Thursday, 6 September 2012

Chester FC 2-1 FC Halifax - Match Data

Chester landed a 2-1 victory last night, to record their sixth win out of six.  The result is staggering for two reasons - firstly, that Chester managed to win despite being thoroughly outplayed by FC Halifax and secondly, that despite having maximum points from the first half dozen matches, the Blues are still third in the table behind Guiseley and Brackley - a pairing which sounds more like a firm of chartered surveyors than Chester's title rivals.

Halifax turned up with plenty of ex-Seals in tow.  Matt Glennon is still yet to play in a Chester defeat whilst the presence of Jason St Juste in the visitors' starting line up prompted many fans to say "oh yeah, I forgot we'd had him."

The Yorkshire club also had Phil Bolland and Jamie Rainford on the bench.  Rainford was roundly slated, receiving a hostile reception mostly arising from the fact that, during his time at Chester he once made some sulky comments to a friend on Facebook. Meanwhile, Phil Bolland, who once slated his former fans to the local press in order to score brownie points with the supporters of Chester's bitterest rivals Wrexham, was mostly applauded upon his return.

Chester took the lead through the frankly wonderful Ben Mills, who slotted the ball home coolly under pressure.  The Blues celebrated by not playing football for the remainder of the half.

That Halifax failed to level the score before the break is a bigger mystery than the brief pop career of Adam Rickitt.  Most notably, midfielder Jon Worthington missed a comically easy chance before falling over in the area minutes later and inexplicably berating the referee for not giving a penalty.

Indeed, Halifax had turned up with a game plan which appeared to prioritise the intimidation of the referee. Unfortunately for the Shaymen, they tried to put this scheme into action with some of the least intimidating men ever seen on a football pitch - highlighted in the first half by captain Danny Lowe, who dramatically clasped his hands to his mouth after having been given a talking-to by the referee.

Chester doubled their lead after the break, as Dave Hankin thrust a low shot into the bottom corner to give the home side a 2-0 lead before running off in celebration down by the home fans.  The referee hared after the winger, warding him away from the touchline, as celebrating near your own supporters is the kind of dangerously inclusive gesture that the game can well do without.

Worthington fired his team back into contention with a long range dig, causing the travelling fans to celebrate as though they'd suffered collective amnesia and forgotten the two Chester goals which had preceded Worthington's effort.

Jamie Rainford was introduced to a volley of boos.  As the final whistle blew, it seemed as though Chester had avoided being made to look silly by their latest pantomime villain.  However, just as Blues fans thought they were safe, the former Marine man took to Twitter to post a mature, congratulatory message to his tormentors.

"I woke up this morning to find Rainford occupying the moral highground," said Harry Mac chanter Eddie Flamegrill, shaking his head.  "Couldn't believe it.  What a sucker punch."

Either Chester or Guiseley, or maybe both, will lose their 100% record when they meet at the Exacta on Saturday.  Because they can't both win, see?

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