REPORT | Chester 1-0 Solihull Moors

    Ross Hannah came off the bench to score the winning goal as Chester get their first win since October.

    Marcus Bignot got one over on his former club Solihull Moors who remain bottom of the National League table.

    Ross Hannah poked in Ryan Astles’ flicked on header as the Blues gained three vital points in their hunt for National League survival.

    It was the perfect response for the Blues who were humbled 4-0 at home to Dagenham and Redbridge a fortnight ago as the win sees Chester move up to 21st, five points clear of rock bottom Moors.

    The other major talking point saw Darren Carter sent off after two bookable offences in what was busy day for referee Peter Wright which saw him draw out seven cards in a game that was decided in the final 15 minutes.

    Manager Bignot made six changes from the side that lost the last game with James Jones and Daniel Udoh making their debuts for the Blues. Sam Hornby was another – starting in goal for Alex Lynch for the first time since his loan move from Port Vale. Reece Hall Johnson, Ryan Astles returned to the side and Myles Anderson lined up for his first start.

    The first-half saw limited chances for both sides with possession mainly falling to the visitors. The referee was the busiest man on the pitch in the first-half with an early booking for Andy Halls and also a card for full-back Lathaniel Rowe Turner. Wesley Atkinson was penalized and picked up a card for the visitors before the half time. The best chance for the hosts saw Halls get himself onto a couple of set pieces but both headers failed to test O’Leary as both teams went into the dressing room without really testing either keeper.

    The second-half started similar to the first with the major incidents coming from the referee who booked Oladapo Afolayan after numerous fouls on the young debutant James Jones who conducted himself superbly on a day that really belonged to the defence. Ryan Astles was a truly assured figure – commanding the back line to keep out chances that resulted in only Chester’s third clean sheet since Bignot joined the Blues.

    Hannah was thrown into the action on the 65th minute mark for debutant Daniel Udoh who joined the Blues on loan from Crewe on Thursday. James Bowen picked up a card for a foul on Reece Hall-Johnson and substitute Tom Shaw also found himself in the referee’s book after a foul in the middle of the park.

    The deadlock was finally broken in the 77th minute when a Lucas Dawson corner was flicked on by Astles and Hannah found himself unmarked at the back post to tuck his header away as relief filled the Swansway stadium as suddenly Chester were on course for their first league win in six games.

    Darren Carter was shown a second yellow for a strong challenge on Dawson and the former Birmingham City player was sent to the tunnel in what reflected a disappointing day for Mark Yates and his Moors side who couldn’t improve on their 1-0 win against Leyton Orient a week ago.

    The victory leaves the Blues three points from safety although Leyton Orient have a superior goal difference. The attention for Marcus Bignot and his team turns to the FA Trophy as Chester host AFC Fylde hoping to make it back-to-back victories for the first time during Bignot’s reign as Chester manager.


    Chester: Hornby, Jones, Astles, Anderson, Hall-Johnson, Dawson, Halls, Rowe-Turner, James, Akintunde, Udoh

    Solihull: O’Leary, Bowen, Carter, Atkinson, Hylton, Afolayan, Green, Daly, Kelleher, Osborne, Thomas

    Match Report by Josh Kerr