Two games into the new season and Chester FC find themselves in unfamiliar territory at the top end of the National League.

Jordan Chapell's goal on 35 minutes secured the three points, which was deserved on the balance of chances in an entertaining game.

In an end-to-end first-half, the Blues could have fallen behind inside a minute when Jordan Burrow headed wide from six yards.

Chester conceded too much possession but the hosts failed to punish them and soon found themselves chasing the game with Craig Mahon shooting wide and Matt Glennon saving well from Ross Hannah.

That pressure told in the 35th minute when Jordan Chapell's low shot from the edge of the box deflected off defender Graham Hutchison and beat the despairing Glennon, sending the Blues into half-time with a 1-0 lead.

The hosts switched to two up front at the start of the second-half but Chester coped well with the long ball and looked capable of extending the lead with Glennon making a smart stop from Tom Shaw.

Halifax did have the ball in the net on 62 minutes through substitute Danny Hattersley but a debatable offside flag saved the Blues before Jon Worsnop produced an outstanding top to keep James Bolton's screamer out of the top corner.

Chester came under a mountain of pressure in the final 20 minutes with replacement Connor Hughes pulling a shot wide and Burrow poking over from close range.

Halifax pushed hard but needed Glennon to keep them in the game late on as the experienced keeper denied Hannah, Chapell and Ryan Higgins with fine saves as a single goal proved enough for another impressive win.

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Talking points

Threat down the right: The combination of Ryan Higgins and Jordan Chapell gave Halifax a rough ride in the first period with the latter a real handful. Higgins can't be considered the most reliable defender and often his pace gets him out of trouble, but going forward he's a big danger and he's forging a good bond with Chapell, whose pace and fearless approach are refreshing.

Ross Hannah: Give him credit, Hannah never stopped running and his workrate and movement gave the Halifax backline a difficult night. He's not a natural lone centre-forward and his lack of height and strength does limit the team's choices when crossing but there's no questioning his desire or determination to help the side however he can.

Match facts

Chester FC: Worsnop, Higgins, Heneghan, Sharps, Hunt, George, Shaw, Rooney, Chapell (Thomson 89), Hannah (Peers 90), Mahon (Kay 85).

Subs: Forth, Tonge.

Goal: Chapell 35.

FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Bolton, Hutchison, Bencherif, McManus, Hibbs, James, Whithouse (Hughes 59), MacDonald (Hattersley 46), Tuton, Burrow (Bishop 86)

Subs: Roberts, Porter.

Referee: Wayne Barratt (Bromsgrove).

Attendance: 1,732 (495 from Chester).

Star man: Luke George.


What a difference a year makes. This time 12 months ago, Chester had no points from two games, had conceded seven goals and were fearing another relegation scrap.

Two games into the 2015-16 season, the Blues have six points from six, have kept back-to-back clean sheets and are sitting third in the table.

There's an awful lot of football to come but the quality of the squad and the closeness of the group bodes well. Again this was a battling rather than flowing performance, but that makes it even more exciting to think what this team can achieve when on song.

Halifax are an established, well organised and physical National League team, but the home team's direct approach was well dealt with by a defence that bears little resemblance to the one that shipped 76 league goals last season.