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Match Reports

Chester 2-2 Latics (3-4 On Penalties)

19 October 2022

Match Reports

Chester 2-2 Latics (3-4 On Penalties)

19 October 2022

Latics progressed to the First Round of the FA Cup following a dramatic game at The Deva Stadium.

Just like the original tie, Latics opened the scoring shortly after kick-off, with Ben Tollitt finding the far corner after just ten minutes.

Unsworth’s boys continued to control most of the game for the remainder of first-half, with Chester dominating Latics during spells of the second period.

Kurt Willoughby equalised for the hosts via a great header, and the game entered extra-time.

Kevin Roberts put away a beautiful strike, and looked to have won the tie for The Seals, but Mike Fondop was found by Nathan Sheron’s cross, and headed home an equaliser in the 119th minute.

Following a great save by Magnus Norman in the penalty shootout, Chris Porter scored his penalty to send Latics through.

The move for Latics’ opener started when Fondop received the ball on the right-hand side, before he moved into the centre of the pitch, giving the ball to Tollitt who was waiting on the left-flank, and the 27-year-old cut in to unleash a beautiful curling shot which found the far corner.

Chester responded with a chance of their own, Willoughby looked to be one-on-one with Norman, but David Okagbue popped up to make a vital tackle.

Gardner found possession on the edge of the box, shifting onto his right, with his shot forcing Harry Tyrer to parry the ball wide.

John Rooney looked to emulate his brother’s long-range antics when he saw Tyrer off his line, but his effort from the halfway line was just about saved by the young ‘keeper.

Chester came out looking like a better side in the second-half, and soon got a goal. Joe Lynch’s left-wing cross was met by the head of Willoughby in the box, who put it past Norman.

Harry Vaughan came on in place of Charlie Cooper, as Latics looked to retake the lead.

Kole Hall had a great chance to win the game for the home side with 10 minutes to go, Willoughby’s cross found him free in the box but Norman made a superb save to deny him from close-range.

With the scores level, a further 30 minutes were needed to decide the tie.

Jordan Clarke stepped up to have a go from the corner of the box, but his ambitious strike was saved.

A cupset looked to be on the cards just a few moments later, Roberts found space outside the box, and snuck a shot through the Oldham defence and into the bottom corner.

Jack Stobbs came on in place of Rooney and The Blues threw everything at the Chester defence - that left them vulnerable as Stephenson went through on goal, tried to go round Norman, but he snatched the ball from his feet.

With a trip to Wrexham in the next round appearing to have Chester’s name on it, Nathan Sheron whipped a ball towards the far post, Fondop read the cross, and his dinking header found the back of the net with a minute left to play.

The tie would be decided by a dreaded penalty shootout.

Willoughby and Tollitt both converted their spot-kicks, before Norman saved Roberts’ effort.

Hall put his over the bar after Gardner and Okagbue scored, leaving Latics with a 2-goal advantage.

Fondop’s kick was saved, and Chester scored their follow-up, meaning Chris Porter had the chance to win it for Latics.

Porter put the penalty away with power and precision, pleasing the 536 paying supporters who were packed in the paddocks.

Latics will make another trip to this neck of the woods in the next round when they take on Wrexham in just under three weeks’ time, confirmation of match details will be released in due course.

Latics: Norman, Clarke, Maynard (Stobbs, 100), Gardner, Sheron, Cooper (Vaughan 68), Rooney (Porter, 105), Tollitt, Fondop, Okagbue, Couto (Francis-Angol, 90)

Attendance: 3,651 (536)

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