Chester FC battled their way to a well-deserved share of the spoils at play-off chasing Bromley.

Ross Hannah had given the Blues the lead on 14 minutes when he fired home from 12 yards, but that joy was short-lived as Louis Dennis tapped home from six yards into an empty net after Alex Lynch had pawed away a Luke Wanadio effort from distance.

Bromley had their chances and Paul Turnbull had to clear a Dennis effort off the line, but Hannah could have won it for Chester in the seond period, but he hit a post after racing on to a John McCombe flick on.

Chester headed into the game with the sixth-placed Ravens down to the bare bones.

Jordan Archer (groin) missed out while defensive colossus Ryan Astles had to watch from the stands after failing to recover in time from a nasty ankle injury picked up in the 1-0 loss to Wrexham 10 days previous.

Blues boss Marcus Bignot added two new faces in the week, signing defender Myles Anderson on loan until January from Torquay United, and Wolves midfielder Ryan Rainey on a one-month deal. Both had to be content with a place on the bench for the trip to Hayes Lane, though.

It gloomy and drizzly conditions it was the home side who had the first sight of goal when George Porter cut in from the right before letting fly from 25 yards, but Alex Lynch was equal to it.

And at the other end a throw in into the box on seven minutes found James Akintunde who managed to fashion some room only to fire wide from 15 yards.

Frankie Raymond went close with a rasping 25-yarder, but it was the Blues who would draw first blood.

Some excellent work from Lucas Dawson in midfield saw him feed Hannah in the box, with the Chester striker finding room to shoot low underneath David Gregory in the Bromley goal.

But the joy would be short-lived as little more than 60 seconds later it was all square.

A Wanadio effort from 18 yards was pawed away by Lynch but only as far as Dennis who sidefooted home from six yards to restore parity.

The game was an open one and Chester came close on 21 minutes to retaking the lead when a Jordan Gough header was saved well at the near post by Gregory while Hannah’s goal-bound follow up cannoned away off Alan Dunne and out to safety.

But the game then began to be played at a lower tempo, becoming a nip and tuck midfield battle, with Chester guilty of some wastefulness in dangerous areas on more than one occasion.

But Bromley were being limited to chances from distance, with Mekki seeing a 25-yard effort saved by Lynch before Wanadio ballooned over from a similar distance after finding himself in space.

But the Ravens wasted a glorious opportunity to take the lead on 43 minutes when Mekki broke on the right and whipped in a delightful cross that found Dennis unmarked, but the Bromley striker couldn’t bag his second of the game, glancing well wide when he should have hit the target.

The final chance of the half fell to Chester when a cross from the right was headed high by Harry White and defender McCombe’s volley dragged wide to signal an end to the first 45 minutes.

Lucas Dawson and Ross Hannah celebrate


After the break it was Bromley who started the better, and they would have had the lead on 51 minutes had it not been for Turnbull who got a foot to a goal-bound Dennis effort that had beaten Lynch, who gathered the loose ball from Turnbull’s intervention.

And Jack Holland headed a Mekki free-kick just wide from 10 yards before Wanadio fired an angled effort over from 18 yards as the Ravens pushed for a breakthrough.

But Chester almost regained the lead minutes when Dawson sent a deep ball forward that was flicked on by McCombe into the path of a sprinting Hannah whose left-footed effort crashed off the outside of the post and out of play.

At the other end Lynch was forced into a smart low save to deny Wanadio as Bromley continued to threaten going forward, with Chester limited to breaking on the counter.

Nyal Bell, thrown on in place of White, almost made an impact when he skipped past three challenges before shooting low from 18 yards, with Gregory pushing it away and the ball just evading Akintunde.

But the home side still came forward at every available opportunity and Dennis dragged a low shot inches wide from the edge of the area, much to his own visible frustration.

Bell came close again on 81 minutes when he got a sight of goal from 18 yards, but the on-loan striker couldn’t get a clean connection with the ball, sending it just wide of Gregory’s right-hand post.

Referee Gary Parsons added five minutes on at the end of normal time and Alan Dunne should have done better when he volleyed well wide from the edge of the area, but Chester were full value for a share of the spoils and should use this as something on which to build heading into Tuesday’s trip to Leyton Orient.


Bromley: Gregory, Dunne, Rees (73), Holland, Raymond, Dennis, Mekki (Allen 56), Johnson, Sterling, Wanadio, Porter (Adekinya 65). Subs not used: Allen, Wynter, Higgs.

Bookings: Adekinya.

Goals: Dennis 16.

Chester: Lynch, Halls, Rowe-Turner, James, McCombe, Gough, Turnbull, Dawson, Akintunde, White (Bell 65), Hannah. Subs not used: Vaughan, Joyce, Rainey, Anderson.

Bookings: Gough, Halls, Turnbull.

Goals: Hannah 14.

Referee: Gary Parsons.

Attendance: 1,129 (125 from Chester).

Star man: Jordan Gough.