MATCH REPORT | Chester 1-1 Altrincham
Chester’s rescued a late point in their first home game of the season against Altrincham, as Gary Roberts scored a dramatic 93rd minute equaliser.
Similarly to Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Boston United, the Blues conceded a first-half own goal as Danny Livesey poked John Johnston’s delivery into his net.
However unlike the weekend, Chester took until the second half, stoppage time to be precise, to respond as G.Roberts slammed home a deflected effort.
The Blues were unchanged from the draw at Boston, lining up in a 4-4-2 formation with goalscorer George Waring accompanying Anthony Dudley up front.
Waring went into the referee’s notebook in a mere 30 seconds after a clash in the air with Alty captain Connor Hampson. Minutes later Danny Elliott launched a tame effort at Steven Drench from the edge of the box.
Chester dominated the first ten minutes but struggled to test the ‘keeper. Then the visitors embarked on their first attack of the game and Johnston was able to find the unfortunate boot of Livesey who put away the home side’s second own goal in as many games.
Alty consequently picked up the pace but the Blues attempted a fight back as Waring headed wide from Simon Grand’s cross on 17 minutes. A moment later Elliott tried his luck again from distance but Drench kept alert to keep it out.
Despite losing their rhythm in the middle of the park after the goal, Chester still carved out a few chances with a lot of possession. On 27 minutes Dudley was given space inside the box but volleyed well wide.
Referee Richard Holmes drew to a close a frustrating half where the Blues drew up very little in attacking creativity as they struggled to break down a well-drilled Alty defence.
A decent opening 15 minutes of second half pressure from Chester culminated in a nice link-up between Dudley and Brad Jackson, as the latter broke in behind and fired a low effort at Drench who was down well to save. Craig Mahon then replaced Elliott just after the hour mark.
Grand may well have found himself sent off for a second bookable offence on 65 minutes but was lucky to stay on as the visitors sent in a right-sided free-kick to no avail. Dudley took aim from distance soon after but could only find the back of the Harry Mac.
Pinball in the box ensued with 20 to go after G. Roberts’ fierce effort and nearly fell to Dudley once more but Alty cleared their lines.
As the clock ticked down the Blues continued to apply the pressure but without any end product. Mahon’s cross was inches away from Waring’s head with a few minutes remaining.
As five added minutes were lifted, last chance saloon beckoned and Joel Taylor brought out the towel, wiped the ball and launched a long throw into the Alty penalty area. The visitors scrambled it away as far as G.Roberts who slammed his effort into a defender and past Drench in the 93rd minute!
A good result to match Saturday’s sees Chester unbeaten from their opening two tough fixtures. We’re back in action on Saturday as newly-promoted Farsley Celtic are in town.
Match Report by Alex Bullions.