REPORT | Chester 2-2 AFC Fylde

    Chester were denied three points late on against high flying AFC Fylde in an action packed festive encounter.

    The Blues had led twice, George Glendon and Darren Stephenson with the goals, but strikes from Nick Haughton and Ben Tollitt ensured it ended all square. The visitors played the last half an hour ten men after David Perkins saw red for an off the ball punch.

    Manager Steve Watson named an unchanged side from the Boxing Day victory over AFC Telford.

    The standout from that game, Stephenson, went close in the opening seconds. He drove into the box, beating two challenges, but was denied by Bobby Jones as he looked to squeeze in a shot at the near post.

    Down the other end, Haughton’s dangerous corner clipped the top of the crossbar for the visitors. Moments later Jones was being worked again, firstly denying Glendon after good build up play before stopping an attempt from James Hardy.

    After a lively opening seven minutes, the game became a stop-start affair with Referee Ben Atkinson blowing for free-kicks aplenty.

    Jordan Hulme had a couple of opportunities as the first half progressed, first beating Louis Gray to a ball over the top but firing off target, before heading Tollitt’s fantastic cross wide from close range just before the interval.

    But it was the Seals who got themselves in front eight minutes after the break. Stephenson’s cross from the right was superbly controlled by the skipper Glendon, who fired home the opener in front of the Harry Mac.

    Chester had a goal advantage and then a man advantage moments later. Perkins’ moment of madness saw him strike Hardy in the face and receive a straight red card.

    Nevertheless it was the visitors who struck next just beyond the hour mark. Hulme’s cross to the middle was turned home by Haughton.

    Steve Watson’s men still had the man advantage though and piled on the pressure as Fylde sat deep. It brought a goal, and Stephenson got it for a third game in succession. His low effort from the edge found its way through the legs of Jones and into the goal.

    It was nearly three courtesy of a Weeks curler a few minutes later, the midfielder’s attempt landing on the roof of the net.

    And there was to be a twist late on, as Tollitt scored his second goal in the space of three days to clinch Jim Bentley’s side a point. His low driven effort from range flew into the bottom corner to ensure the spoils were shared.

    CHESTER: Gray, Horsfield (Morgan 81), Williams, Grand, Askew, Roberts, Glendon, Weeks, Hardy (Livesey 86), Dudley, Stephenson.

    SUBS NOT USED: Smith, Cowan, Lacey.

    SCORERS: Glendon 53, Stephenson 80; Haughton 64, Tollitt 90.

    ATTENDANCE: 2,075.