Super sub Anthony Dudley fired the Blues into Round One of the Buildbase FA Trophy at a wet St James Park this afternoon.
Dudley struck his third goal of the season in the last twenty minutes, lashing home as winger Brad Jackson provided yet another assist in a prolific season – as Chester FC went into the hat for Monday’s draw.
The Blues made three changes from the game against Alfreton 14 days ago, with Scott Burton, Gary Stopforth and Jamie Morgan all coming into the side.
It was the hosts who had the first half chance after 12 minutes in difficult conditions. A long ball over the top from Theirry Audel found Lee Ndlovu, he squirted it under the onrushing Russ Griffiths and across the box looking for support but Danny Livesey was back to clear.
Livesey then headed wide from a Matty Waters ball in, and Chester Skipper Burton blasted wide from a clever corner routine as George Glendon neatly flicked on Waters’ corner at the near post.
Former Blue Shep Murombedzi threatened as the half progressed, but his shot was tame into Griffiths’ arms after spinning away from Livesey and then he fired a ball across the six yard box which any of Brackley’s awaiting attackers failed to turn home.
Griffiths then had to be alert to make a strong low stop from Shane Byrne who had burst forward and fired in a dipping effort from 20 yards out.
The second half livened up as Kevin Wilkin’s side had good spells of pressure, Matt Lowe blasting over good positions on separate occasions in the second 45. Griffiths was called into action yet again, but pushed Ndlovu’s near post shot round the post.
The ever-dangerous Brad Jackson had opportunities up the other end but was twice denied by Danny Lewis – the second a fierce drive from 30 yards which looked destined for the net.
But then on 73 minutes, the Blues clinched it with a winner. The tireless Gary Stopforth pressed high up the pitch to regain the ball, enabling Jackson to cut inside off the right and perfectly find the run of Anthony Dudley who stayed composed – getting the ball into his stride and firing into the net with his left foot.
Brackley piled on the pressure but it amounted to nothing, as the Blues became the first side to win at St James Park this season.
CHESTER: Griffiths, Morgan, Livesey, Grand, Taylor, Jackson, Burton, Stopforth, Waters (Dudley 67), Glendon (K Roberts 90+1), Waring (Asante 67).
SUBS NOT USED: Murray, G Roberts, Elliott, Hughes.
SCORERS: Dudley 73.