Chester picked up their second away win of the season, the first since late August, after a hard fought battle with Ebbsfleet United at Stonebridge Road.
Following on from a disappointing draw away at Guiseley, the Blues were shot for confidence and sat eight points from safety in the National League.
However Harry White’s first half heroics guided the Blues to a much needed lifeline in the fight against the drop.
The forward, signed from Solihull Moors in the summer, caught Ebbsfleet ‘keeper Nathan Ashmore off his line when on the break, placing the ball calmly into the back of the net.
Ebbsfleet dominated the majority of the play but couldn’t break the Blues impenetrable back four, coupled with ‘keeper Sam Hornby who made an 88th minute wonder save to keep Ebbsfleet out.
A moment of madness on 89 minutes from Ebbsfleet’s Bradley Bubb saw the forward see red, raising his studs in a tackle on Blues full-back Andy Halls.
Surviving six minutes of stoppage time, the Blues saw off the Fleet’s continuous pressure and took a much needed three points back to the Deva, here’s my player ratings from Saturday afternoon…
Sam Hornby – 9/10
When it came to making saves, goalkeeper Hornby was as solid as he could be, covering everything that came his way, including a wonder save late on that kept the Seals ahead. His kicking is what brings his rating down to a nine, but a solid performance nonetheless. My Man of the Match for Saturday afternoon, Sam Hornby.
Reece Hall-Johnson – 8/10
Starting off the defence with a great performance from Reece. As he’s shown consistently this season, the on-loan full-back is an incredible talent and one that Marcus Bignot needs to keep on until the end of April. Solid again.
Andy Halls – 8/10
Defensively solid, few misplaced passes here and there but Halls coped really well with the Fleet pressure. Took the full force of Bubb’s challenge late on but saw the game out and looked an improved player from previous appearances.
Ryan Astles – 8/10
Did what was asked of him, won in the air and cleared the ball when needed. Not so offensively sound, as he attempted to knock on the ball from set pieces but had no joy. Did his job as well as he needed to though.
Jordan Gough – 7/10
Ebbsfleet were allowed a lot of luck down Gough’s wing and that’s what brings his rating down. Other than that, a decent defensive performance, doing enough to keep Ebbsfleet at bay.
Lucas Dawson – 7/10
Relatively quiet on the flanks but did nothing profoundly wrong. His performance was helped by the cover he had from Hall-Johnson, but that’s not to say he wasn’t decent himself.
Paul Turnbull – 8/10
Lost the ball a few times in midfield but fought to win it back and distribute the play forward. Did his job well enough, eight.
Tom Shaw – 7/10
Would have liked to have seen Shaw support the attack and press higher on Ashmore and the Fleet defence, especially after the goalkeeper’s confidence was shot following his mistake for the goal. Decent performance still.
Kingsley James – 7/10
Got the ball clear at times but allowed a lot of room down the flanks for the Fleet to run into. Luckily for us their crossing came to nothing.
Harry White – 8/10
Got the goal and should have had a second when one-on-one with Ashmore in the second half. Quiet but provided the game winning goal so no complaints from me.
James Akintunde – 9/10
Played 65 minutes and still gets a nine. Ran the attack, twisting and turning the Ebbsfleet defence and got the assist for White’s goal. What a talent we have on our hands.
Ross Hannah – 6/10
Ross only had 25 minutes to make an impact and in that time, the Blues were concentrating defensively. Upon getting the ball he held it up well and bought Chester some time but didn’t have near enough minutes to make an impact.