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Chester City 2 Hereford United 0

HAVING overcome the Hill, Chester City now face a mountain as they start the long haul to the summit of the Conference.

HAVING overcome the Hill, Chester City now face a mountain as they start the long haul to the summit of the Conference.

But with a few more whiffs of the intoxicating fresh air which is blowing through the Deva Stadium, the prize of a return to the Football League could be in their sights.

It may seem a distant target, but those currently in charge of the project are thinking of nothing else and judging by the response from the players on Tuesday they are also beginning to believe in the mission.

Caretaker manager Steve Mungall, who has replaced director of football Gordon Hill in charge of the first team, was overjoyed.

'I am absolutely delighted for the boys,' he said. 'They were nothing short of tremendous. They showed a lot of heart, put some quality crosses in and deserved their victory.'

Mungall had little time to assess his squad, but a few tweeks and an extremely effective pep-talk worked wonders as their persistent attacks finally wore down Hereford, a club also experiencing changes at the top.

Chief executive Graham Turner, the Ellesmere Port-born former Chester defender, watched from the stand after stepping down as coach and for much of the first half must have been optimistic about a draw.

It wasn't for the want of trying, as City failed to find a way past keeper Matt Baker, even when Beesley was brought down in the box by Ian Wright five minutes before the break.

At least a minute went by before Beesley was allowed to take the penalty and when he did Baker went down low to save.

The old Chester would have thrown in the towel, but this City side as running high on a determination to turn the club's fortunes around and after United had been reduced to 10 men, following the 54th-minute dismissal of Tony Capaldi for a second yellow card, there was only going to be one result.

It was midway through the half, though, before the breakthrough was made, Beesley and Michael O'Brien linking to give recalled Jimmy Haarhoff the chance at the near post which he accepted clinically.

City were always looked at least two goals better and the scoreline reflected that when substitute Scott Ruscoe converted Mike Rose's cross in the fifth minute of added time.

Chester: Brown, Kilgannon (Wright 61), Rose, Porter, Halford, Lancaster, C O'Brien, Blackburn (Ruscoe 90), Haarhoff, Beesley, M O'Brien. Subs:

Baxter, Woodyatt, Bertocchi.

Booked: Lancaster, Halford, Beesley.

Hereford: Baker, Clarke, Capaldi, Quiggin (Webb 28), Wright, James, Goodwin (Gardiner 57), Snape, Voice (Elmes 68), Williams, Parry. Subs: James, Evans.

Sent off: Capaldi (54). Booked: Capaldi, Goodwin.

Referee: D Foster. Attendance: 1,142.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
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