MATCH REPORT | Chester 2-3 Brackley Town
Chester came crashing back down to Earth after Tuesday’s late goal, coming undone in the 90th minute against a stubborn Brackley side.
The visitors had the better of the first half and lead through Lee Ndlovu’s close range strike. The Blues were much improved in the second half and equalised through James Jones. Parity was short lived though as Thierry Audel restored the visitors lead ten minutes later.
Chester set up a grandstand finish when equalising through Danny Livesey with five minutes to go, but a mix-up between Waters and Griffiths allowed Matt Lowe to toepoke the ball beyond the pair and seal victory for Brackley.
The Blues made one change from the side that secured a dramatic late victory over Kings Lynn Town on Tuesday night, as injury forced Matty Hughes out of the team, with Anthony Dudley replacing him in the starting line-up and Danny Livesey taking his place on the bench.
The visitors settled quicker in a swirling wind and saw Russ Griffiths called into action twice inside the opening ten minutes, first a diving save from Matt Lowe’s effort from the edge of the penalty area and then a cross in that bounced up and almost caught Griffiths off guard, forcing a corner.
Chances were at a premium in the opening half hour, with Brackley again the side taking advantage of the conditions and the Blues had James Jones to thank for a good block to deny Lee Ndlovu’s goal-bound effort.
That pressure told as Brackley took the lead in the 34th minute when Dan Holman lifted the ball over Russ Griffiths and Ndlovu was able to turn the ball in from close range.
Chester struggled to make any progress in the final third and were caused even greater problems when they had to make two first half changes, with Joel Taylor and Akwasi Asante both being substituted.
The hosts started the second half much brighter and almost found an equaliser in the opening minute as Kevin Roberts strode forward and fired just wide of the mark.
Chester followed that up strongly with a Jackson effort deflected just wide of the mark before Jackson turned provider and picked out John Johnston, but his effort was off target.
Brackley were still a real threat going forward though and Shane Byrne almost doubled their advantage, cutting in onto his left foot and shooting just wide of Griffiths’ goal.
The Blues looked far more threatening in the half though and almost found an equaliser through a quick counter attack as Anthony Dudley played in Brad Jackson, but his powerful effort didn’t hit the target.
The pressure did eventually tell as Chester found an equaliser on the hour mark. George Glendon’s deep cross was headed down by Simon Grand and turned in by James Jones.
Brackley showed great resilience though and re-took the lead from a corner, headed home by substitute Thierry Audel.
The Blues weren’t done though and equalised through Danny Livesey as he met Griffiths’ ball forward and looped a header beyond Danny Lewis in the Brackley goal.
As the time 90 minutes were up, and five added minutes were shown, the visitors found a winner as Matty Waters tried to shield the ball out, Griffiths came across but Matt Lowe poked the ball under Griffiths and into the unguarded goal.
Chester tried to find another equaliser and came close through make-shift centre forward Livesey, with his looping header landing just onto the roof of the goal.
Chester: Griffiths, K Roberts, Taylor (Waters 36), Burton (c) (Livesey 78), Jones, Grand, Jackson, Glendon, Asante (Ngwatala 41), Johnston, Dudley.
Subs: G Roberts, Stopforth.
Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Walker (Audel 64), Dean, Lowe, Murombedzi, Ndlovu, Holman (Armson 80), Baker (Langmead 90+2).
Subs: Daire, Langmead, Maye.
Goal Scorers: Chester: Jones (60), Livesey (85). Brackley: Ndlovu (34), Audel (71), Lowe (90).
Referee: David McNamara.
Assistant Referees: Jake Topp & Darren Brown.