MATCH REPORT | Chester 2-2 Farsley Celtic
Chester secured a top three spot on a hectic afternoon at the Deva Stadium, as the ten men battled back to earn a point against Farsley.
The Blues got off to the worst possible start, conceding almost identical goals to go two-nil down as Lewis Butroid’s respective corners into the penalty area found Adam Clayton.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts as Kevin Roberts was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on former Blue Lewis Turner.
However that moment sparked Chester into life and a goal either side of half time from Adam Thomas and Declan Weeks ensured a point well earned.
Calum McIntyre rung the changes from the side that won two-one at Southport on Monday as Jamie Morgan, Alex Kenyon, Alex Brown, Adam Thomas, Anthony Dudley and Kelly Nmai all came into the starting line-up. They replaced Kieran Coates, Matty Williams, Ollie Heywood, Iwan Murray, Charlie Caton and Kurt Willoughby.
The visitors started brightly as they took the lead inside the opening five minutes, Clayton rising highest to meet a corner and heading beyond Harry Tyrer.
Salford City loanee Nmai looked bright in his first action in a Chester shirt, showing a desire to run at defenders and cause problems for the Farsley defence, he worked some space on the edge of the penalty area but he couldn’t hit the target with a curling effort.
The Blues were really struggling to find their rhythm and had Tyrer to thank for not going two down as Frank Mulhern broke beyond the Chester defence but the ‘keeper made himself big and pushed the effort away.
That reprieve was short-lived though as from the resulting corner Clayton was on hand to head home his second of the afternoon, with Butroid getting his second assist of the game.
Chester looked for a way back into the game as Thomas flicked it on for Dudley to fire first time on the volley but Dearnley was able to get down and make the save. At the other end Mulhern went close as his effort curled wide of the post.
The Blues’ task then got even more difficult as Roberts was shown a straight red card for a high tackle Farsley’s Turner.
Two minutes later though Chester pulled one back. Dudley set Thomas away with a neat through ball and the winger made no mistake, firing beyond Max Dearnley in the Farsley goal to trail two-one at the break.
A tactical change at half time brought Caton on to replace Morgan, a switch which saw the Blues start the second half with renewed vigor and went close to equalising with less than four minutes played. Nmai beat his man and cut back for Elliott Whitehouse but he was denied first by a defender then by Dearnley.
A minute later however and the ten men were level, Weeks finding space inside the penalty area to smash it home.
The second half was all Chester and after some Nmai magic they almost found a third, the tricky winger showed excellent close control to spin away from two defenders before bursting to the penalty area and only being denied by a fine Dearnley save.
As the second 45 went on Farsley began to find their footing and put Chester under a lot of pressure, first Mulhern stung the palms of Tyrer with a long range effort then Theo Williams’ header was gathered by the Blues stopper.
With time slipping away Chester had a great chance to win it as Caton broke beyond the Farsley defence but he couldn’t hit the target. In the end the two teams had to settle for a share of the spoils.
CHESTER: Tyrer, Morgan (Caton 46), Kenyon, Edwards, Brown, Roberts, Weeks (c), Whitehouse, Thomas (Heywood 59), Dudley (Earl 55), Nmai.
SUBS NOT USED: Murray, Hall.
SCORERS: Thomas 40, Weeks 50; Clayton 4 & 22.