FA TROPHY REPORT | Chester 2-1 Lancaster City
A Kurt Willoughby double saw the Blues secure their place in the Third Round of the Isuzu FA Trophy.
Lancaster fired themselves ahead five minutes before half time through an acrobatic Samuel Bailey strike, before hitting the crossbar minutes later. The visitors hit the woodwork a second time as David Norris’ effort was deflected onto the crossbar. The second one proved to be a turning point as Willoughby equalised for the Blues a couple of minutes later after Caton played him through. The two combined again in stoppage time, with Willoughby rounding Waller before turning the ball home for the victory.
Manager Calum McIntyre made two changes from the side that earned a point against Leamington a week ago as Jamie Morgan and Danny Devine replaced Kieran Coates and Kole Hall in the starting line-up.
The hosts made a bright start, earning a free kick inside the opening two minutes, Declan Weeks took it from the left and picked out Alex Kenyon, but the Blues’ centre half couldn’t get his header on target with Sam Waller motionless in the Lancaster goal.
The visitors weren’t here to make up the numbers though and some good pressing saw them win the ball high up the pitch, the ball broke to Dale Whitham but his effort from the edge of the penalty area was off target.
Chester were being forced to be patient in their play as they tried to break down a stubborn Lancaster defence, Ollie Heywood almost found a way thorugh as his effort from 20 yards was initially parried by Waller, before being gathered at the second attempt.
With Lancaster scrapping for every ball it became tough for Chester to get it down and play freeflowing football, therefore making set pieces all the more important. Iwan Murray’s corner picked out Alex Kenyon but again the Blues’ centre half saw his header go the wrong side of the post.
When Chester were able to get space and attack at pace they made some really nice moves, as smart play saw them move the ball from right to left and back again before eventually breaking to Weeks, who fired just wide.
It was the visitors who struck the first blow though as a cross deep into the penalty area was headed back across goal and turned home emphatically by Samuel Bailey from close range five minutes before half time.
A minute later and Lancaster were pressing again as Danny Devine’s pass was intercepted and the ball broke to Dale Whitham at the edge of the penalty area but he couldn’t get his shot on target.
Chester were very fortunate to go in at half time only a goal behind as Bailey almost turned provider, his free kick picking out Whitham at the back post and cannoning back off the crossbar before the follow-up effort was wide of the target.
The Blues started the second half brightly, with chances for Lynch and Kenyon from distance but Waller was able to make the save. It was the visitors who went closest in the early exchanges of the half as Bradley Carroll burst forward from midfield but was denied by a superb one on one save from Tyrer.
Substitute Charlie Caton, arriving from Shrewsbury on loan yesterday, looked to introduce himself with an ambitious volley from forty yards, with Waller off his line, but it was wide of the mark.
At the other end, Lancaster again found themselves within inches of increasing their lead as their quick counter attack lead to David Norris’ driven effort deflecting off a Blues’ defender and onto the crossbar before Tyrer scrambled across to push the ball away from danger from the rush of Evangelinos, winning a free kick in the process.
A couple of minutes later and Lancaster were made to pay as Caton’s through ball set Willoughby away and he slid the ball beyond Waller and into the back of the net sending the home fans into raptures.
The Blues pushed for a winner and came close to it through an unlikely source as Weeks’ cross was flicked on to Morgan, who attempted an overhead kick that was inches away from finding the back of the net.
With five minutes to go Alex Kenyon had another opportunity from a set piece for the hosts, but again Waller was equal to it.
Chester left it late but in the first minute of stoppage time the Blues found a winner as Caton flicked a header to set Willoughby away, out came Waller but Willoughby rounded him and slotted into the open goal securing Chester’s place in the Third Round.
CHESTER: Tyrer, Morgan, Kenyon, Edwards, Heywood (Caton 46), Roberts, Weeks (c), Devine (Lynch 46), Murray, Dudley (Hall 60), Willoughby.
SUBS NOT USED: Thomas, Williams, Hall, Daly, Nelson.
SCORERS: Chester: Willoughby (73, 90+1). Lancaster: Bailey (40).
ATTENDANCE: 1,475 (127 away).