Chester FC 1 Chasetown 0: Super sub Michael Wilde secures late victory

RETURNING hero Michael Wilde stepped off the bench to earn Chester an eighth straight victory.

The fit-again frontman struck a dramatic 88th-minute winner to ensure Neil Young’s in-form side took full advantage of Chorley’s shock 4-0 loss at Matlock Town to move up to second.

But for long periods it seemed as if Blues boss Young was going to become the latest victim of the manager of the month curse.

Chester, who have now gone eight games and a club record 726 minutes without conceding a goal, started brightly but ultimately had to work hard to overcome a stubborn Chasetown team that came for a point and so nearly got one.

Chris Simm had a close-range effort ruled out for offside early on before the striker fired straight at Ryan Price when one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

But it was the visitors who had the best chance of the vibrant opening exchanges, Danny Smith dragging his shot wide after showing lovely footwork to find space in the box.

Smith was nearly made to pay in the 19th minute as a flicked header from Matty McNeil would have looped in had it not been for the sharp reflexes of Scholars stopper Smith.

A drop in quality followed and, apart from a couple of Robbie Booth efforts which failed to trouble Price, the hosts did not go close again until the 77th minute when McNeil headed a cross from man-of-the-match Wes Baynes on to the bar.

The Blues were beginning to turn the screw and only another debatable offside decision, this time against McNeil and Wilde for interfering with play, prevented a Liam Brownhill cross-shot from counting.

Moments later Price’s opposite number John Danby – whose concentration levels once again were superb throughout – had to be on his toes to tip an audacious 40-yard Gary Birch attempt over the bar.

But Chasetown were now firmly on the back foot and their resistance was ended two minutes from time.

Brownhill dug out a brilliant cross from the left which super sub Wilde powerfully headed in from 10 yards out to take the roof right off the Exacta Stadium.

Chester: Danby, Baynes, Horan, Taylor, Brownhill, Booth, Powell, Brown, Howard (Wilde 70), Simm (Rainford 60), McNeil (Ormrod 90). Subs: McGinn, Judge.

Booked: Booth, Baynes.

Goal: Wilde 88.

Chasetown: Price, Farmer (Melbourne 68), Turner, Stride, Teesdale, Peel, Smith, Hands, Jevons, Dovey (Birch 59), Perrow. Subs: Branch, Cohen, Stephens.

Booked: Peel, Teesdale.

Referee: Ian Siddall (Bolton).

Attendance: 2,930.