Chester FC had to make do with a point as Cheltenham Town held them 1-1 in a see-saw encounter that could have gone either way.

Ross Hannah's first goal for the club - and what a goal - put the Blues ahead in the eighth minute and the forward should have had another before the interval.

The Robins punished that miss on 48 minutes, taking advantage of an error from keeper Jon Worsnop to level through Kyle Storer.

Both teams could argue a case for deserving the win, but the two managers would probably accept the draw was the right outcome.

There were just eight minutes on the clock when Luke George won the ball in midfield and released Hannah, who smashed his shot past Dillon Phillips from 20 yards for a sensational goal.

Cheltenham responded well but it was the hosts who worked the better openings. Phillips denied Ryan Higgins and Jordan Chapell before Hannah streaked clear but with time to pick his spot he tried to guide the ball over the keeper and put it wide.

Billy Waters hooked ball over the crossbar with the goal begging at the other end and an offside Hannah had the ball in the net on 39 minutes as the Blues went in leading 1-0.

The second-half was three minutes old when the Robins were gifted an equaliser. An attempted clearance was skied into the air and Jon Worsnop missed his punch having elected to come for the ball, allowing Storer to steer into the unguarded net.

Chester wobbled after conceding with the visitors forcing them onto the backfoot but once the storm had passed, the Blues continued to create the better chances with Hannah curling wide and forcing Phillips into a stunning save with a thumping strike heading for the top corner.

The Robins regained the initiative moving into the final 20 minutes with Worsnop tipping Amari Morgan-Smith's header over and Jack Barthram smacking a shot against the crossbar, but a point apiece was a fair reflection of an entertaining game.

Talking points

Costly mistakes: It took 318 minutes for Chester's resistance to be broken and it will hurt even more that the goal came from an error. Over the course of the season every goalkeeper will make mistakes, sometimes punished and sometimes not. Given the choice again, Jon Worsnop would probably make a different decision. On this occasion he picked the wrong option and paid the price, but he's a strong character and will put it behind him.

Taking chances: What difference would it have made had Chester gone into half-time with a two-goal cushion? It's difficult to speculate but there's no doubt the Robins wouldn't have drawn level so quickly. Ross Hannah wasted one golden chance and had another ruled out for offside, while Dillon Phillips made a tremendous save at a vital moment for the Robins too. Chester have scored three goals this season but could have had treble that amount and must become more clinical to maintain a place in the top third of the table.

Match facts

Chester FC: Worsnop, Higgins, Heneghan, Sharps, Hunt, George, Shaw, Rooney (Hobson 72), Chapell, Hannah, Mahon (Thomson 83).

Subs: Forth, Tonge, Kay.

Goal: Hannah 8.

Booked: Mahon.

Cheltenham Town: Phillips, Barthram, Downes, Parslow, McLennan, Storer, Pell, Waters (Hall 42), Munns, Wright, Morgan-Smith.

Subs: Kitscha, Hanks, Bowen, Cooke.

Goal: Storer 48.

Booked: Morgan-Smith, Hall.

Referee: Richard Wigglesworth (Doncaster).

Attendance: 2,304.

Star man: Ross Hannah.


It's an indication of how far the club has come in a short space of time that the Blues will be disappointed not to take maximum points from a team fancied to be in the promotion mix this season.

Chester created more chances and made better use of their possession in the first-half, and will rue the fact it was a mistake that allowed the Robins back into the game.

It was an evening where the game-changing moments favoured Cheltenham rather than the Blues: Ross Hannah's wasted chance, the misjudgement from Jon Worsnop and an outstanding save from Dillion Phillips at 1-1.

To some it might feel like two points dropped but Cheltenham will be there or thereabouts come the end of the campaign and this was another performance filled with promise for what could be an exciting season for Chester supporters.