The Non-League Football Paper
BRILLIANT BLUES ARE KINGS OF THE ROAD
CHESTER extended their club-record unbeaten away run with a more convincing win than the scoreline suggests.
Declan Weeks and Elliott Whitehouse got the goals to make it 19 unbeaten in the league away from home for Calum McIntyre’s side.
“The only disappointment from the game is that we failed to keep a clean sheet,” said McIntyre. “We created a lot of chances, a lot of good chances, we looked solid, we weren’t troubled as much as I think teams will be when they come here because Darlington are a very good side.
“We knew how solid we’d have to be and how hard we’d have to work. The scoreline does look tight, but that’s our only frustration because I’m delighted with our lads.”
Both sides are in the play-off mix, but third-placed Chester were much stronger than Darlington, who remain fifth.
Chester did not call Quakers keeper Tommy Taylor into action until Weeks’ tame low effort from distance rolled into the keeper’s hands.
Weeks, however, then beat Taylor to give Chester the lead and he could hardly miss after good work on the left by Charlie Caton. He took the ball beyond right-back Niall Brookwell and sped away before delivering a low ball that Weeks prodded home.
With Chester remaining solid and Darlington lacking creativity, there was precious little for the home fans to get excited about.
Ten minutes after the break, Jacob Blyth put Jacob Hazel through but his shot stung the palms of Harry Tyrer. The game was out of Quakers’ reach when Chester strolled into a 2-0 lead on 64 minutes.
After a period of patient play, Ollie Heywood laid the ball to Whitehouse and the midfielder’s low effort gave the visitors an advantage they never looked like relinquishing.
A third goal should have been scored after Kurt Willoughby set up Kole Hall, but the sub put a free header wide in front of an open goal.
Despite struggling to pose a threat for the 90 minutes, early in added time Lawlor pulled one back for Quakers after a goalmouth scramble.
“It was a disappointing result and performance,” admitted Quakers boss Alun Armstrong.
“We look a bit disheartened and disjointed at the minute, there’s a lack of confidence.
“We defended well, but then we get an injury to Griffiths and have to change the team. Niall came on and he was on done like a kipper down the side.”
STAR MAN: Elliott Whitehouse (Chester) ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★