A HOME tie with Championship club Ipswich Town awaits the winners of next week’s FA Cup second round replay between Chester City and Bury at the Deva Stadium.
 
The sides played more than 103 minutes of football at Gigg Lane on Saturday, before controversial referee Mr Woolmer blew his whistle to signal the end of the tie.
 
The Northamptonshire official brandished eight yellow cards, two of them to City’s goal-scoring hero Lee Steele, who will consider himself unfortunate to have been dismissed after scoring his second goal.
 
The number of bookings was surprising, considering there wasn’t one malicious or cynical tackle from either side during the match.
 
Steele, who had been harshly booked earlier for alleged diving, hurdled a barrier behind the goal to avoid crashing into it, after scoring his goal and was then inexplicably booked again by the officious Woolmer.
 
City manager Mark Wright was understandably incensed by the decision and the overall performance of the official.
 
He said: "The sending-off was poor. It was unacceptable.
 
"I will probably get into trouble for saying it, but referees like that ought to be assessed.
 
"Managers get lambasted and fined so why shouldn’t referees?"
 
Chester had slightly the better of the first half, which lasted 49 minutes.
 
Walters brought out two good saves from Bury’s veteran goalkeeper Andy Warrington, while at the other end Jon Danby made an excellent stop to deny Hurst.
 
City made a double substitution at the start of the second period, bringing on Steele and Dean Bennett for Semple and Sandwith and the changes gave the visitors an extra cutting edge, particularly up front.
 
It came as no surprise when Steele opened the scoring after 63 minutes.
 
A ball from midfield was headed on by Walters to the former Shrewsbury striker, who delicately dinked it into the net for a well-taken goal.
 
However, the home side came back strongly and two defensive mistakes by City allowed Bury to score a brace of goals in a three minute spell.
 
Andy Bishop headed home from close range after 66 minutes, then Richie Baker rifled home from 20 yards after 69.
 
Steele restored parity with another close-range effort after 73 minutes and to avoid clattering into the pitch-side perimeter wall, he vaulted over it and then received his second yellow card for his trouble.
 
Wright was naturally pleased with the result. saying: "There is still a lot to do when they come to our place, but I thought the way we adapted after Lee had been sent off was a credit to the players.
 
"We even had a couple of chances when we were down to 10 men.
 
"I thought Lee Steele took his goals exceptionally well. He was outstanding when he came on and showed what an excellent goal poacher he is."
 
BURY: Warrington, Scott, Fitzgerald, Challinor, Kennedy, Pugh, Mattis, Baker, Buchanan, Hurst (Speight 79), Bishop. Subs: Woodthorpe, Youngs, Barry-Murphy, Adams.
 
CHESTER CITY: Danby, Westwood, Linwood, Artell,S Vaughan, Hand, Martinez, Sandwith (Bennett 46), Wilson, Walters, Semple (Steele 46). Subs: Palethorpe, Marples, Bolland.
 
REFEREE: Mr K Woolmer (Kettering).
 
ATT: 3,428.