Match report Vs Chester FCVenue: Deva StadiumDate: 18-09-18Att: 1512 (away fans: 143)

18-09-18 - Report - Chester FC 3 Kidderminster Harriers 1

Harriers unbeaten run takes a dive at the Deva

Report: Phil Lench

The Harriers crashed to their first defeat of the season this evening at a rain swept Deva Stadium, the home of Chester FC. This was a game that six weeks ago we would have been expected to win with it coming on the back of an 8-1 collapse at Blyth Spartans for the hosts but it was then called off due to flood damage at the stadium. Fast forward a few weeks and since then Chesters results have improved and now it wasn’t going to be so easy.

The Reds started off with the unchanged side from the one that won so easily at York City on Saturday but it was the hosts that looked the more confident from the start. It took just six minutes for them to take the lead under somewhat dubious circumstances. We had already seen warning of the poor calibre of the officials with an offside completely missed that thankfully came to nothing but when Joel Taylor won the ball cleanly in the area the late addition to the Chester side, Iwan Murray, dived flamboyantly to win the penalty. Anthony Dudley dispatched it confidently past Brandon Hall.

With the rain still coming down, and demoralised by their early lead, the Harriers struggled to stamp any kind of mark on the game. Poorly placed passes and close marking from Salford – sorry, Chester 🙂 – meant that we were on the back foot all the time and also the return to continually passing the ball back to the keeper that was reminiscent of John Eustace’ tactics was frustrating for the fans and unhelpful for Hall who was also being put under pressure.

Towards the end of the half we began to improve slightly but it wasn’t the kind of football we like and the long high ball in swirling winds wasn’t going to reap any dividends. Joe Ironside was struggle with the heavy marking he was getting and any crosses into the area were slowly delivered and miles from any intended target.

It looked an odds on certainty that there would be a change at the break.

HT: 1 – 0

At the restart on came Dan Bradley for Ironside and at the same time Chester replaced the goalscorer Dudley with Deva hero Matty Hughes. Of the two subs it was Hughes that settled the first as Bradley struggled to fit in. It took Hughes six minutes to find the back of the net with a poorly defended corner being the culprit as he rose to meet the ball at the near post and head home for the hosts second goal of the evening.

We responded with a chance for Bradley from the restart that he sent wide of the upright with only the keeper to beat but it could so easily have been 3-1 in the next Chester attack when the diminutive Murray sent in a powerful shot from thirty yards out that Brandon Hall only just managed to flip away with his fingertips.

Our chance of salvation came soon after when Ed Williams, on a marauding run, burst towards the area and tried to play the ball in but it hit Steve Howson on the arm and the referee pointed to the spot. As with the first half penalty it wasn’t a convincing call but more likely an evening up from the official. Ed Williams stepped up to take it, due to the absence of Joe Ironside, and drove it in with the keeper going the wrong way.

We should have gone on to grab a second but once again our slow methodical play and constant pressure was never going to achieve that and we never actually tested the keeper once during the game. 

The third goal came ten minutes from the end when James O’Connor dithered on the ball towards the corner flag to allow Hughes to swoop in and rob him of the ball. Hughes advanced closer to goal with no one available to stop him and he drove the ball into the roof of the net from a sharp angle.

The hosts could have made it four when they hit the base of the post but by then they were happy with what they had got. On the other hand we still passed it back to Hall and faffed around knowing that we weren’t going to get anything more from the game. 

FT: 3 – 1

Goals for Chester FC: Dudley 6 (pen), Hughes 52, 81

Goal for Harriers: Williams 72 (pen)

The Harriers Online MotM is: Ed Williams

Talk about the game here

Latest table and stats here

Chester FC Goals Subs Time Cards
Murray   77  
Mooney   67  
Dudley 46  
Pritchard   77
Jordan   67  
Hughes 46  
Harriers Goals Subs Time Cards
Digie   63  
Ironside   46  
Richards   63  
Bradley   46  
Mr Michael Barlow