BLOG – Chester 3-3 Nuneaton

A very good performance from Chester was unfortunately undone by a harsh red card and our continuing failure to deal with crosses. Jason Jarrett was sent off early on (more on that later) but it was Chester who reacted best, deservedly going ahead through Rooney’s excellent finish. Nuneaton pegged Chester back with a well worked and well taken cross and header, but it wasn’t level for long. This time Taylor poked home after Mahon’s cross had luckily rebounded into his path via the post. Nuneaton scored a virtually identical goal to their first before half-time which arrived with a chorus of boos for the referee (more on him later). After the break both sides struggled to make chances initially. Eventually Chester went ahead again through Killock’s excellent finish after a corner had been knocked down for him, but once again the Blues couldn’t hold onto the lead, with Nuneaton managing to find space in the six yard box allowing their number 10 to blast home. Here are some thoughts on the game…

1. The Red Card

Well, in short, it probably was the correct decision to send Jarrett off, what was harsh about it was that their number 6 wasn’t sent off. He dived in, off his feet, nearing knee height, yet got away scot-free. I know it’d be very unusual to send both players off for in-play incident, but let’s face it, Jarrett’s tackle looked like a stamp and if their player had connected with Jarrett he’d have been needing an ambulance. The ref was unfortunately persuaded by the play acting of the Nuneaton player, which brings me onto…

2. The Ref

Absolutely out of his depth. The red card incident was the most obvious error, but there were many, many more. Most of the time the ref failed to spot pushes in the back whilst players were heading. Both sides were on the receiving end of this poor decision making, but I imagine the Chester players felt more aggrieved due to the earlier sending off. The linesman nearest the dug-outs was pretty awful too – too fat to keep up with play and not assertive enough when he made a decision. The case in point being the corner for their third. The linesman had flagged for a throw….

3. 10 Men

On to the positives now and it has to be said that that was an excellent performance given the circumstances. Going forward we were very good. Rooney, Mahon, Taylor and Seddon all combined brilliantly, Lewis Turner was his usual hard-working self down the right and Bond did really well going between attack and defence too. It’s a shame that we couldn’t hold on to win, because on the performance we gave we really did deserve it. All credit goes to Steve Burr for changing the attitude in the squad, but it was a bit strange that Nuneaton, who are 6th in the league, couldn’t manage to impose themselves on the game. I can’t imagine their manager being very happy with their performance!

4. Crossing

Superman had kryptonite, Chester FC has crosses into the box. We just can’t deal with them. We all thought that Chapman’s arrival might have sorted out that problem but after seeming so commanding in the game against Halifax, he now seems rooted to his line. But it’s not just him, Bridge (who otherwise looked decent) allowed far too much space for the winger to cross for their first, and Killock was the player beaten in the air for the first two (though he couldn’t have done much about the second I don’t think). Then there was the corner – surely in the last ten minutes, the last thing you’d do would be to allow a striker a load of room in the six yard box?

5. Bond

Mahon was rightly given man of the match by the sponsors, but Bond couldn’t have been far behind. Was up and down the pitch helping out wherever he could and was calm in possession and happy to put a foot in. Very impressive signing which has really helped to sort out midfield troubles out.

Well, that’s all for today. A good point in the end, making it 8 points from the last 4 games. Not a bad return at all, hopefully something we’ll keep up until the end of the season.

Richard Bellis

About Richard Bellis

Richard is a masters student at UCL who studies the History and Philosophy of Science. He graduated in Philosophy from the University of Leeds. His first Chester game was the promotion winning match against Scarborough in 2004, which he watched on top of a van outside the stadium. He has written for various websites including When Saturday Comes, In Bed With Maradona and The Two Unfortunates.
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