Chester earned a hard earned point on the road against Leamington – closing the gap on second placed York City.
The result was probably fair after a relatively uneventful first half, Brad Jackson’s effort from the edge the best of the period.
The entertainment got better following the interval, Leamington improved and had an effort chalked off before David Bremang’s low shot was kept out by Russ Griffiths late on.
Chester made two changes and a formational switch-up from the side that lost at Royston, Danny Livesey and Joel Taylor returned to the team in place of the injured Matty Waters and Matty Hughes. Top scorer Akwasi Asante made the bench.
The visitors had to weather the storm in the opening ten minutes of a scrappy affair, but whilst Leamington were dominating the possession they’d failed to carve out any real chances and Livesey nearly capitalised, his header tipped over by the capped Jake Weaver.
Four consecutive corners later and Jackson’s speculative effort from distance went wide of the post to end the Blues’ first real attack of the game. George Glendon tried something similar after 25 but to no avail and the dismal half went on.
Griffiths was forced to palm Kaiman Anderson’s corner over the bar as it looked to be sailing in, before the ‘keeper was forced into action again as a scuffed half volley found Bremang through on goal.
Anderson returned with another audacious effort from a tight angle as he lashed a half volley into the side netting on the left side before the whistle went up for half time.
The hosts started the better in the second period as Connor Taylor flashed a ball across the six-yard box but Jack Edwards couldn’t reach it and it went wide. The Brakes’ forward had a dig from 18-yards with an hour gone, but it was well wide.
A massive chance fell Glendon’s way after Simon Grand and Livesey had combined to knock the ball down inside the penalty area, though this was blocked behind for a corner and eventually cleared.
Jackson continued his good work down the right side and whipped a deep cross in, met by the outstretched left of Taylor against the same side netting Anderson had found earlier. Asante then joined the action.
Chester’s good spell continued as the game moved into the last 20, Taylor’s low ball found Anthony Dudley but the forward’s shot was tame and gathered by Weaver.
Edwards had the ball in the back of the net for the home side but only as a result of Bremang’s scuffed effort falling into his path a few yards past the last defender, saving the Blues’ blushes.
Then Leamington were denied by Griffiths as Bremang burst down the left side of the box and smashed an effort across goal, kept out by the ‘keeper’s boot.
Junior English nearly found the breakthrough after 87 minutes but two last ditch dives from Taylor and Livesey denied the full back. Then in the final minute of stoppage time, Anderson blew a one-on-one chance with a wayward shot over Griffiths’ crossbar.
A point gained for Chester who ever so slightly close the gap on York City in second. We’re back in action next week against Darlington at the 1885 Arena.
CHESTER FC: Griffiths, K Roberts, Livesey, Jones, Grand, Taylor, Glendon (Asante 64), Stopforth, G Roberts, Jackson, Dudley.
SUBS NOT USED: Burton, Elliott, Ngwatala, Hughes.
Match Report by Alex Bullions.
Photo by Chas Sumner.