The View from the Swansway Stadium – Chester FC 2 Halifax 1

Living in Chester means I haven’t been able to get to many Boro games this season and, as such, have not got my fix of live football for months.

So when I was given the opportunity to attend the Chester FC v Halifax FC game, with one of my client’s mbna, I jumped at the chance.

MBNA is an a official partner of Chester FC and representatives from the company were present at the game to announce another year’s shirt sponsorship with a pre-kick-off presentation. Myself and one of my colleagues, Lee Cullen, were there to make sure everything went smoothly and, as a bonus, got to not only watch the match, but enjoy hospitality in the Legends Lounge.

As a Portsmouth fan, Lee  was pretty much in the same boat as me regarding getting to games, so we were both grateful to mbna and looking forward to watching the match.

On arrival we were given a guided tour of the stadium which was all get up with cameras and cables for the live BT Sport broadcast, and told a little bit of history about the club and some of it’s greatest players. We were then treated to an excellent three course meal before it was time to wrap up warm and make our way outside.

Chester have been struggling this season and were up against strong opposition in the form of Halifax.

But it was the Blues who had the best of the opening exchanges with top scorer Gareth Seddon twice coming close to breaching the Halifax defence.

As the match continued, Chester had the lion’s share of the possession but struggled to string  passes together, choosing instead to fire long balls forward with more hope than intent. Craig Mahon stood out for the Blues, trying to control the game and give his side some momentum, while Aaron Chapman impressed making his goalkeeping debut for the home side.

A moment of madness from Halifax’ Josh Wilson saw him stamp on Seddon’s foot, earning him a straight red from referee Peter Bankes. But Chester failed to make the extra man count and, at times, looked extremely vulnerable to attack.

Sadly Chapman’s debut came to an abrupt end when a painful finger injury forced him to be subbed on 72 minutes.

Chester searched for a second, with John Rooney doing everything but finding the net. But an equaliser seemed to be on the cards, and Halifax finally broke through when a loss of concentration amongst the Chester back-four allowed James Bolton to thump the ball home on 94 minutes.

It looked like Chester would have to settle for a draw but super sub Jamie Menagh had other ideas and clinched a dramatic victory for the Blues in the dying minutes with a well-struck finish.

Man of the Match – I was in agreement with mbna – Craig Mahon’s work-rate and battling spirit, particularly in the first half, earned him the honours.


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