Chester FC ‘left it late’ for the second consecutive midweek fixture as Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s side battled their way to 1-1 draw at Kettering Town on Tuesday evening. Substitute Akwasi Asante struck in the third-minute of additional time to cancel out Gary Roberts’ 70th-minute own goal.
Kettering Town: White, Stohrer, Skarz, Graham, Cartwright, Richens, Meikle, Kennedy, Nti, Hodge, Kelly.
Substitutes: O’Connor, Solkhon, Milnes, Carta, Brighton.
Chester: Griffiths, K.Roberts, Taylor, G.Roberts, Livesey, Grand, Jackson, Stopforth, Waring, Mahon, Dudley.
Substitutes: Burton, Asante, Waters, Elliott, Hughes.
In the opening exchanges it was pretty even in terms of possession, and not so much to report in terms of goalmouth action. in the 16th-minute, Chester created a half-chance as Grand flicked the ball into the path of Dudley, but he fired his volley just over the crossbar.
After another great bit of build-up play from the visitors, Gary Roberts guided his effort just over the bar as he rifled the ball towards goal from the edge of the box.
In a dull end to the first 45 minutes, the visitors had the momentum heading into the break with two half chances, but there was very little to report in the opening half in Kettering.
Just eight minutes into the second half, Chester created another little opening as Gary Roberts’ free-kick was lofted into the box, Grand make a solid connection, but the ball was tipped over the bar by White in the Kettering goal.
just past the hour mark, Chester decided to make a double change as Danny Elliott and Matty Hughes came on to replace George Waring and Craig Mahon. on 65 minutes, the hosts almost took the lead as Connor Kennedy’s effort just flashed past the post.
With 20 minutes to play, kettering opened the scoring as Chester’s Gary Roberts turned Meikle’s cross into his own net to give the hosts the lead. Just two minutes later, Chester almost fired straight back in a great move as Matty Hughes got in and behind the Kettering defence, but a great piece of defending from the hosts scuppered the opportunity.
On 73 minutes, Chester made their final change as Anthony Dudley made way for Akwasi Asante entered the field. Just three minutes later, Chester’s hopes of a result took a huge blow as Stopforth took down Nti inside the box as the hosts were awarded a penalty-kick.
Russell Griffith’s got down superbly to deny Nti from the spot as Chester kept themselves in the game. In an action-packed couple of minutes, the hosts were reduced to ten men as Marcus Kelly was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
With five minutes to spare, Danny Elliott picked up a loose ball and let fly from 25-yards, but his effort glided over the crossbar. In the second minute of additional time, Chester were awarded a penalty as Matty Hughes was upended in the box. Up stepped Asante as the Dutchman fired the ball into the back of the net to secure what could prove to be a very important point.
Chester’s joint-manager Bernard Morley spoke to the media after the final whistle, as the visitors were ‘content’ with a well-earned point.
“It might turn out to be a very good point. said Morley.
“A late goal, and a sign of a team that won’t accept when they’re beat. It’s happened twice this season already and we’re only into the fourth game, but in terms of what we watched, the performance levels were not what we expected.
“I think that players just think that they can turn up and just win, but it doesn’t work like that. They (Kettering) came off a 3-0 defeat at Darlington, so they had something to prove, and you’ve got to roll your sleeves up and match them in every department.