree: Norris, Brundle (Walker 87), Clerima, Fry, Habergham, Miles (Cheek 69), Isaac, Woodyard (Marks 81), Davis, Akinola, Sparkes.
Subs Not Used: Paine, Phillips.
Scorers: Hunt 4.
Attendance: 2,256.
Referee: Ollie Yates.


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