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Match report: Barnsley 0 Chester FC 0

Jim Green reports from Oakwell where the Blues earned a second crack at the League One Tykes

Craig Mahon watches Ross Turnbull turn his first half shot onto the crossbar(Image: Terry Marland)

A tale of two goalkeepers means Chester and Barnsley must do it all again after a fabulous FA Cup tie at Oakwell.

Jon Worsnop and Ross Turnbull pulled off a series of important saves to ensure a game that either side could have won somehow ended goalless.

Chester gave their 2,143 supporters an afternoon to remember and will be delighted with draw although perhaps a shade disappointed not to get the win.

Barnsley on the other hand will feel relieved to have escaped with a draw and can expect an ever rougher ride in the rematch.

 

With no Matty Hughes or Rhys Oates, Chester made two changes from the midweek win over AFC Telford United.

Craig Hobson made his first start in five games and Ben Heneghan returned after three games out on the right side of midfield in a move designed to restrict the space in mifield.

Barnsley welcomed back captain Martin Cranie from suspension and Joe Dudgeon recovered from a knock to start at left back.

Danny Wilson's side had been uninspiring at Oakwell and were in indifferent form, but most still fancied them to progress to the third round with something to spare.

In a quiet start, the biggest concern for the Blues came on five minutes when Brad Abbott's boot collided with Worsnop's head after he came out to collect a through pass.

Referee Darren Handley called for the doctor and he spent a few minutes assessing the keeper before giving him the green light to continue.

Barnsley controlled the opening stages but created only one chance when Marcello Trotta exchanged passes with Leroy Lita before hitting a low shot that Worsnop did well to get down to and hold.

Chester couldn't keep hold of the ball and showed a few nerves, although Hobson did manage to get a glancing header on target on 19 minutes before the home side had to bring on Reece Brown for the injured Peter Ramage.

Almost out of nothing, the Blues came within inches of taking the lead on 22 minutes when Craig Mahon picked up possession in midfield, surged forward and unleashed a shot that took a deflection before Turnbull turned the ball onto the crossbar.

Barnsley continued to have more of the ball but the Blues back four proved tough to break down with Matty Brown and Kieran Charnock outstanding.

Trotta did force Worsnop into a decent stop with a strike from the edge of the area but that was about as close as the League One side came to breaking the deadlock.

Chester looked more relaxed moving towards the end of the half, although Charnock did well to block Kane Hemmings' shot after a sweeping counter.

Seconds before the break, the Blues again came close to hitting the front when John Rooney curled over a corner and Hobson's flick was bound for the bottom corner but Joe Dudgeon hooked the ball off the line.

Chester gained confidence from that and made a fine start to second half with Mahon tearing down the left wing before drilling a low shot towards the bottom corner that Turnbull turned the ball past the post.

Heneghan headed wide from the resulting corner and Mahon, who was causing the home side problems, forced Turnbull into another save with a curling shot that never had the power to trouble the ex-Chelsea keeper.

Wilson threw on Dale Jennings and his introduction was followed with half chances for Luke Berry for Hemmings as the hosts regained the upper hand.

Moving into the final 20 minutes and the Tykes looked the more likely to find a goal with Hemmings wasting an excellent chance when he dragged wide after Worsnop had pushed the ball out of the path of Lita.

Chester then went up a gear and had a second chance cleared off the line when Charnock rose to meet McConville's corner but his header was cleared at the far post.

Heneghan did have the ball in the net on 70 minutes after Mahon had diverted a Rooney shot into his path but the offside flag had been raised a few seconds earlier.

Mahon brought another save out of Turnbull before the Tykes came back with a good chance of their own, Jennings getting the better of Michael Kay and fizzing a shot inches wide.

Wornsop kept his side level on 85 minutes with a fantastic stop to keep out Conor Hourihane's shot before Mahon was inches too high with a curling shot down the other end.

Barnsley ended the game the stronger with Worsnop making another fine save and Brown heading off the line in the closing seconds but the Blues would not be breached and more than deserved a second chance to reach the third round.

Chester FC: Worsnop, Kay, M Brown, Charnock, G Roberts, Heneghan, James, Rooney, Mahon, McConville, Hobson.

Subs: C Roberts, Touray, Harrison, Greenop, Menagh, Riley, Blake.

Barnsley: Turnbull, Cranie, Ramage (R Brown 19), Nyatanga, Dudgeon, Hourihane, Berry, Abbott (Jennings 58), Trotta, Lita (Treacy 71), Hemmings.

Subs: Davies, Digby, Holgate, Cowgill.

Referee: Darren Handley (Bolton).

Attendance: 7,227.

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