Chester’s unbeaten start under new Manager Steve Watson continued with a point against AFC Telford this afternoon.
Paddy Lacey opened the scoring in the first half, before Simon Grand’s red card changed the complexion of the match. Brendon Daniels equalised moments later, but the ten man Blues grafted hard and saw out the final 40 minutes for a draw.
Watson made one change from Tuesday’s entertaining 2-2 draw with AFC Fylde. James Hardy missed out due to injury, with Lacey replacing him in the starting XI.
The first half was a scrappy affair, but the Blues dominated large parts of it. Anthony Dudley’s snapshot on five minutes was saved by former Blue Russ Griffiths.
Griffiths was busy again on 23 minutes, having to be alert at his near post to stop George Glendon’s attempt following a well-worked short corner routine.
Chester took their chance on 36 minutes though, as Lacey was back in the side and back on the scoresheet. It was a well worked opener, which started with good work from Darren Stephenson to hold the ball up and release Dudley down the left – and his cross was inch perfect for Lacey to guide his header into the corner.
The Seals had penalty appeals waved away just before the break when Grand appeared to be clattered by Griffiths following a dangerous Glendon free kick, however Referee Jonathan Maskrey wasn’t interested in the shouts for a spot kick.
But Telford had a way back into the game three minutes into the second half as Chester were reduced to ten men. Grand was shown a second yellow card for pulling down Jason Oswell as he went clear following a sloppy backpass.
From the free kick, Daniels smashed the ball into the bottom corner to level the scores.
The visitors had the man advantage and exerted pressure, but struggled to create any clear cut opportunities. They had an effort on target on 73 minutes as Daniels tried his luck with a free kick from a similar position – but it was comfortable for Gray.
However, it was the ten men who created openings as the game approached 90 minutes. Glendon on two separate occasions had shots, his first was saved low by Griffiths, and the second was drilled off target after patient build up play.
Paul Carden’s Telford had the chance to win it in stoppage time, when a penalty was awarded for handball following a corner. Sub Carl Baker stepped up, but smashed the spot kick against the crossbar and it meant the game ended all square.
CHESTER: Gray, Horsfield, Williams, Grand, Askew, Lacey (Clarke 59), Roberts, Weeks, Glendon, Stephenson, Dudley (Livesey 50).
SUBS NOT USED: Smith, Burke, Waring.
SCORERS: Lacey 36; Daniels 49.