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A much improved second half performance – in which Moors had chances to take all three points – saw Jason Ainsley’s new look side earn a brilliant opening day draw at title favourites Chester.

The home side, now managed by former Salford City duo Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, were backed by a crowd of 2192, and came closest when Anthony Dudley rattled the crossbar from close range.

Glen Taylor, Jake Hibbs and Stephen Brogan all had golden chances for Moors as the game drew closer to its conclusion, but inspired Chester goalkeeper Grant Shelton pulled off a string of fine saves.

Ainsley handed competitive debuts to Matt Gould, Callum Williams, Kris Thackray and Brogan, with a familiar looking midfield ahead of them.

In a scrappy and, at times, hot tempered first half, both sides struggled to create clear cut chances.

Rob Ramshaw carved out Moors’ first opportunity, firing a low and fizzing shot wide of the post from distance.

After a period of fouls and loose passes, which both sides were guilty of, the home side grew into the game, going close through Dan Mooney following a cutback from the dangerous Shaun Tuton.

Spennymoor created their best opening of the first period when Mark Anderson’s searching pass found the onrushing Ramshaw, but his shot was cleared off the line from the retreating Simon Grand after the ball rolled under Shenton.

The home side, with the words of duo Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley still clearly ringing in their ears, began the second half with a flourish.

The ever-dangerous Tuton found space on the edge of the box before firing a rocket of a shot which Gould did brilliantly to tip round the post, despite the referee opting to award Moors a goal kick.

Tuton was soon involved again, skipping past two challenges before delivering a zipping cross which marginally evaded the head of Dudley in the six-yard box.

As the second half progressed, it was Ainsley’s side who became the more dominant force, and after some good approach play from Andrew Johnson and Brogan down the left, the latter fired a shot over the bar on his weaker foot.

It was Brogan again who continued to cause the Chester defence problems when he sent in a teasing cross, but Glen Taylor and Anderson were unable to apply the finishing touch.

Ainsley opted to bring on Shane Henry and Jake Hibbs, also making his first competitive appearance, and the former Halifax midfielder was denied when he fired straight at Shenton.

Despite emerging as the team more likely to claim the three points, Chester rallied and came within inches of three points when Dudley struck the bar from six yards, before John Pritchard’s goal bound free-kick was superbly palmed away by the rock-solid Gould.

Moors continue their season in three days’ time when they entertain Darlington at The Brewery Field.



1Grant Shenton Goalkeeper
2Steve Howson Defender
3John Pritchard Defender
4Gary Roberts Midfielder 25'
5Simon Grand Defender
6Danny Livesey Defender
7Dominic Smalley Midfielder
9Anthony Dudley Forward
10Shaun Tuton Forward
11Dan Mooney 15 Midfielder 44'
12Jon Moran
13Matthew Thomson Goalkeeper
14Nathan Brown Midfielder
15Craig Mahon 11 Midfielder
16Alex Downes Forward


1Matthew Gould Goalkeeper
3Stephen Brogan Defender
4Jamie Chandler Midfielder
6James Curtis Defender
7Andrew Johnson Midfielder
8Robert Ramshaw 16 Midfielder
9Glen Taylor Forward
10Mark Anderson 15 Midfielder
12Shane Henry 11 Midfielder
15Jake Hibbs 10 Midfielder
16Adam Boyes 8 Forward
Yellow Cards
Red Cards




Date Time Competition Season Attendance
4th August 2018 3:00 pm National League North 2018/19 2192


Swansway Chester Stadium
Sovereign Way, Chester CH1, UK