Calum McIntyre’s first game in temporary charge of Chester FC ended in defeat after they were beaten 4-2 at play-off chasing Boreham Wood.
Goals from Michael Folivi, Bruno Andrade, Morgan Ferrier and Ricky Shakes secured the points for the home side, but a James Akintunde brace ensured that the scoreline accurately reflected Chester’s efforts. They were just beaten by the better side.
It had been another week of tumoil for the football club during the week.
After a thrilling late 3-2 win over Bromley on Tuesday, Chester parted company with Marcus Bignot as manager on Wednesday, with the manner of his sacking causing much anger among fans after he was delivered the news in the car park at The Cheshire sports club in Upton having been there to watch the academy young guns claim a stunning 4-1 success over Boreham Wood’s under-18s in the National League U19 Alliance Cup semi final.
The sacking took the sheen off a genuine good news story for Chester, the like of which has been in short supply this season.
Later that evening it was confirmed that academy boss McIntyre would take charge of the Blues for the remainder of the season, starting at Meadow Park.
At just 24 McIntyre can lay claim to being the youngest person to take charge of a team in English football’s top five divisions, and he made one change from the team that started Bignot’s last game in charge, with James Jones replacing the injured Andy Halls.
McIntyre, the last remaining member of the coaching staff at the club following Bignot’s sacking, was assisted by volunteers and academy coaches Martin Farley and Paul Kelly for the penultimate away leg of Chester’s National League farewell tour.
Any hopes of making a solid start were quashed just seven minutes in when Bruno Andrade let the ball run across him 20 yards out before firing a sweetly-struck effort goalwards, with the ball deflecting off Folivi and finding its way into the far corner past the despairing dive of Andy Firth.
The home side seemed to smell blood in the water early on and came close to adding a second four minutes later when Andrade’s 12-yard header from a corner was pushed over superbly by Firth.
Chester had their first sniff of goal on 21 minutes when James Akintunde span his marker well in the centre of the park before surging into the heart of the Wood defence, shifting the ball through to Harry White who couldn’t nick it past Grant Smith in the home goal from close range, the ball going out for a corner.
At the other end Morgan Ferrier did well to drive to the byline before cutting back for defender Kane Smith, but he couldn’t get his head over the ball and he lashed well over.
But Chester were settling and starting to make a contest of it, with Jones’ back post header saved by Smith after Ryan Astles had flicked on a Gary Roberts corner.
Morgan Ferrier then went close with an unmarked header from a Kane Smith cross before Mahon drifted in from the right win for Chester only to see his left-footed strike drag well wide.
But it was to be a familiar tale as just before the break Akintunde needlessly felled Folivi on the edge of the box to allow Andrade to slam home the penalty kick on 44 minutes to see the Wood safe at the break.
HALF TIME: BOREHAM WOOD 2 CHESTER 0
Boreham Wood started brightly after the break and looked to land the knockout blow, and David Stephens came close to doing so on 50 minutes when he glanced an Andrade corner inches wide of Firth’s left-hand post.
And Andrade should have done better shortly after when he found himself with a clear sight of goal 15 yards out, but he could only roll tamely wide when he should have hit the target.
But it was game over on 58 minutes when Ferrier picked up the ball on the left, cutting into the box before skipping through some weak defending and sliding the ball past Firth from close range to all but end the game as a contest.
Luke Garrard’s side were in total control in the second period and they almost find a way through again minutes later when Folivi’s effort from the edge of the area was tipped over superbly by Firth.
The hosts did have the ball in the net again on 70 minutes when a Stephens header was pushed away by Firth into the path of Tom Champion who sidefooted home only to be flagged for offside.
But with their first meaningful effort of the half Chester pulled one back on 74 minutes.
Tom Crawford exposed some slack defending from the home side to find Akintunde in the box, with the Chester striker setting himself before finding the far corner from 12 yards.
The goal gave Chester a spring in their step and the introduction of Nathan Brown certainly aided their ability to attack the Wood full backs.
The home side went close again soon after, though, when Andrade curled a 20 yard free kick up and over the wall, the ball flashing wide.
The game began to peter out in the final 10 minutes, although there was reason to be cheerful at least when Alex Downes came on for his senior Chester debut. The teenager replaced fellow academy graduate Jones to see four academy prospects featuring in the game.
Shakes added the gloss for the home side on 90 minutes, outstripping Hobson down the left flank before thumping a 12 yard effort past Firth.
But the Blues ensured an air of respectability to the scoreline deep into added time when Akintunde added his second, latching on to a Karl Cunningham pass before finishing well.
There was no shame here, though. The Blues competed well but beaten by the better side.
G Smith, K Smith, Woodards, Ricketts, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Murtagh, Andrade (Davey 86), Folivi (Sach 72), Ferrier. Subs not used: Harfield, Quigley, Doe.
Bookings: Champion, Murtagh.
Goals: Folivi 7, Andrade pen 44, Ferrier 58, Shakes 90.
Chester: Firth, Hobson, Anderson, Jones (Downes 87), Astles, Vose, Mahon, Roberts (Cunningham 78), Crawford, White (Brown 68), Akintunde. Subs not used: Archer, Gough.
Bookings: Jones, Anderson.
Goals: Akintunde 74, 90+4.
Referee: Richard Hulme.
Attendance: 551 (94 from Chester).
Star man: James Akintunde.