Bishop’s Stortford 2-0 Chester

    The Blues were beaten on the opening day of the 2023/24 campaign, ending their unbeaten away run from last season, at the hands of Bishop’s Stortford.

    Late strikes from Ayo Shogbeni and Ryan Charles secured the win for the newly-promoted hosts.

    Manager Calum McIntyre’s first team selection of the season saw Harrison Burke used in a midfield role, with Charlie Caton and Kole Hall leading the line at the RDA Stadium.

    It was a typically slow opening day start, as both sides tried to play their way into the new campaign. The home side almost had a disastrous mix up in their own area between Ryan Henshaw and ‘keeper Jack Giddens on nine minutes, but the ball was cleared.

    Iwan Murray’s corner caused problems moments later, deep to the back stick for Burke to nod back across the face – Giddens was on hand to make an important punch away from danger.

    Bishop’s Stortford only had one real half chance of note in the opening 45 courtesy of good play down the left by Jack Morrell, his cutback was turned over the bar by Darren Foxley.

    The best chance of the half came to the Seals and somehow didn’t see them take the lead.

    Murray’s corner was well worked for Charlie Caton to strike, his effort blocked on the line by Tosin Olufemi. Burke was on hand to strike in the rebound, but the same player made an incredible second block to stop the opener once again.

    Zain Walker had the first attempt of the second half as he spun and fired over Wyll Stanway’s crossbar, before Liam Edwards headed straight at Giddens at the other end.

    The home side started to build pressure and were eventual winners on a disappointing afternoon.

    Warning signs were there when sub Ola Ogunwamide intercepted a short header back from Burke and poked inches wide – before moments later he was denied by the outstretched boot of Stanway.

    But Steve Smith’s side got their first goal back in the sixth tier with ten minutes to play, Foxley’s free kick into the box was headed into the net by new signing Shogbeni.

    One quickly became two as the win was sealed on 87 minutes. Foxley again swung the ball in, a deep cross this time from open play, and Charles won a back post tussle to guide the ball into the back of the net.


    Chester: Stanway, Coates, Edwards (Earl 63), Williams, Taylor, Burke (Heywood 82), Weeks, Murray (Burton 69), Whitehouse, Hall, Caton.

    Subs Not Used: Goodson, Daly.

    Scorers: Shogbeni 80, Charles 87.

    Attendance: 740 (303 Chester).