Chester FC extended their lead to 13 points at the top of the Evo-Stik First Division North after a pulsating 3-1 victory over Salford City.
Played under difficult windy conditions, goals from Steven Beck, Chris Simm and Robbie Booth sealed the points in an end to end battle with the Mancunians.
Before the game Neil Young hinted that he might make wholesale chances to his line-up, but surprisingly he only made two changes to the side that beat Skelmersdale United 1-0 the previous weekend. Robbie Booth returned to the starting line, coming in for Bradley Barnes who dropped onto the bench. The other change saw Tom Field replace Martin Gritton.
Chester kicked off attacking the Harry Mac Terrace and almost immediately Robbie Booth struck a wayward shot into the side netting.
With plenty of end to end action, the Blues eventually broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when out of nowhere, Steven Beck on the edge of the box, right footed, floated in an unstoppable ball into the top right corner.
But then just minutes later, Salford manager Rhodri Giggs found an equalizer from a scrappy free kick that bobbled under the body of goalkeeper Adam Judge.
Chester managed to regain the lead five minutes later when Chris Simm broke free from his marker, one on one with the goalkeeper, he slotted the ball home, low into the left corner.
But at the other end Salford have had their chances to get back into the game, coming close to equalizing again when they hit the woodwork in the 32nd minute.
Just before the break Michael Wilde should have made it 3-1, forcing a great save out of the keeper from close range.
After the interval Salford came out fighting with Steve Foster the main threat, he forced Judge into another good block but at the other end Wilde somehow missed another chance to get on the score sheet when he hoofed the ball over the bar from close range.
Then against the run of play the Blues extended their lead when on the hour mark Robbie Booth stepped up with an absolute cracker to seal the three points. A thunderous right footed strike that bounced in off the left post. The man himself earning the Man of the Match award with an outstanding individual performance.
With a comfortable lead behind them, Chester stepped off the gas appearing content to play down the final minutes, but the tie ended with an unusual twist during stoppage time when Josh Tinker came on to become Salford’s fourth substitution of the evening.
Chester FC: Judge, Aspin, Horan, Ruffer, Stones, Beck, A Williams (Barnes 28), Field, Booth, Simm, Wilde (Wilson 64). Subs: Jones, C Williams, St Juste.
Goals: Beck 25, Simm 31, Booth 61.
Salford: Robertson, Gamble, Woodford (Cross 16), Ayres, Hockenhull (Tinker 90), Headley (Redhsaw 58), Morning, Andrews, Goodeve, Giggs (Thomas 83), Foster.
Goal: Giggs 28.
Referee: Danny Gratton (Staffordshire).
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