Date: 6th October 2006 at 10:23pm
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Injury plagued Chester City gave their best performance of the season so far when they contained League Two leaders Walsall to a goalless draw at the Saunders Honda Stadium. On a night of horrendous weather conditions, Chester adapted to the conditions better than their visitors.

Going into the game, Chester City manager Mark Wright was forced into making two changes to the side that beat Bristol Rovers so convincingly last weekend. Graham Allen came in to replace Ashley Westwood who failed to shake off a hamstring injury, whilst Dean Bennett took the place of Gregg Blundell up front with Chester`s record signing suffering from gastroenteritis.

Chester started well, forcing Bertrand Bossu, who was making his first senior debut for Walsall, into several saves in the opening stages. With the wind against them, the visitors found it difficult to get out of their own half and The Blues should have taken advantage of this when on eight minutes Jamie Hand tried his luck with a 35 yard pile driver only to see Bossu fingertip the ball away danger. Moments later John Danby had to be alert to deny a diving header from Tony Bedeau after a great ball into the area from left winger Kris Taylor.

City commanded the opening half and to the neutral supporter, it would have been difficult to spot the side who were the league leaders. The Blues came within inches of finding the net when Jon Walters struck a precise 20-yard rasping drive on 18 minutes that stung the hands of Bossu. Walsall continued to struggle to get out of their own half. On the half hour mark, The Blues again found an opening when the impressive Laurence Wilson outpaced his marker, rounding Chris Westwood with ease before laying the ball off into the path of Walters. The former Wrexham man made space on the edge of the area before striking a ferocious drive into the chest of Bossu.

The one low point in Chester`s first half came when Mark Wright was forced into substituting captain Stephen Vaughan who was clearly struggling on the left wing. Drewe Broughton, who replaced Vaughan just before the half time almost found himself on the scoresheet. Just seconds after being introduced the tall forward latched onto a good ball from Martinez and send in a goalbound shot only to be ruled offside.

Roles were reversed in the second half. Chester now had the wind against them and struggled to get out of their own half for long periods. First Craig Pead tried his luck just five minutes into the half from a corner kick. Danby had to be on his toes to punch the ball clear. Daniel Fox sent in a powerful 30 yard strike moments later forcing Danby into another fine save. Having soaked up the early pressure, the game was there for the taking but it looked likely to stay goalless. The Blues had their chances though and should have stolen the points on 79 minutes when Jon Walters delivered an inch perfect cross from deep into the right hand channel. Sadly the ball fell just too far in front of Broughton for him to latch onto at the far post. Worse was to follow with three minutes of normal time remaining Broughton saw his shot hit the post after excellent link up play with Walter.

Referee: Mark Haywood

Att: 3,241 – 1,028 from Walsall.

Chester City Man of the Match: David Artell