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Trophy hopes undone at the finish

Three-goal burst in closing stages takes Chester through

Malcolm Howe

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Malcolm Howe

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Trophy hopes undone at the finish

Ian Herring tries to cut out a Chester cross on Saturday Picture: Terry Marland

Chester 4 Hungerford Town 0

THREE goals in the final nine minutes against 10 men made it look like a walkover for Vanarama National League Chester, but that was anything but the case at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium in Saturday’s FA Trophy second round tie.

For more than an hour, Hungerford coped with the home side almost comfortably, and it was the team from two divisions higher that looked most worried with Hungerford seemingly on course for a replay or more.

But Jordan Chappell’s breakthrough goal after 63 minutes was followed by Hungerford losing midfielder Scott Rees to two yellow and a red card nine minutes later, and Chester sealed the tie with that late flourish against the depleted visitors.

Hungerford set up to frustrate their opponents and catch them on the break, and Chester’s frustration grew throughout the first period as Hungerford’s back line held rock solid and they contested everythjing in midfield.

Paul Strudley had to field efforts from Johnny Hunt and John Rooney but the only real chance saw Danny Hattersley fire over from close range as Hungerford reached the break with the job half done and jeers ringing in the ears of the home players.

And it was Hungerford who had the chances to go ahead after the re-start when goalkeeper Jon Worsnop denying James Clark point-blank before Garyn Preen put a shooting chance tamely at the goalkeeper from an angle.

Hungerford’s confidence was greater than that of the fragile hosts, but it was Chester who broke the deadlock after 63 minutes when Craig Mahon jinked forward before setting up Jordan Chappell to fire home from just outside the area.

Hungerford went for it and brought on Stefan Brown and Mark Draycott, but their chances dipped when Scott Rees was booked for a foul on Rooney and three minutes later, he took down Luke George and received his second yellow card.

Hungerford pushed forward but left gaps and they were caught short at the back when Ian Sharps’ long clearance bounced handily for Ross Hannah to go through and score, and goals after 90 and 93 minutes from Hunt and substitute Jason Gilchrist completed a scoreline that flattered the home side.

Chester: Worsnop, Higgins, Heneghan, Sharps, Hunt, Chapell (Hughes 90), George (Gilchrist 90), Rooney, Mahon, Hattersley (Lloyd 46), Hannah.

Hungerford Town: Strudley, Tyler, John, Boardman, Day, Rusby, Clark (Goodger 79), Rees, Jarvis (Draycott 73), Herring, Preen (Brown 68).

Hungerford's scheduled Red Insure Cup tie with Winchester City tonight (Monday) has been put back a week.

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