FC Halifax Town fell to a narrow home defeat at the hands of Chester FC, as Jordan Chappell’s fine strike proved the difference between the two sides during a frantic affair.
Playing their first game of the 2015-2016 National League season at The Shay, a bright start from the home side saw Jordan Burrow head wide after some neat play within minutes of the kick off, before a great run and cross from Josh McDonald proved just too high for Burrow.
The Shaymen were bright in the opening exchanges, with the particularly lively Shaun Tuton and McDonald looking to get things flowing down the wings. Chester had some early chances of their own and looked dangerous on the break, as they won the game’s first corner.
The in-swinging cross found the head of Ben Heneghan, who couldn’t quite direct his header towards Town’s goal, while confusion at the other end almost caught out Jon Worsnop in the visitor’s goal. A poor back pass put pressure on Worsnop, who lost possession but was grateful to see the ball go behind for a goal kick.
In a pulsating end-to-end first half, Chester full back Jonnie Hunt whipped in a dangerous cross which somehow managed to evade everyone, with Jordan Chappell just inches away from making vital contact.
Town should have taken the lead as the game neared the half hour mark, when a loose cross found its way to the feet of Shaun Tuton, who was unable to turn the ball home as Chester survived once more.
More chances went begging for Halifax as McDonald tested with a low angled shot, before Glennon had to be at his best to deny the ever present Chappell from giving Chester the lead.
But just moments later Chester broke the dead lock as Chappell’s excellent low drive found the bottom right hand corner from 25 yards. The Shaymen almost found an equaliser just before the break, but Graham Hutchison's looping header from a free kick dropped onto the roof of the net.
In the second half Chester made the better start and could have extended their lead further had Ross Hannah been able to guide his wayward header on target.
Matt Glennon was called into action again before the hour mark, who first made a smart save to keep out Heneghan’s fierce effort, before the experienced ‘keeper then had to tip a dangerous free kick from Rooney behind.
Town thought they’d found the equaliser when Danny Hattersley, who replaced McDonald at half time forced the ball into the back of the Chester net, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag. More opportunities came when James Bolton's shot was turned behind for a corner, before Burrow headed narrowly wide of the Chester goal.
Neat build up play from Town captain Hamza Bencherif fed Bolton, who couldn’t make the most of the chance as his shot fizzled inches wide, while the home crowd were in uproar when Jake Hibbs appeared to be pushed over in the box when challenging for the ball, but no penalty was given.
With Town the side in the ascendency as they continued to search for an equaliser, a downward header from Burrows was incredibly kept out by Worsnop, as the ball somehow failed to drop into the net.
In the final 10 minutes a flurry of action saw both sides go close to scoring, as Craig Mahon forced a fingertip save from Glennon from the edge of the area, before Glennon made another outstanding save at full stretch to deny Chester a second.
Both sides threatened in the closing stages, including a Hibbs free kick at the death which narrowly flew over, but with Town unable to find an equaliser, Chappell’s sole strike proved enough for Chester to take all three points back to Cheshire.