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Match report: Chester FC 1 Luton Town 1

Jim Green watched the Blues pick up a deserved share of the points

(Image: Ian Cooper)

Gareth Seddon smashed home a sensational equaliser as Chester FC drew 1-1 with high-flying Luton Town and picked up another precious point.

With the visitors sitting in second and the hosts lingering in the lower reaches, there was a worry the Hatters would bring the Blues' good run to an abrupt end.

But those concerns proved unfounded, and the home side gave as good as they got in this pulsating game and were good value for the draw.

Neil Young reverted to one up front, with Seddon handed the lone striker role and Conor Wilkinson making way for winger Chris Lester.

On-loan midfielder Nathan Turner missed out with a knee injury so Ashley Williams was recalled to the starting line-up.

Luton dominated the early exchanges with the dangerous Andre Gray and Alex Lawless firing wide as the Blues struggled to get into the game.

It was therefore no surprise to see the Hatters take the lead on 11 minutes.

Williams headed clear but the ball was nodded back into the box where Gray turned and fire home having been given too much space.

Five minutes later the hosts almost went two down after Ross Killock gave the ball away cheaply but the central defender recovered well to block Grey's goal-bound strike.

Having recovered from a nervy start, the Blues finally sprang into life and had a strong penalty shout turned down on 18 minutes.

Lester whipped the ball into the box and Seddon's acrobatic overhead kick appeared to hit Hatters centre back Steve McNulty on the arm, but referee Darren Handley waved the appeals away and awarded a corner.

Luton cleared but Lewis Turner swung the ball back into the box and Killock climbed highest, although Hatters keeper Mark Tyler saved his header comfortably.

Chester were growing in confidence and deservedly drew level on 23 minutes through Seddon.

Picking the ball up 30 yards from goal, the 33-year-old took two touches before pulling the trigger and smashing the ball beyond Tyler.

Seddon went close again on the half hour mark following good work by Williams but his shot was blocked.

Luton were now the side struggling to impose themselves and the Blues ended the first half in the ascendcy.

Craig Mahon went close two minutes before the break but his half volley whistled wide and Lewis Turner sent a fizzing drive the wrong side of the post as the half time whistle blew.

After an enthralling opening 45 minutes, the game was well poised for an intriguing conclusion, although the second period was unable to match the first for quality.

Both sides struggled to find the same fluency, with neither carving out any genuine goalscoring opportunity.

Luton were perhaps the more dangerous, with the experienced Paul Benson forcing Danby into a save and Lawless curling wide from 18 yards.

Killock was impressing for the Blues, mopping up well when the Hatters came forward while Higginbotham denied Gray with a brave block.

Seddon performed equally well at the other end, despite having little service and was involved in almost all of the Blues attacks.

Hatters boss John Still threw on Jake Howells, Mark Cullen and former Chester City winger Shaun Whalley as the visitors went in search of a winner.

Luton ended the match the stronger, with Scott Griffiths smashing goalwards with 10 minutes left but his effort struck team-mate Jake Howells' head and midfielder Jonathan Smith hooking wide in the final minute.

But the Blues were never truly troubled and held firm for another point against one of the favourites for the Skrill Premier title.

Neil Young and his players have becoming increasingly tought to beat and have now lost only once in eight league games.

Five consecutive home draws illustrates the need for a sharper cutting-edge, but there can be no doubt the Blues are heading in the right direction.

Chester FC: Danby, Turner, McIntyre, Killock, Higginbotham, Jarrett, Williams (Kay 90), Lester, Lindfield, Mahon (Heath 90), Seddon.

Subs: Linwood, Wilkinson, Reed.

Goals: Seddon 23.

Luton Town: Tyler, Henry, Griffiths, Lacey, McNulty, Lawless (Whalley 80), Guttridge (Howells 71), Parry, Smith, Benson (Cullen 66), Grey.

Subs: Howells, Justham, Whalley, Stevenson.

Goals: Gray 11.

Booked: Smith.

Attendance: 3,291.

Referee: Darren Handley (Bolton)

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