Chester FC won their first league match at the Racecourse since 1978 in a deserved 2-0 victory to get them off the mark in the Skrill Premier, writes Mark Dowling.

The Blues, coming off the back of five straight defeats, welcomed back keeper John Danby and Paul Linwood into the side, while their big new signing, 34-year-old defender Danny Higginbotham, started after arriving from Sheffield United.

There was drama between the two sets of fans before a ball had been kicked, with one Chester fan looking to be escorted from the ground for throwing a seat, while there was trouble among Wrexham fans as a flare was lit and thrown on to the pitch. In addition, Wrexham supporters also showed a tasteless and inflammatory banner which was later removed.

When the game did get under way, the visitors made a dream start when captain Paul Linwood headed in a Jordan Laidler free kick after just four minutes, sparking jubilant celebrations among Blues fans.

 

Chester dominated proceedings in the first 20 minutes and deservedly doubled their advantage with 17 minutes on the clock. Nathan Turner rounded the Wrexham defence to cross into the home side's penalty area, where his brother Lewis was on hand to fire in the second.

Wrexham began to apply the pressure in the remainder of the first half and won several corners. Unlike previous Chester games this season, however, the Blues' defence held up better, with new recruit Higginbotham providing extra confidence at the back.

The hosts went close through Kevin Thornton, whose free kick in the 43rd minute was deflected over the bar. Junior N'Tame won a free header from the resultant Wrexham corner but could only watch the ball go wide.

The second half saw the Blues soak up a huge amount of pressure as Wrexham had further corners, but never looked like scoring.

There was drama late on when substitute Ashley Williams was sent off for a blatant push in the face of Wrexham's Bradley Reid on 83 minutes, but even after the sending off, the Blues defence were more than capable of clearing whatever their opposition could throw at them.

The final whistle blew to boos from the home crowd and jubilant cheers from the Blues faithful, who were richly rewarded for all the inconvenience of the 'bubble match' arrangements brought on by North Wales Police.

Wrexham FC: Mayebi, Ashton, Thornton (Ogleby 74), Creighton (N'Tame 40), Clarke, Bishop, Ormerod (Anyinsah 59), Tomassen, Hunt, Evans, Reid.

Subs: Coughlin, Morrell.

Chester FC: Danby, Kay, L Turner, Higginbotham (Chippendale 68), N Turner, Harrison, McIntyre, Mills, Titchiner (Seddon 69), Laidler (A Williams 45), Linwood.

Subs: Horan, Reed.

Goals: Linwood 4, L Turner 17.

Booked: Mills, Chippendale, N Turner.

Sent off: A Williams.

Referee: Wayne Barrett.

Attendance: 6,037.