Gateshead Football Club
As we prepare to take on Gateshead at the Deva Stadium tonight we reflect on a classic match that portrayed exactly what the FA Cup is all about.
Gateshead and Chester played out a memorable cup tie at a corking pace with quality football from both sides, the outcome a seven goal thriller.
Chester began stronger searching out an opening and the goal their adventurous play deserved came in the 31st minute. Jepson and Trewick went up when Williams flung a high ball into the middle and it seemed to me that the ball finally went into the net off Trewick’s head from Jepson.
Chester found themselves two up some nine minutes later when Bullock hit Gray on the thigh with a vicious shot which cannoned off him to Mason, who slammed it into the net.
Three minutes to the interval Gateshead pulled one back when Baldridge slashed at a ball just inside the area and Keith Griffiths was groping as it smacked the underside of the ball and came down behind him. At half time Jack Collender levelled for Gateshead, snatching Chester’s lead so dramatically from them.
This was to become the most stirring game at the Stadium for some time. Pearson put Chester in front again four minutes after the restart, but Gateshead were not done and levelled again when Ingham came racing inside to ram Brown’s free kick into the net in the 57th minute.
With the minutes ticking away, a replay at Redheugh Park seemed inevitable. Chester had to start again but they were not getting the breaks.
With just two minutes remaining and with my fellow journalists in the press box already preparing their reports for the Sunday newspapers, Foulkes came in on the inside of Dawson to find the net with a low shot to win it for Chester.
Cheers of celebration engulfed the terrages as the crowd gave the Chester players a well deserved standing ovation at the end.
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Tamworth Football Club
As we prepare to welcome Tamworth to the Deva Stadium we look back at Tamworth’s first ever encounter with us during our famous promotion season of 2003-2004.
The game took place on 12th August and the Blues picked up a well deserved three points after a workmanlike performance against Conference newcomers Tamworth.
Mark Wright’s men produced a display full of tireless running in midfield to edge a game where clear chances were at a premium.
A confident opening by the home side saw them making the early running and two half-chances went begging as first Andy Harris, and then Jamie Heard sent shots just past the post within the first ten minutes.
Chester continued to press the visitors and on the half-hour mark Kevin McIntyre created a half chance for Kevin Rapley with an out-swinging cross from the left flank which the striker headed just over the bar.
Tamworth’s best chance of the half came four minutes from the interval when Mark Cooper had a free kick opportunity just outside the box, but drove his effort into the defensive wall.
Four minutes after the restart Chester almost took the lead when an overhead from Rapley was acrobatically tipped aside by Phil Whitehead.
But the home side need not have worried as from the resultant corner delivered by McIntyre, up popped Carl Ruffer to power a header into the net.
Tamworth looked a yard slower than their opponents in all areas as Chester’s superior fitness began to show and it looked likely that they would be overrun.
Whitehead produced another fine save to deny Wayne Hatswell’s downward header on 70 minutes, but a quick breakaway saw Phil Trainer only inches away from getting on the end of a right-wing cross that could have produced an equaliser for Tamworth.
The visitors failed to cause a solid Chester back line any major problems throughout and their frustration spilled over in the final minute as Marc McGregor received his marching orders for a second yellow card after bring down Ruffer.
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