The walls of the City of Chester were extended and strengthened by the Saxons to keep out the Danes in Medieval times and many years later Hednesford had the same problems breaching the Chester FC defence at the Deva Stadium in their FA Trophy first round replay.
In the proverbial game of two halves, the home side were the better team in the opening 45 minutes but despite a much-improved showing from the visitors in the second period, it was Chester who moved into the second round and a visit to Royston Town on January 11th.
The game started at an easy pace, Ben Bailey’s customary long throws asking early questions of the Chester defence before Danny Glover charged down a clearance from the keeper, the ball going behind for a goal kick. Chester responded on 16 minutes when Taylor’s cross was blocked, the ball falling to Jackson who scored to give his side a 1-0 lead. Elliott was looking dangerous for the Blues and on 34 minutes his cross was headed home by Asante to make it 2-0. Two minutes later the injured Ben O’Hanlon was replaced by Elliott Hodge but it was Chester who continued their dominance, Andy Wycherley making saves from Elliott and Asante. The Pitmen had their best chance late on in the first half when Danny Glover’s shot was pushed behind by Griffiths for a corner.
Whatever was said at half time seemed to fire the Pitmen up and they came out on the attack straight away with Izak Reid playing a more central role alongside Danny Glover. It took just five minutes for them to halve the deficit, Danny Glover volleying home from 15 yards after an Elliott Hodge cross had been headed out to him. It was all Hednesford now and James Hurst played in Izak Reid before Osebi Abadaki cut inside, forcing Griffiths into a low save. The same player then beat his full back but his cross was cut out at full stretch by the Chester defence before Elliott Hodge fired just over the bar.
In an effort to stem the flow of Pitmen attacks, Chester made a double substitution in the 63rd minute, Ngwatala and Hughes replacing Asante and Elliott but again it was the Pitmen who came closest in the 67th minute, James Hurst hitting the post from 25 yards with Griffiths well beaten. Two minutes later Andy Wycherley made a stunning reflex save from Dudley, tipping his effort over the bar for a corner which went straight out. Soon after Osebi Abadaki was crudely fouled by Roberts who was rightly cautioned and Ngwatala followed him into the book for a foul on Matt Curley. Charlie Gatter replaced James Hurst with nine minutes to play and Waring came on for Dudley four minutes later for Chester. Waring’s header landed on the roof of the net just after but Andy Wycherley seemed to have it covered.
The addition of four minutes of stoppage time wasn’t enough for Hednesford to force a deserved equaliser and they bowed out of the competition despite a great second half comeback.
Chester FC: Griffiths, Morgan, Livesey, Grand, Taylor, Jackson, Glendon, G Roberts, Dudley (Waring), Elliott (Hughes), Asante (Ngwatala).
Subs (not used): K Roberts, Waters, Jones, Stopforth.
Hednesford Town: Wycherley, Curley, Griffiths, Bailey (c), Morris, Hurst (Gatter), O’Hanlon (Hodge), King, Glover, Abadaki, Reid.
Subs (not used): Chambers, Fry, Veiga, Waddison, Lycett.