Date: 20th October 2006 at 5:02pm
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On This Day: 20th October 2006

Hartlepool United made a rare visit to the Saunders Honda Stadium on this very day in history eight years ago. In a Division Three encounter, City fans saw the Blues surrendered two points at home for the third game in a row on this day in 1998. During a traumatic season for Chester City, then manager Kevin Ratcliffe was confused as to why City didn`t take all three points: “There was little wrong with our first half performance, but we didn`t do what we are good at in the second half,” he said. “Hartlepool could have won it and you have to give credit to them for turning the game around. We helped them by giving the ball away in vital areas.”

Chester had chances in the first half as goalkeeper Martin Hollund saved from Luke Beckett and Nick Richardson headed against the bar. But they were rewarded when Matt Woods was on the end of a flick on from Richardson from Jon Cross`s third successive corner to give Chester a deserved lead. That should have been the start of something big, but Hartlepool had other ideas and whatever manager Mick Tait said during the break worked wonders.

The substitution of Graham Stokoe in favour of Craig Midgley helped, for Midgley proved to be a handful for the home defenders and should have scored when he fired wide with only Wayne Brown to beat. By then Hartlepool were back in the game, Chris Beech heading home a corner, despite Dave Flitcroft`s attempt to keep the ball out of the net on the post. There was only one team in it at this point as Brown kept out a free-kick from Paul Stephenson and Steve Howard put a diving header wide with the City defenders absent without leave. Chester hardly troubled Hollund in the second half, but John Murphy could have snatched a dramatic victory in injury time when his glancing header went inches wide.

Of the other games Chester have played on this day in history, the Blues have sent rivals Shrewsbury Town home packing 3-2 in 1990, Hull City left Sealand Road on the back end of a 2-1 defeat in 1979, Bradford Park Avenue were beaten 2-0 in 1956 and Crewe Alexandra travelled back across the Cheshire plain having been beaten 4-2 in 1937.