Chester FC moved up to eighth in the National League after a deserved 3-0 win at home to bottom side North Ferriby United.

Second half goals from Kane Richards and a James Alabi brace ensured the three points for Chester at a bitterly cold Lookers Vauxhall Stadium.

Much of the talk pre-match was around the appointment of ex-Scotland international Chris Iwelumo as Jon McCarthy's assistant, and he joined him on the touchline for the first time.

Unsurprisingly, Chester boss McCarthy opted to name the same starting XI that won 3-0 at big-spending Eastleigh on Saturday, but Luke George returned to the bench following his six-game suspension.

Chester started brightly enough and moved the ball around with purpose on the hardening pitch but found the visitors content to defend deeply and frustrate.

The Blues almost found themselves ahead on 20 minutes when Ben Middleton almost turned a James Alabi cross into his own net while, five minutes later, Alabi glanced a 15-yard header just over after meeting a Craig Mahon cross.

Alabi went close again three minutes later when Kane Richards broke well and played a superb ball to the Blues striker but he was foiled by Rory Watson in the Villagers goal.

The visitors continued to frustrate and grew in confidence towards the end of the first half as Ryan Kendall forced a good save from Alex Lynch while Ryan Astles had to be alert to twice block a goal-bound Danny Emerton effort.

Chester started brightly in the second half and it wasn't long until they broke the North Ferriby resistance.

Mahon jinked his way to the byline before clipping a cross in to Richards who turned it goalwards, with Watson and Middleton both unable to stop it crossing the line despite deflections.

And in the blink of an eye it was 2-0.

Alabi raced on to a through ball, beating Watson to it with the North Ferriby keeper bringing down the big striker. Alabi duly dusted himself down and hammered home the spot kick into the top corner to give Chester some breathing space.

Chester continued to press their visitors and Kane Richards had an effort chalked off after being flagged for offside following Tom Shaw's low ball.

North Ferriby didn't wither, though, and Lynch was forced into good saves from Jack Sutton and Ryan Fallowfield as they tried their luck from distance.

Sam Hughes should have done better when he saw a deflected effort from eight yards fly wide on 75 minutes while Blaine Hudson saw a powerful header saved by Watson just 60 seconds later.

Chester bossed proceedings late on and added the cherry on the icing when Alabi received a through ball from Ryan Lloyd before expertly turning and thundering a 10-yard effort past Watson.

And Alabi almost had his fourth in stoppage time when he found space in the area and rifled an effort at Watson with substitute Will Marsh, on for his debut, unable to nod it home.


The doom and gloom that followed the home collapse seven days previous was banished as the Blues recorded their second 3-0 win in the space of four days.

They came out in the second half in the right manner and got their just rewards for their hard work.

Richards and Alabi were excellent, particularly the latter, and it bodes well that the strikers have finally found their touch in front of goal.

This team continues to exceed expectations.


James Alabi: This is what he is capable of. Always an option, always willing, Alabi was superb and deserved his two goals and round of applause at the end. He is learning and improving thanks to the faith McCarthy has shown in him and it is paying dividends.


Chester: Lynch, Hughes, Hudson, Astles, Hunt, Shaw, Lloyd, Mahon (Joyce 83), Durrell (Chapell 78), Richards (Marsh 86), Alabi: George,Waters.


Goals: Richards 52, Alabi 54 (pen) & 89.

North Ferriby: Watson, Hare, Topliss, Brogan, Middleton, Gray, Armstrong (Thompson 57), Fallowfield, Sutton, Emerton (Stamp 82), Kendall. Subs: Skelton, Cooke, Douglas.



Attendance: 1,392 (Six from North Ferriby)

Referee: Steve Martin.