James Alabi scored a sensational equaliser as Chester FC came from two goals down to rescue a point with a 2-2 draw at Kidderminster Harriers.

The Blues were woeful in the first period but the damage was self-inflicted with Tony Thompson failing to keep out Arthur Gnahoua's low shot for the first and Harry White getting the second from the spot after Ryan Lloyd handled a cross.

Alabi and Ryan Higgins came on at half-time and the changes brought out about the desired improvement with Chester pulling one back when Ross Hannah won a penalty and converted it himself.

The Harriers were pinned back and it was no great surprise when the Blues levelled as Alabi swept in a delightful shot from the edge of the box for his first goal for the club.

Both sides had chances to win the game in the closing stages but in the end a point reflected the pattern of the game, although Chester will have been more pleased with the outcome.

Kidderminster began well with Ben Whitfield rasping an effort into the side-netting before John Rooney floated a cross wide and failed to hit the target from 40 yards after home keeper Dean Snedker shanked a clearance.

It was a hurried stuff with neither side showing much quality in possession but four disastrous minutes allowed the hosts to take charge of the contest.

Arthur Gnahoua gave them the lead with a low shot from 16 yards on 22 minutes that went underneath Tony Thompson, who will find the highlights DVD uncomfortable viewing.

Disappointment on the faces of the Chester side after Kidderminster take the lead
Disappointment on the faces of the Chester side after Kidderminster take the lead

It was a soft goal to concede and so too was the second four minutes later. Whitfield's cross appeared to strike Lloyd and rebound onto his arm, which referee Rob Whitton deemed worth of a penalty. Harry White stepped up and sent Thompson the wrong way from the spot.

Chester were a different side to the one that had been so impressive midweek, unable to retain possession and resorting to knocking long balls forward, which Kidderminster swept up with ease.

Ross Hannah screwed a decent chance wide for the out-of-sorts Blues while Snedker palmed out Danny O'Brien's cross and kept hold of a Rooney free-kick before the break.

Burr made a double change for the second-half with James Alabi and Ryan Higgins replacing Craig Mahon and Rooney as he reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.

Kidderminster could have had a third goal inside 60 seconds when White broke the offside trap but the striker fired over with Thompson to beat.

Chester showed more intent than in the opening 45 minutes without causing the hosts too much trouble and indeed it was the Harriers who went closest when Thompson kept out a fizzing Whitfield shot.

Sam Hughes looks on as John Rooney's cross against Kidderminster drops wide
Sam Hughes looks on as John Rooney's cross against Kidderminster drops wide

Time was running out but the Blues were given a lifeline with 25 minutes to go when Hannah got behind Kelvin Langmead and he pulled the striker back, causing Mr Whitton to point to the spot for the second time. Hannah, who had blasted a penalty over midweek, brushed that off as he rolled the ball past Snedker for his 19th goal of the season.

Astles headed a Higgins cross wide as Chester pushed for an equaliser with Harriers unconvincing leaders as the pressure increased and the visitors equalised on 75 minutes when Alabi picked up a pass, turned and held off two defenders before bending a shot into the top corner to open his account in stunning fashion.

It was anyone's game now with Ben Heneghan and Higgins combining well to prevent substitute Omari Patrick restoring the home side's lead before Hannah scuffed a shot wide when had the chance to win it for the Blues.

There was still time for one more opportunity and it fell to Patrick but Thompson made up for his earlier mistake, getting down well to his left to push the ball past the post and ensure the game finished level.

Talking points

James Alabi: Jon McCarthy promised Alabi would excite the fans and he certainly did that here. Assistant manager McCarthy spoke about the big forward having the 'wow' factor and his goal on 75 minutes was right out of the top drawer. Strength to hold off the defence, poise to find the space to shoot and a top class finish. He made a huge impact and one that should earn him a starting spot to face Tranmere next week.

Tony Thompson: Having kept a clean-sheet on his debut, Thompson would have come into this game feeling confident. Unfortunately his first real touch of the ball involved him picking it out of the net after he failed to get down to quick enough to deal with Arthur Gnahoua's opener. The ex-Macclesfield Town winger caught his shot well but from that angle and distance Thompson will know he should have done better. To his credit, the keeper pulled off two fantastic saves in the second-half including one right at the death and that should be enough for him to keep his place despite his mistake.

Match facts

Chester FC: Thompson, Heneghan, Sharps, Astles, O'Brien (Richards 85), Hughes, Rooney (Higgins 46), Mahon (Alabi 46), Lloyd, Chapell, Hannah.

Subs: Worsnop, Hunt.

Goals: Hannah (pen) 66, Alabi 75.

Booked: Richards.

Kidderminster Harriers: Snedker, Hodgkiss, Langmead, Lowe, Kinsella, Maxwell, Fane, Williams, Whitfield, White (Garnett 85), Gnahoua (Patrick 74).

Subs: Francis-Angol, Jones, Brown.

Goals: Gnahoua 22, White (pen) 26.

Booked: Maxwell.

Referee: Rob Whitton (Essex)

Attendance: 2,067.

Star man: Ryan Lloyd.