REPORT | Chester 0-0 Aldershot
An inspired performance from goalkeeper Andy Firth and the Blues defence saw a share of the spoils in a goalless encounter with promotion chasing Aldershot Town this afternoon.
Ahead of the clash, the Blues lined up with three changes from last weekend’s Cross-Border Derby defeat as Ross Hannah, James Jones and Gary Roberts came in for Akintunde, Dawson and Waters.
In a quiet first half, it was the visitors who had the better of things with Jake Gallagher giving the game its opening chance, but he skewed his 9th minute effort well wide of the target.
As the snow swirled around at the Swansway Chester Stadium – and with the Blues yet to really settle into things – Lewis Kinsella forced a stop from Andy Firth from range before the Blues shot stopper denied Matt McClure from breaking the deadlock in the 33rd minute with a stunning close range effort pushed onto the post.
Emmanuel Oyeleke fired wide from 18 yards with 5 minutes remaining as the half petered out without a great deal to report.
The Visitors again started the second half the brightest, and within the opening few moments Firth had to be on his guard to push away long range efforts from first Oyeleke, and then Josh McQuoid – whose effort resulted in the games highlight moment.
Matt McClure reacted to bobbling ball from a Shots corner to seemingly fire the visitors ahead in the 57th minute – but after beginning to celebrate with the travelling supporters, a rather late offside flag came to the rescue of Marcus Bignot’s men.
The chances continued for the visitors, and Shamir Fenelon was the latest to test Firth, but the Blues keeper – on loan from Liverpool – made another superb low stop after 64 minutes
The Blues’ only real chance of the afternoon came on 73 minutes as Harry White cut in from left, but his effort was kept out by Shots keeper Jake Cole, and Andy Halls couldn’t turn the rebound in.
Firth’s final impression on the game was to hold Shots’ sub Nicke Kabamba’s close range effort, but the game ended with without the deadlock being broken, and a point apiece for both sides needing points at differing ends of the Vanarama National League.
Chester: Firth; Hobson, Jones, Astles, Anderson (Rowe-Turner 75); Halls, Crawford, Roberts, Vose (Akintunde 61); Hannah (White 67), Archer.
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Dawson.
Match Report by Dan Burns
Photo courtesy of Josh Pearce