The Blues earned a share of the spoils with a hard earned point at the Exacta Stadium on Wednesday against a strong and well organised AFC Fylde side.
The visitors got out the blocks the stronger of the two sides with an attacking approach. Within minutes Kevin Townson despatched a speculative long range drive but Richard Whiteside, playing against his former employers, wasn’t troubled watching the ball whistle wide of this right post.
Worse was to happen moments latest when the visitors took the lead in the eighth minute with Kevin Townson completing a neat Fylde move by connecting with a Mike Barnes cross leaving Whiteside no chance.
Fylde continued to look livelier and continued to put Neil Young’s men under intense pressure, but the Blues fought back with a couple of Jimmy McCarthy throw ins, the first finding George Horan towards the near post who forced Fylde keeper Lewis Edge into his first save of the game.
Chester continued to pile on the pressure and an equaliser finally came. Iain Howard brought a Tom Field cross under control for Michael Wilde to bag possibly one of the best goals this season, leaving the Fylde keeper no chance with an impressive acrobatic overhead kick.
Chester continued to push forward and were rewarded with the lead in the 27th minute after George Horan ducked out of the way of a great McCarthy cross with a neat dummy to grant Bradley Barnes acres of space on the edge of the area. Right footed, the inspirational Blues midfielder made no mistake blasting the ball into the right corner.
But the Blues fell foul to a well organised Fylde outfit just before the break when the visitors equalised with Chester defence at sixes and sevens. John Hills made great headway through midfield before striking just outside the area. His shot caught a cruel deflection with the ball falling to Joe Booth who after a neat back flick set up Townson for his second of the game, flighting the ball left footed into the top left corner of Whiteside’s net.
Both sides went in search of a winning goal after the interval and it nearly came when Michael Wilde back heeled the ball agonisingly wide of the left upright in the 53rd minute from a Chris Williams cross from the left flank but at the other end Whiteside had to be alert to deny Tom Cahill moments later.
McCarthy sent an effort just wide in the 65th minute following great work down the left from Wilde and Barnes tried his luck with a long range strike moments later. Wilde stung the Fylde keeper’s hands in the 83rd minute with a low drive through a crowded penalty area as time began to run down.
Chester were far the greater attacking side in the second half and almost stole the points in injury time when Michael Wilde forced the Fylde keeper into another good save.
The Blues return to action at the Exacta Stadium on Saturday afternoon when Neil Young’s men welcome West Yorkshire based outfit, Wakefield. Kickoff is 3.00pm.
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