Date: 20th October 2006 at 9:44pm
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In the build up to this game Chester City manager Mark Wright claimed Hartlepool United are “the team to beat” in League Two. That`s exactly what Wright`s men did to extend their unbeaten run to six matches.

The game began well for Chester City with Laurence Wilson delivering a number of early crosses into the area but the first clear cut chance fell to the visitors after seven minutes. United forward Joel Porter beat his marker down the right after seven minutes but the striker could only direct the ball into the body of Danby from an acute angle. Hartlepool`s early pressure paid off just minutes later Porter capitalised on a calamitous mistake by Chester keeper Danby. Danby tried to clear the ball from a Dave Artell backpass but the clearance sadly rebounded off the body of Porter from 12 yards out, ending up in the back of the net.

Chester struggled to contain their visitors from the North East but Hartlepool suffered a double setback following their gift of a goal when John Brackstone came on as an early substitution for the injured Matty Robson. Furthermore Chester were given another unexpected boost when United`s John Daly was shown a straight red card for violent conduct following his professional foul on Artell.

Hartelpool continued to dominate play and City hearts skipped a beat when the visitors won a free kick in an attacking position in the 32nd minutes. Wilson upended Porter and Danby had to be alert to deny Ritchie Humphries` powerful left footer.

Chester`s best chance in a quiet opening half came when Ashley Westwood sent a long ball forward ten minutes from the interval. Jon Walters latched onto the ball, heading it down into the path of Blundell. But just inside the area, Blundell hoofed his effort well over the crossbar with only Konstantopoulos to beat. As the half came to a close Simon Marples tried his luck from a corner.

The Blues defender rasped the ball over the crossbar. Hartlepool countered almost immediately with Foley beating off his marker just inside the City area, before twisting to shoot over the crossbar. The scores were level deep into first half added time but then Chester received the a massive boost with Ashley Westwood equalised, scoring his first goal for the club following a fine cross from Simon Marples. The Hartlepool goalkeeper fumbled his clearance allowing Westwood to volley the ball home from 12 yards out.

Chester City made their extra man pay after the interval and it wasn`t long before the Blues took the lead. Another fine cross by Simon Marples was met by Blundell just into the six yards box. Hartlepool United keeper Konstantopoulos parried Blundell`s initial effort only to see former Wrexham striker Jon Walters plant the ball into the back of the net from close range. Chester were far the superior side in the second half, dominating possession for long periods.

The Blues peppered the overwhelmed Hartlepool defence with constant attacks, but somehow the Blues failed to build upon their lead. Blundell should have found himself on the scoresheet on the 74th minute after he sent in a pin point header from another fine Marples cross. Somehow, the Hartlepool keeper pulled off a wonder save to finger tip the ball around the left post. Blundell did put the ball into the back of the net with ten minutes remaining but was judged offside.

Attendance: 2,580

Man of the Match: Simon Marples, never stopped running and created chance after chance.

Chester City: John Danby, Simon Marples, Kevin Sandwith, Ashley Westwood, Dave Artell, Dean Bennett, Jamie Hand, Roberto Martinez, Laurence Wilson, Jon Walters, Gregg Blundell. Substituted: Drewe Broughton, Phil Bolland, Paul Linwood, Sean Hessey, Stephen Vaughan.

Hartlepool United: Dimi Konstantopoulos, Micky Barron, Matty Robson, Michael Nelson, Ben Clark, Ritchie Humphreys, Joel Porter, Lee Bullock, Gary Liddle, Jon Daly, David Foley. Substitutes: Gavin Strachan, John Brackstone, James Brown, Jim Provett, Michael Maidens.