A solid performance on a wet and windy afternoon at St James Park earned the Blues a point this afternoon at Brackley Town.
Brad Jackson curled home his first of the season, but Thierry Audel’s equaliser inside the first twenty minutes meant the spoils were shared.
Chester made two changes from last Saturday’s defeat to leaders York City, as Danny Elliott and George Waring replaced Matty Hughes and Gary Stopforth.
It was Brackley who made all the early running in the opening few moments – and almost took the lead as Ellis Myles drove an effort from 30 yards just wide of Russ Griffiths’ post.
Nevertheless, it was the Blues who hit the front on nine minutes. Patient build up play on the edge of the area saw George Glendon poke a nice ball forward to Jackson who turned and brilliantly curled a shot over Danny Lewis and into the far corner.
It meant the Blues were the first opposition to score from open play aat St James Park this season – but their lead lasted just 11 minutes.
Matt Lowe’s clipped ball into the box found Audel, his initial effort was blocked by Waring but the number five took his second stab at it with aplomb – curling into the net via a slight deflection.
Brackley’s confidence was boosted and they continued to threaten, Lowe denied by by a good block from Simon Grand after Joel Taylor had given the ball away – before Griffiths was off his line well to block an effort from James Armson inside the area.
It was a real scrap in the opening 45, and it stayed all square at the interval. But Lee Ndlovu should really have given the Saints the lead on 42 minutes, through on goal after capitalising on a Gary Roberts slip, but the striker sidefooted wide of the far post.
After being forced into a change at the break, with the injured Danny Livesey being replaced by Jamie Morgan, the reshuffled Blues were under the cosh in the opening minutes.
They got some respite on 53 though, as Jackson looked to repeat his first half heroics, but this time his curler was off target.
The game was opening up into a real end-to-end affair, with the counter attacking Chester denied by Danny Lewis – who pouched a low effort from Waring after a lay off from Anthony Dudley. Straight up the other end, Armson’s superb ball in from the right just evaded Ndlovu at the back post.
Kevin Wilkin’s side then took charge and had a great spell as the second half ticked on, as Chester had to be alert to deny the forward players with Griffiths making a good save, and the excellent Kevin Roberts as well as sub Jamie Morgan both made respective vital blocks inside the area.
The Blues held firm for a third successive league draw on the road.
CHESTER: Griffiths, K Roberts, Livesey (Morgan 46), Grand, Taylor, Jackson, Glendon, G Roberts, Dudley (Hughes 81), Elliott (Waters 59), Waring.
SUBS NOT USED: Burton, Stopforth.
SCORERS: Audel 20; Jackson 9.
REFEREE: Scott Simpson.