FA CUP REPORT | Oldham Athletic 1-1 Chester
Harrison Burke’s emphatic second half header saw the Blues earn an FA Cup replay with Oldham Athletic.
The Academy graduate nodded home with 12 minutes to play, cancelling out Mike Fondop’s early opener, and sending near 2,000 Cestrians into pandemonium in the process.
Manager McIntyre made three changes from the Darlington game. Kieran Coates, Matty Williams and Anthony Dudley replaced Jamie Morgan, Alex Kenyon and Daren Stephenson.
The hosts had the first chance of the game, as Ben Tollitt’s deflected shot fell kindly for Jordan Clarke at the back post, but he nodded wide.
And David Unsworth’s side then hit the front inside the opening ten. Clarke was released down the right, with Lewis Coulton unable to cut out the through ball, and the cutback was steered home by Fondop through the legs of Harry Tyrer.
Despite the early setback, Chester started to grow into the game and had their first chance on 17 minutes. A well worked quick free kick saw Danny Devine clip one forward for Dudley, who spun and volleyed over.
Kole Hall was the next to try his luck, catching a loose ball on the volley following Declan Weeks’ cross, Norman able to catch at the second attempt.
But the higher league hosts still looked threatening in attack – and had two chances in quick succession as skipper Dan Gardner saw his effort deflect just wide, before Nathan Sheron glanced Tollitt’s excellent cross wide from a good position inside the box.
The Latics continued to trouble the Yellows’ defence as half time approached. James Carragher’s powerful effort from 25 yards flew just over, before one-time Blue David Okagbue headed wide unmarked from Tollitt’s corner.
Into the second half and McIntyre’s side did well to nullify the threat of the hosts while building their way into the game with large spells of possession.
Dudley almost had a chance when he pressing charged down Oldham ‘keeper Magnus Norman, but the hosts scrambled clear. Moments later, Weeks had a chance on the edge of the box, however sliced his shot wide.
Oldham almost put the game beyond the Yellows with a quarter of an hour to go, as sub Junior Luamba was inches away from touching Carragher’s cross home.
Back up the other end, Hall’s excellent first touch and run enabled him to rifle in an effort which flew just over the crossbar.
But then the Yellows got their equaliser and it was just what their building of pressure deserved. Weeks’ outswinging corner found the head of Burke who beat Norman and sent the away end into bedlam.
It almost got better as Weeks again found a cross, this time low for the run of Joe Lynch, but the substitute blasted over the bar.
Burke was a hero at the other end before full time, at full stretch to deny Luamba who appeared be through on goal. The Seals saw out the remaining minutes, meaning the two teams will contest a replay on Tuesday night.
CHESTER: Tyrer, Coates, Williams, Burke (Edwards 83), Coulton, Roberts, Devine (Lynch 63), Weeks, Dudley (Stephenson 73), Hall, Willoughby.
SUBS NOT USED: Beswick, Morgan, Murray, Daly.
SCORERS: Fondop 8; Burke 78
ATTENDANCE: 5,342 (1,969 Chester).