So, what were we to expect from the visit of Corby last night? A win, obviously, a Ben Mills hat-trick, carrying on from where he left off in his final home game of his loan spell – I’m sure you remembered that, a large away following, therefore giving us another 2500+ crowd last night. Did it pan out that way? Not quite.
Sub Zero Temperatures
It was cold. Now, I’m not a sun worshiper whatsoever, I much prefer these sort of temperatures. But, while standing outside the ground, meeting and greeting friends old and new, there was a real chill in the air, and I think it affected the performance on the pitch and in the stands.
House On Fire
It may have been cold, but Chester started off like the proverbial “House on Fire” within 30 seconds, Tony Gray nearly got an early goal. Would have been a neat finish too, received the ball in the area, with his back to goal, he did a clever turn to elude the defender in close proximity, and hit a shot with his left foot that went agonisingly wide. Gray in the first half had a number of opportunities, the one I’ve mentioned, a free header from 8 yards out which somehow missed the target, and one that stands out was a volley from just inside the area, from the right, he hit it with some force but somehow the goalkeeper kept it out. Gray, after his brace against Histon on Saturday, was fired up for this one and deserved a goal. He was played out wide though. I think a partnership with him and Mills could be lethal at this level. We have seen glimpses of what Tony can do so play him up front Youngie! He scored 25 goals in that position last season. Not that I’m criticising Youngie, just think it’s a bit of a waste playing him out wide.
He didn’t too bad considering it was his first game in two and a half months did he? He took his goal very well after some great work by Tony Gray who burst forward, good vision by him aswell, he found Matty McGinn on the left and he hit a first time shot, hard and low past the goalkeeper. It shouldn’t have counted for Matty. Why? 1), it wasn’t a penalty, and 2), he scored from inside the area – kudos to Ped for that one!
At The End Of The Day…
… It’s three points. First half, the first 20 minutes in particular, we played very well. It was attractive football, we got it on the deck, passes were on the whole reaching their intended targets, we created very good chances and of course we took the lead. Then we took our foot off the gas though in the second half and invited Corby to come at us. Despite them hardly troubling us in the first half (bar that rasping 20 yard shot that had Danby beaten… We knew it was wide though, didn’t we?!) we let them attack us. All of a sudden, we looked weak at the back, panicking to clear our lines, and then we caved into the pressure: 1-1. A ball whipped in from the right, and Hughes climbed highest to win the header and steer it past Danby. The large away following (oh, wait…) were in raptures.
Then, not much happened. Mills came on, didn’t make much of an impact – he’s still lacking match fitness – but didn’t get enough time on the pitch. The reception he got was heart warming (still, have to remember it was a cold night!). The drama was saved for the last few minutes; their number 5 received a second yellow card for a rash tackle on Jarman. From the resulting free kick, George Horan headed the ball back into the danger zone, Dave Hankin found space and lashed the ball into the roof of the net from 8 yards out, to earn us the victory. We’re now four points clear at the top. Not bad at all!
Roll on Worcester on Saturday, hope it’s a bit warmer! Not that I mind…