Chester City 0 Barnet 1

Last updated : 18 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

A determined rearguard action by Barnet saw them hang on for a share of the spoils in the televised clash at the Deva Stadium.

Relentless second-half pressure saw Chester recover from the worst possible start after falling behind with only four minutes on the clock.

A dangerous inswinging corner was met by Neil Midgley whose effort could only be parried by keeper Wayne Brown, allowing captain Greg Heald to poke home from close range.

The goal clearly knocked Chester for six and they struggled to find any rhythm early on with Barnet looking the more lively.

But in the 23rd minute the home side finally found their feet with two chances in quick succession. First Ryan Sugden saw his shot deflected inches past the post, and then Jimmy Kelly stung the hands of keeper Daniel Naisbitt from 20 yards out.

Chester took the initiative after the break and Sudgen tested Naisbitt with a long range effort early on.

However, from a quick break Barnet almost doubled their lead in the 55th minute as Wayne Purser broke clear only for his effort to find the side netting.

Barnet defended well in numbers but were almost undone in the 66th minute when a neat turn and pass by Daryl Clare sent Sugden clear, but the strikes shot from a difficult angle flew across the face of goal.

The Chester faithful were growing increasingly frustrated at their side’s inability to carve out decent opportunities, but they need not have worried as Chester drew level in the 71st minute through Clare.

Ben Davies crossed from the right flank and Clare saw his first effort parried by Naisbitt, but swept the rebound home.

The goal spurred the home side on and keeper Naisbitt produced two blinding saves in quick succession to deny a Scott Guyett header and a Kelly volley.

In added time substitute Adam Griffin was unlucky as his shot cannoned off the post and away to safety.