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14:00 28th February 2016

Chester 0 Tranmere 1

Chester slumped to a disappointing Derby Day defeat against Tranmere – courtesy of a James Norwood strike from the penalty spot.

The visitors had their first big chance inside three minutes; Jake Kirby playing a clever one-two with Norwood before being denied one-on-one by Tony Thompson.

From the resulting corner, Higdon won the header and beat the keeper, but John Rooney was back to hook the ball off the line.

Tranmere had definitely settled into the Derby game more comfortably than the Blues; Norwood nodding over the bar from a Liam Ridehalgh cross.

Chester’s first real opening came after a quarter of an hour, when Alabi was strong to hold the ball up inside the box before teeing up Rooney; but his shot was comfortably saved by Scott Davies.

Adam Mekki was the next to try his luck for the Whites, as he blazed over from 25 yards being given far too much time and space.

Hesitation after a long ball forward then almost cost the Blues a goal, as Chapell struggled to read the bounce, but Thompson denied Lee Vaughan from point blank range.

The visiting pressure continued in the second half as Norwood had a glorious chance, but his effort was superbly blocked by Johnny Hunt.

Ross Hannah’s diagonal ball then caused problems, as James Alabi couldn’t quite find a clean connection and it flew wide.

Ridehalgh then claimed for a penalty as he went down following skipping past two men, but was booked for simulation.

Then, the hosts had their huge opportunity to take the lead as – on the counter attack – Hunt fouled Mekki inside the box and this time the decision was given Rovers’ way.

Norwood stepped up to take the penalty – and confidently dispatched it beyond Thompson.

Tranmere then had chance to extend the advantage when Higdon chested down for Kirby – but Thompson made a good stop.

The Blues didn’t really get into the game following this and couldn’t find an equaliser – suffering another home league defeat.

Chester: Thompson, Heneghan, Sharps (Hunt 9), Astles, O’Brien (Mahon 57), Hughes, Rooney, Lloyd, Chapell, Alabi, Hannah (Bell 80).
Subs Not Used: Worsnop, Higgins.
Tranmere: Davies, Ridehalgh, Jennings, Vaughan, Norwood, Ihiekwe, Mekki, Hughes, Kirby (Mackreth 75), McNulty, Higdon (Taylor-Fletcher 81).
Subs Not Used: Turner, Margetts, Riley.
Scorers: Norwood (pen) 68.
Attendance: 3,494.
Referee: Ryan Johnson.


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