Saturday 5th April 2014
Chester: Chapman, Kay, Turner, Brown, Rooney, Bond, Jarrett, Mahon (Linwood), McIntyre, Hobson (Menagh), Seddon (Griffin). Subs Not Used: Danby, Peers.
Hyde FC: Chris Kettings, Josh Brizell, Adam Blakeman, Will Haining (Darren Thornton), Alex McQuade, Liam Tomsett, Jordan Clark, Alex Brown, Adam Thurston (Rhys Day), Regan Walker, Connor Hughes. Subs not used: Andrew Fitzgerald, Jake Pollard, James Kirby.
Two second half free kicks from Adam Blakeman almost saw Hyde pull off an incredible comeback in a five goal thriller at the Deva Stadium.
By George Corrin
Chester FC had stormed into a 3-0 lead shortly after the interval, courtesy of goals from Gareth Seddon, Craig Hobson and a comical own goal from Josh Brizell.
However, Hyde began to fightback and two superb Blakeman free kicks either side of Matty Brown’s red card resulted in a pulsating final 30 minutes.
Scott McNiven will be pleased at his sides response, especially as the Tigers scored their first goals in five league outings.
On this Grand National weekend, it was Chester who were at the races throughout the first half and former Hyde striker Gareth Seddon almost opened the scoring for the Blues after just 23 seconds as he forced Chris Kettings into a smart save.
The Tigers missed a golden chance just moments later as Connor Hughes fired over from close range with the goal at his mercy.
Seddon opened the scoring for Chester on 14 minutes, as the captain sealed his seventh goal of the season with an audacious lob from outside the area which left Kettings stranded.
The 33-year-old almost doubled his tally shortly afterwards but Seddon’s overhead kick flew just wide of the goal.
Josh Brizell and Kettings were soon left red faced as both players were involved in a calamitous mix up to gift Chester their second goal of the afternoon. Following Craig Mahon’s long ball forward, Brizell decided to play the ball back towards goal, however the full-back could only guide his header over the onrushing Kettings to give Steve Burr’s side a bizarre 2-0 lead.
Shortly before half time, Hyde were denied a clear penalty after Hughes’ shot looked to have hit Michael Kay’s arm inside the Chester area, but to the dismay of the visiting bench referee Ben Toner waved play on.
Chester were still the stronger side after the interval and John Rooney, brother of Manchester United and England star Wayne, almost scored a phenomenal 50-yard lob if not for the intervention of a back peddling Kettings.
Rooney took the resulting corner and found an unmarked Craig Hobson on the edge of the area, the giant striker then glanced home his header to make it 3-0 on 54 minutes.
Against the run of play, Hyde managed to pull a goal back just two minutes later. After Hughes was fouled 25 yards from goal, Blakeman stepped up to take the resulting free kick. The ex-Bolton Wanderers man then unleashed an unstoppable curling effort into the top right corner to bring the Tigers back into the game.
Blakeman's goal sent shockwaves through the Chester team and a moment of madness from centre back Matty Brown soon added to the home side’s problems. The 24-year-old on loan from Chesterfield inexplicably threw the ball at Blakeman's head following a tussle in the centre of the pitch. Ben Toner was left with no choice but to send Brown off, much to the frustration of the home crowd.
Hyde soon silenced the boisterous Deva Stadium as Blakeman grabbed the Tigers a second goal with another sublime free kick from virtually the same position as the first. The 22-year-old left keeper Aaron Chapman with no chance as he powered his set piece hard and low into the bottom left corner to secure his fourth league goal of the campaign.
The Tigers really began to increase the tempo of play for the final 30 minutes and on-loan Bury striker Regan Walker made a nuisance of himself amongst the Chester defence.
The game was then thrown into controversy once again as Hobson looked to have made a two footed challenge on Liam Tomsett. Despite the protest from the Hyde bench, Toner decided not send off the striker but instead issued him with a yellow.
It proved to be a tense final ten minutes for Chester as Hyde pushed forward in search of an equaliser. Scott McNiven’s side almost found an equaliser through makeshift striker Rhys Day but the former Aldershot Town defender could only direct his shot wide of the goal.
In the third minute of injury time, Hyde continued to pile on the pressure and Blakeman’s long ball forward was only half dealt with by Chapman, the resulting ball fell kindly for Walker but the young striker could not find his way past a sea of Chester defenders.
As Toner signalled for full time, the home crowd breathed a welcome sigh of relief following their lucky escape from an inspired Tigers.