Football: Clare Strike Closes the Gap; Scarborough 0 Chester City 1

Article excerpt

Byline: Alan GREY

CHESTER City, currently second in the table, left it late at the McCain Stadium to snatch the points at promotion rivals Scarborough as Daryl Clare's goal four minutes from time secured a hard-fought victory.

Mark Wright's men took advantage of leaders Yeovil's draw at Nuneaton Borough to close the gap at the top of the Football Conference to just six points.

It was nothing more than the visitors deserved after Wayne Hatswell had earlier seen his thumping header come back off the crossbar.

Scarborough, the fans buoyed by Russell Slade's decision to stay on as manager this week following his resignation and the club's decision to go into administration, were without defender Scott Jordan and seven-goal striker Bimbo Fatokun, both suffering from knee injuries.

Chester, unbeaten in their last two Conference matches, had Hatswell back in defence after suspension.

After a scrappy opening, City went close to breaking the deadlock with their first chance of the afternoon.

An inswinging corner from Kevin McIntyre was met by the head of defender Scott Guyett but his effort flew agonisingly wide.

McIntyre went for goal himself five minutes later, but his speculative 35-yard attempt was safely gathered by the home side's goalkeeper, Leigh Walker.

The visitors were dominating the opening exchanges, and wasted another good opportunity when midfielder Jimmy Kelly drilled a shot over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Scarborough's response was a weak free-kick from Paul Shepherd that failed to trouble Chester goalkeeper Wayne Brown, and a low drive from Ormerod that whistled past the post. …