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Chester FC 0 Harriers 0


Date: 05-10-13gif Venue: Exacta Stadiumgif att: 2223gif away fans: 259
It's a siesta in Chester

gif Report by Harriershane
The big question heading into today's game at the Deva Stadium was "Who will replace the injured Mickey Demetriou?" Danny Jackman, as expected, was the man to fill in for the injured left back as one of three alterations to the Harriers lineup following the goalless draw at home to Aldershot.  Amari Morgan-Smith and Marvin Johnson replacing Michael Gash and Joe Lolley respectively.

The hosts named former Stoke City and Sheffield United defender Danny Higginbotham in the starting line-up whilst former Harrier John Danby lined up in goal.

Within the opening minute the first corner of the game was awarded to the home side but it came to nothing.  Harriers worked their first opportunity of the game at the ten minute mark resulting in a corner of their own; good play from Callum Gittings teed up Marvin Johnson for a snapshot, culminating in a corner which also came to nothing.

After a frantic opening to the game, where both sides wasted set plays, it began to settle down.  It was then Harriers again who were guilty of squandering a good chance with Kyle Storer directing a bullet header just over from ten yards after thirty five minutes.  A couple of minutes later it was his midfield counterpart Lee Fowler who had a sight of goal from distance unleashing a shot which, although on target, never really troubled Danby.

Chester finished the half in the ascendancy with Jamie Reed wasting a free kick given for a foul by Josh Gowling on Higginbotham which led to a few handbags, the former booked for his original misdemeanour.

The best chance of the half came during injury time and it fell to the hosts with Alex Titchiner showing a good display of strength and tenacity to ride a couple of tackles before unleashing a curling effort that was beaten away with authority by Harriers custodian Nathan Vaughan.

As the half time whistle went the Harriers fans were left to reflect on a first half which presented a few half chances but very few clear cut efforts, with an even, and some would say scrappy, first half finishing goalless.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second half began in a similar manner to the first with former Harriers loanee Craig Lindfield blazing over after the restart before the lads in red began to impose their authority on the game.  A series of Harriers corners dominated the minutes of the mid 50's but some dogged defending on home soil saw that passage of play pass without harm.

On the stroke of the hour came arguably the best chance of the game and once again, it fell to the Fleetwood loanee Titchiner.  After getting the better of Jamie Grimes, the striker cracked a lovely effort off the crossbar but with Harriers unable to clear, they had Nathan Vaughan to thank for pulling off a smart save from the rebound, denying Lewis Turner.

Shortly after Lee Vaughan picked up a booking for a foul and enabled manager Steve Burr to make his first substitution of the match, withdrawing Anthony Malbon to rapturous applause from the travelling fans.  Joe Lolley came on in his place and within five minutes made Danby work with an effort from the edge of the area following a trademark surging run which had the hosts defence on the back foot.

The Harriers' second substitution saw Marvin Johnson withdrawn in favour of Jack Byrne after sixty eight minutes and, like Lolley, almost broke the deadlock within moments of stepping onto the pitch, rising well to meet a peach of a ball from stand in left back Jackman, but his header floated agonisingly over the bar much to the dismay of the Harriers faithful behind the goal.

Danbys solid handling certainly aided the home side and he was at it again, saving well down low this time to a Callum Gittings effort.  In pushing for a winner the visitors had to be wary of the long throw weapon that Chester possessed, with Titchiner again testing the Harriers backline.

As the game began to get ever more frantic, with both sides looking to net that elusive goal which would have surely won the match, it was Harriers who finished the strongest.  Joe Lolley, with five minutes to go, was again at the heart of the attack seeing his drive batted away by Danby and, with captain Kyle Storer following in, the travelling fans were convinced they were going to see a winner when Storer duly converted the rebound in acrobatic fashion the celebrations in the away stand began.

They were, however, in vain, with the linesman on the far side raising his flag for offside against the goalscorer.  At first glance it looked a tight decision and created a talking point for those on the coach home.

A respectable 2223 took in a goalless draw, with 259 Harriers supporters making plenty of noise.  For the Harriers it was a second 0-0 draw in as many games, whilst for Chester the point meant they ended the day in 22nd place, but unbeaten in four home games as they look to improve after a difficult start to the season.

They travel to Alfreton in midweek in what will be a difficult encounter whilst the Harriers are faced with a tough match of their own as they welcome Dave Hockadays Forest Green Rovers to Aggborough.  A game that we need to win by getting back onto the scoring trail.
  FT: 0 - 0

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Chester FC  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Danby     N Vaughan  
Kay   L Vaughan
Higginbotham     Jackman  
Pugh gif     Storer  
Linwood     Grimes  
Harrison     Gowling
Reed gif     Gittings
McIntyre     Fowler  
Titchiner   Morgan-Smith gif  
L Turner     Malbon gif  
Lindfield     Johnson gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
N Turner     Lewis  
Mills gif - 85     Dance  
Heath gif - 83     Lolley gif - 59  
Atkinson     Blissett gif - 73
McDonald     Byrne gif - 68  

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