|Venue||Bumpers Lane, Chester, CH1 4LT, Deva Stadium|
|Competition||EvoStik League Premier Division|
|2 (2)||-||1 (0)|
| ||Norton 78|
|1 J Danby|
2 L Brownhill
3 M Mcginn
4 G Horan (capt)
5 C Smith
6 M Powell
7 J Wright
8 A Brown
9 C Simm
10 M McNeil
11 R Booth
15 I Howard (for 7, 64 mins)
16 W Baynes (for 11, 87 mins)
17 M Reed (for 9, 82 mins)
|1 James Spencer|
2 Richard Battersby (capt)
3 Lee Neville
4 Jake Cottrell
5 Adam Jones
6 Dean Stott
7 Ben Deegan
8 Nick Platt
9 Mike Norton
10 Matthew Wolfenden
11 Michael Carr
12 Steve Torpey (for 11, 37 mins)
16 Daniel Grimshaw (for 8, 74 mins)
17 Carlos Roca (for 7, 37 mins)
|A late Michael Norton goal wasn’t enough as FC United slipped to a 2-1 defeat against Chester at the Deva Stadium on Wednesday night in front of 3,219 supporters.|
It was FC United that started the brightest with some crisp passing which saw the ball worked to Matthew Wolfenden who saw his shot creep just by the post.
Chester could have been ahead a couple of minutes later when a long throw from debut boy McGinn caused a scramble in the FC United box that ended with a save from James Spencer from Horan.
The home side did take the lead on 15 minutes when a ball into the box was picked up by Simm who fell under a challenge from Lee Neville. Some views seemed to suggest that the Reds defender played the ball, but from behind, it looked a good decision. McGinn fired the ball into the net sending Spencer the wrong way.
From then on the game became a procession of Chester pressure in the FC half, with McNeil heading onto the bar and Powell shooting wide when clear in front of goal.
Horan had another good chance 10 minutes before the break but his header was saved by Spencer who was being kept busy in the FC net.
At this point, Roy Soule had clearly decided that the starting formation wasn’t working and withdrew Michael Carr and Ben Deegan to replace them with Steve Torpey and Carlos Roca to introduce more width to the side.
Moments later, Richard Battersby clashed with Simm on the touchline with the Chester forward going down clutching his face, the inference being there had been contact with Battersbys arm.
When the referee restored order, the Reds fullback was given a yellow card, which was the same as Simm received shortly afterwards for re-entering the field of play without permission.
It did seem that FC would go into the break just a goal down but in injury time a free-kick was flicked on by Horan to McNeil who was unmarked in the FC box. He had time to bring the ball down and slot a shot past Spencer.
It could have been even worse when Dean Stott headed the ball towards his keeper only for Simm to latch onto it. The Chester forward rounded the keeper and clashed with the backtracking Stott. The Chester forwards claim for a penalty which if given would surely result in a red card for the FC defender. However, the appeal was turned away by the official who clearly believed the forward had lost his footing.
The Reds started the second half much brighter with a new sense of purpose, Jake Cottrell firing wide and Norton, who to his credit never stopped running or working all night, going clear before shooting wide.
On 64 minutes, Horan ducked under a ball that allowed Norton a run on goal but his shot was straight at Danby. At the other end, Spencer was kept busy, tipping a shot from McNeil round the post and watching as a Horan shot beat him but hit the upright.
With 12 minutes to go, FC United got themselves back into the game when Norton headed in a corner via the post past a stranded Danby. Two minutes later, Norton was denied a penalty when he seemed to be pulled back in the box, the ball dropping to Cottrell who shot at the keeper.
Torpey was looking more dangerous as the game went on and he saw a long range shot well saved by Danby before Neville fired into the side netting shortly before the end of the game.
Overall however, a draw probanly wouldn’t have been a fair result and the Reds will need to improve their game ahead of two big matches against Buxton and Bradford this Bank Holiday weekend.
Website man of the match - Michael Norton.
Report by Steven Wood