CHESTER FC’s historic comeback match ended in a frustrating draw at Cantilever Park.
The reborn Blues, playing their first Evo-Stik League fixture since rising from the ashes of Chester City FC, will feel they did enough to win, but they were unable to turn their possession into goals.
Roared on by the vast majority of a 1,498 crowd, the visitors went ahead in the sixth minute thanks to a slick three-man move. Debutant Tom Field, signed this week from Droylsden, played Michael Wilde into space and the striker squared a first-time pass to the onrushing Rob Hopley, who applied a neat finish from 10 yards out.
Wilde, Field and Greg Stones went close to extending Chester’s lead before Warrington levelled on 22 minutes. It was a goal the visitors really should have stopped as a right-wing cross from Anthony Hickey was allowed to run across the area. While keeper Richard Whiteside and the Chester defence hesitated, Gavin Salmon pounced to make it 1-1.
The impressive Iain Howard whistled a low shot past the post on 34 minutes but Neil Young’s side had to settle for going into the break on level terms.
There were fewer chances in the second half but winger Mark Peers continued to offer a threat for Chester down the right. On 63 minutes, he went on a jinking run and fired in a shot from 25 yards – but home keeper Paul Pritchard pulled off an excellent one-handed save.
Pritchard thwarted Chester again on 73 minutes, producing a reflex stop from Wilde.
As time ticked on, Warrington survived a third loud penalty appeal for handball. Chester kept knocking at the door but it was Warrington who almost stole a win at the death as Stones was forced to clear a Salmon shot off the line in injury time.
Chester: Whiteside, Aspin, Graves, Horan, Stones, Field (Barnes 72), Peers, Burgess, Hopley (Rogan 80), Wilde, Howard (Sharrock 76). Subs: Williams, Meadowcroft. Booked: Horan.
Referee: R Ackers.