MATCH REPORT | Chester 3-0 Darlington
Chester FC put in a dominant display to beat one of the leagues in-form teams in Darlington.
Goals from Brad Jackson, Akwasi Asante and Danny Livesey put the visitors to the sword and move above Brackley into third place in the division.
Chester FC made two changes from the team that drew 0-0 away at Leamington last time out, with George Glendon and James Jones missing out for Akwasi Asante and new signing John Johnston.
The hosts made a positive start, pressing high up the pitch and moving the ball well and an effort from Johnston had Chris Elliott stretching, before falling the wrong side of the post.
The pressure was building and Joel Taylor’s sublime cross was just inches beyond Akwasi Asante’s outstretched boot and Darlington were able to clear.
The pressure played off as Brad Jackson won a loose ball on the halfway line, drove forward before unleashing a thunderous effort into the top corner from 25 yards.
Darlington looked to make an immediate response as Stephen Thompson’s ball in was met by Justin Donawa, but he couldn’t direct an effort on target.
The Blues defence was given a stern test with ten minutes to go until half time, but were shown to be up to the task as Darlington had four shots that were blocked inside the Blues penalty area, before launching a counter attack that ended as Johnston’s cross was blocked before reaching Brad Jackson to keep the Blues ahead by just a goal.
Chances were at a premium to start the second half, as both teams jostled for possession in the middle of the park, John Johnston almost closed down Darlington ‘keeper Chris Elliott’s clearance, before Gary Stopforth vollied wide moments later.
The second goal did come though and it went to the Blues, Joel Taylor’s corner fell perfectly for Akwasi Asante to add turn in from close range for his seventeenth goal in eighteen games.
Two very quickly became three as Joel Taylor put in another outstanding delivery and Danny Livesey was on hand to head home, with the Blues defender injuring himself in the process.
Darlington had a chance to pull one back but Stephen Thompson was leaning back as he tried to curl an effort into the top corner, seeing the ball over the crossbar.
The Blues were still pushing for a fourth goal though and almost got it as Gary Roberts unleashed a fierce low drive from the edge of the area, but Chris Elliott was down well to push the ball away.
Chris Elliott was forced into another good save from a Joel Taylor free kick. The Blues full back got the ball up and over the wall, but Elliott was across well to push the ball away for a corner. The hosts kept the pressure on and looked set for a fourth when Anthony Dudley caught a volley brilliantly, only for Simon Grand to block it!
A clean sheet, three goals and three points in an impressive home display from Chester.
Chester: Griffiths, K Roberts, Taylor, G Roberts (c) (Glendon 84), Livesey (Jones 82), Grand, Jackson, Stopforth, Asante (Hughes 72), Johnston, Dudley.
Subs: Morgan, Ngwatala.
Darlington: Elliott, Hedley, Watson, Wheatley (Martin 59), Laing, Storey, Thompson, Atkinson (Holness 82), Campbell, Reid, Donawa (Rivers 72).
Subs: Connell, Bascome.
Goal Scorers: Chester: Jackson (12), Asante (57), Livesey (59).
Yellow Cards: Chester: G Roberts.
Referee: Daniel Locker.
Assistant Referees: Oliver Nolan & William Davis.