REPORT | Chester 2-0 Maidenhead
Marcus Bignot had a dream first game as Chester manager as his Seals produced a stunning performance to beat Maidenhead United 2-0 and earn a first home win since December 2016.
Chester started the game brightly and some neat early play was rewarded inside six minutes. Lucas Dawson’s superb delivery was cleared by the Maidenhead defence to James Akintunde – who picked up the loose ball and found Ryan Astles who rifled home his shot into the roof of the net to give the Seals a 1-0 lead.
Maidenhead looked to respond with a free kick from Harry Pritchard in a dangerous area but the cross was fired straight into the hands of Lynch with a comfortable save from the Blues keeper.
Chester nearly doubled their lead when Akintunde again found space to receive a pass and drove a low cross which Carl Pentney – the Leicester academy graduate – got low to parry away.
The Blues began to assert their dominance on the game and nearly added another goal when Akintunde, a constant threat throughout, battled Maidenhead skipper Alan Massey to outmuscle the defender off the ball and then cut a pass back to Ross Hannah who fired agonizingly over.
Just before the break, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner was let loose on the left-hand side gliding through the Maidenhead defence and drove a low cross towards Kingsley James – his shot was cleared off the line by Magpies Captain Massey with a terrific low block.
Maidenhead nearly picked up on a Chester error as a loose pass found Jake Hyde who fired towards Lynch but the Blues keeper stayed strong to deny the 27-year-old forward and keep the score at 1-0.
The Blues were still looking to find that second goal in the second half to give them some deserved breathing space – and it came close when Ross Hannah found Tom Shaw whose majestic turn bewildered his marker but his shot was tame and straight at Pentney.
Another fantastic opportunity for that crucial second goal came when Kingsley James was slotted through down the right flank and pulled a ball back for Craig Mahon who’s shot was superbly blocked and deflected wide.
Maidenhead’s best chance came on 65 minutes when a cross was put straight onto the head of Clifton but he directed his effort straight at Lynch.
The Harry McNally terrace almost erupted when some smart play between Akintunde and Dawson which saw Akintunde through on goal but he pulled back to Dawson who drilled a hard shot that was pushed away with a smart save from Pentney to deny the 23-year-old a deserved goal in a superb performance.
Chester were finally rewarded for their persistence when a handball in the box was awarded – and Ross Hannah stepped up and slotted the ball into the left-hand corner to give the Blues the deserved cushion in a game that has been largely dominated by Bignot’s side.
Maidenhead were still trying to get back into the game and some clever play from substitute Maximlian Kilman found Sam Barratt who fired a thunderous cross straight into the path of Lynch who comfortably saved to calm the nerves of the Blues fans.
Chester held out to take all three points and give Marcus Bignot a dream start to his tenure as Manager and earn the Blues their second win of the season and their first home win in 2017.
Chester FC: Lynch, Halls, McCombe, Astles, Rowe-Turner, James, Shaw, Dawson, Mahon, Akintunde, Hannah
Maidenhead United: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Massey (c), Inman, Comley, Hyde, Pritchard, Clifton, Upward
By Josh Kerr