MATCH REPORT | Chester 3-2 King’s Lynn Town
Chester FC secured a dramatic late victory over the league leaders as they came from behind twice to run out 3-2 winners on another incredible night under the 1885 Arena lights.
Ross Barrows fired the Linnets ahead before a Rory McAuley own goal brought the Blues level at the interval. Chris Henderson restored Kings Lynn’s lead before a superb Anthony Dudley lob again brought Chester on an even keel.
Then, with the stage set, Simon Grand secured the three points for the Blues as he was on hand to turn home a parried John Johnston shot to inflict a first away league loss for the Linnets since September.
The Blues were unchanged from the side that beat Blyth Spartans two-one a week and a half ago. Chester started the game brightly, working the ball up to the final third well but weren’t able to create a clear-cut chance.
The first shot of the game went to the visitors as Barrows came forward following a pass from Sam Kelly but couldn’t get his effort on target.
The hosts continued to press though and forced a corner that first saw an Asante header blocked before a James Jones effort was scrambled away amidst penalty appeals from the home players and supporters alike.
Nevertheless, it was the visitors who struck the first blow as Adam Marriott broke the offside trap and slid the ball back for Barrows to simply turn into the back of the net with the defence static – appealing for an offside call.
Chester made an immediate response though and pulled level thanks to an own goal after a terrific inswinging cross from Joel Taylor was turned beyond Alex Street by Kings Lynn defender Rory McAuley.
The Linnets almost restored their lead five minutes later as Ryan Jarvis’ corner to the near post was met by Jordan Richards’ powerful glancing header, but Russ Griffiths moved quickly to make a fantastic stop in order to keep the scores level at half time.
Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s side again looked to get on the front foot to start the second half and almost took the lead as Brad Jackson’s ball into the box was flicked on by Matty Hughes and almost turned into the King’s Lynn goal by their own defender, Aaron Jones.
Moments later John Johnston’s bouncing volley was pushed away by Street, before Asante went down after nipping in before the keeper – but just a goal kick was given.
But the league leaders flexed their muscles once more just after the hour mark as the impressive Henderson fired low from the edge of the penalty area to beat Griffiths at the near post.
The Blues again looked for a quick response and came close as Brad Jackson’s cross found Asante but he couldn’t scramble it beyond Alex Street.
But this side never gives up, and battled back in style. Asante flicked on a long ball forward to sub Anthony Dudley, who did superbly to beat Street to it and lift it over the Kings Lynn ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
They weren’t done there. The Blues first came close to a winner as Johnston stood a cross to the back post and Kev Roberts couldn’t get his header on target.
Roberts had another chance but couldn’t keep his effort on target before Jackson forced Street into a comfortable save in stoppage time.
The pressure mounted eventually and Chester sealed a dramatic late winner as Johnston’s shot was pushed away by Street and Simon Grand was on hand to turn in the rebound and send the 1885 Arena into pure bedlam.
Chester: Griffiths, K Roberts, Taylor (Waters 70), Burton (c), Jones, Grand, Jackson, Glendon, Asante, Johnston (Stopforth 90+5), Hughes (Dudley 65).
Substitutes: Ngwatala, Roberts, Stopforth.
Kings Lynn Town: Street, Jones, Barrows, Jarvis (c), Smith, McCauley, Kelly (Fox 66), Richards, Gash, Marriott, Henderson (Southwell 78).
Substitutes: Carey, Payne, Southwell, Hawkins.
Goal Scorers: Chester: Rory McCauley own goal (29), Dudley (76), Grand (90+3). Kings Lynn Town: Barrows (25), Henderson (61).
Yellow Cards: Chester: Jones. Kings Lynn Town: Jarvis.
Referee: Aaron Bannister.
Assistant Referees: Daniel Jarvis & Dane McCarrick.