CHESTER FC welcome Luton Town to the newly named Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday, looking to carry on a good run of form (Kick-Off: 15:00 GMT).
The Blues beat fellow relegation strugglers, Hyde, 2-1 last Saturday after going behind 1-0 minutes into the game. Goals from Craig Lindfield and recently recalled loanee, Craig Mahon, secured all three points for the visitors.
This was followed by another away trip to Hereford United on Tuesday night, which saw Chester come away with a point. Lindfield was on the score sheet again alongside Gareth Seddon, which saw the Blues move out of the drop zone.
Luton have had an inconsistent run of late, after being knocked out of the FA Cup last Saturday to fellow league opposition Welling, The Hatters went to Braintree Town midweek and came away with a win.
Experienced striker Paul Benson put Luton ahead, but was later cancelled out by a Daniel Holman strike. Andrew Parry then put the Hatters in the lead soon after the hour mark which saw John Still’s side move up to second in the table.
Nathan Turner looks set to miss this game for Chester, after the Leeds United loanee suffered a knee injury and was substituted during the game against Hereford.
Quays News Match Prediction: Chester FC 1-2 Luton Town
Chester will have added confidence going into this game after picking up four points out of a possible six. Luton Town will however prove to be a tough opposition for the hosts and having been unbeaten in their last five league games, The Hatters look the stronger team going into this game.
Chester FC: Danby, Kay, Heath, Horan, Linwood, Harrison, Reed, Jarrett, Lindfield, L Turner, Fearon, McIntyre, N Turner, A Williams, Higginbotham, Seddon, Pugh, Mahon, Titchiner, Menagh, Atkinson, Killock, Wilkinson, Lester.
Luton Town: Tyler; Henry, Griffiths, McNulty, Stevenson, Lacey; Smith, Parry, Lawless, Howells, Gray, Benson, Cullen, Justham, Guttridge, Whalley.
Chester draw end-to-end battle with Luton
NEIL YOUNG described his Chester side as ‘phenomenal’ after he saw the Blues draw 1-1 against high-flying Luton Town at the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday.
The game, which was due to kick-off at 3pm, was put back 15 minutes because of traffic trouble in Wrexham, where Luton Town were based following their overnight trip from Bedfordshire on Friday.
The game started at 3.15, to the delight of Man of the Match Danny Higginbotham, who was set to fly out to Gibraltar shortly after full time, to join up with the national team ahead of their friendly against Slovakia on Tuesday.
The former Manchester United youngster who captained the Blues for the fifth consecutive game, was selected to play for Gibraltar by head coach and uncle Allen Bulla.
Qualifying through his mother’s side of the family, this will be Higginbotham’s first ever International appearance, as throughout his full-time playing career he was unfortunate not to be selected for England.
Luton, who were second in the Conference Premier, weren’t hindered by the late kick-off as it was the visitors who took the lead on 11 minutes. Chester failed to clear the ball in their own penalty area allowing in-form striker Andre Grey to turn and slot the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Gareth Seddon equalised for the Blues in emphatic style on 23 minutes, after picking up the ball just outside the Luton area. The former Halifax frontman took a couple of touches before striking a ferocious 25-yard drive past the helpless Mark Tyler.
Following the goal, the atmosphere grew around the ground, with Chester fans and all 890 visiting Luton fans singing in full voice.
Craig Mahon came close just before half time to put the Blues in the lead after freeing up some space down the left hand flank, but curled the ball just over Luton’s woodwork.
The biggest shout of the first half came after Seddon performed an impressive acrobatic over-head kick which saw the ball blocked by the Hatters defence. Appeals went up for handball but the referee dismissed the claim for a penalty.
The end-to-end action began again straight after the break, and Luton were initially on the front foot. Grey came close to putting the Kenilworth Road outfit ahead with a strong header from inside the six-yard box but it proved to be a comfortable save for John Danby.
Having now scored seven goals so far this season, the former Hinckley United striker came close again moments later, where he collected the ball down the right hand channel, and sent his shot straight across the face of goal from a tight angle.
The Blues then had a lapse of concentration when Kevin McIntyre played the ball back to Danby from the half way line, but put too much power behind the pass resulting in the Hatters earning a corner. Fortunately for City the chance came to nothing.
Luton continued to attack, and substitute Jake Howells instantly made an impact when he and Scott Griffiths linked up well to send a dangerous ball into the box, but the cross went flying over as no one could get the final touch.
John Still’s men nearly took all three points away from Chester shortly before full time when Jonathan Smith collected the ball, took one touch and thumped his effort goal wards to go inches wide of the Blues net.
In the dying moments of the game, Chester made a double substitution which saw Michael Kay and Joe Heath replace Ashley Williams and stand out performer Mahon, who received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Chester, who have now drawn their last five home league games, drop back into the relegation zone and find themselves in 21st position after today’s game.
Speaking after the game, Chester boss Neil Young said: “I am made up for our players, we could have gone for a little bit more possibly, I do not think that was the way to go and we had to make sure that we came away with something from that game.”
Quays News Man of the Match: Danny Higginbotham
The captain led by example and held the team together well to earn a valuable point. Chester were put under a lot of pressure due to the quick counter attacks by Luton, but the team stood strong and he proved to be a rock at the back for the Blues.
Chester FC: Danby 7, Jarrett 5, Lindfield 6, L Turner 7, McIntyre 5, Williams 6 (90’ Kay 3), Higginbotham 8, Seddon 7, Mahon 7 (90’ Heath 3), Kilock 6, Lester 6.
Subs not used: Linwood, Wilkinson, Reed
Luton Town: Tyler 7, Smith 6, McNulty 6, Lawless 5 (82 Whalley 5), Griffiths 6, Parry 6, Guttridge 6 (72 Howells 5), Henry 6, Benson 6 (65 Cullen 5), Grey 8, Lacey 6.
Subs not used: Justham, Stevenson
Referee: Darren Handley
Assistants: Matthew Donohue and Ian Johnston
Fourth Official: Mark Powell
By Steven Peach at the Swansway Chester Stadium