by Jeff King
Ebac Northern League Division 2 - Saturday 12th November 2022
Chester-le-Street United 0 v 3 Jarrow AFC
Back in August United had gone to Jarrow and came away with a 2 - 1 victory on a night when penalties made a difference. Dan Lanning converting for United and Mauro Asikaogu saving one late on to give United all three points.
A double therefore was what United were looking for and another three points as well as bouncing back from the previous week's 5 - 2 loss at home against Birtley Town.
However, Chester knew that it was going to be a tough ask as a much-changed Jarrow outfit came into the game on the back of a five-match unbeaten run including a 3 - 3 draw with league leaders Boro Rangers.
In the end it was Jarrow who marched on and continued their unbeaten run relegating United to another tough day at home. United did start the game well with good possession football but lacked a killer edge.
Jarrow on the other hand were always pushing forward urged on by some very vociferous and good-humoured away support. When they got their chances, they took them and showed the difference a clinical attitude makes in this division.
On 13 minutes United, playing well, almost took the lead. Excellent play out on the left by Benji Shodeinde saw him find Sam Johnson in space midway inside the Jarrow half.
Johnson took a touch drifted inside past a couple of defenders and hit a terrific shot from the edge of the box that beat Graeme Pickering in the Jarrow goal all ends up but smacked back into play of the away side's cross bar.
Jarrow started to come into the game and took the lead slightly against the run of play on 20 minutes. Abubaker Salim made a great run down the left outstripping James Bakou before cutting dangerously inside the Chester box.
Dylan Wilkinson did well to block Salim's attempted pull back, but the ball rolled to the edge of the box where Evan Whittle was unmarked, and he drilled a low shot into the bottom corner giving Keiron Harwood no chance.
Whittle was certainly buoyed by the goal and had started running the midfield for Jarrow. Not long after his goal he found space again to unleash a vicious 25-yard effort that flew inches wide of the far post.
Whittle was involved again when Jarrow doubled their lead on 28 minutes. he spread a great ball wide to the right finding the over-lapping Nick Little in space. The Jarrow skipper sent a superb first-time cross into the box and Liam Mulvain timed his run perfectly to get in front of James Morley and sweep the ball home.
United tried to respond and Alex Fil receiving a smart pass from Johnson on the left cut inside at pace to open a gap, but his angled effort was well over the top.
Just before the break, the away side almost made it three. Alex Berhan played a superb reverse ball inside for Salim who turned Bakou before hitting a lovely shot past Harwood's despairing dive only to see the ball strike the outside of the post and bounce to safety.
United showed great character as they opened the second half and should have pulled a goal back on 48 minutes. Fil's cross wasn't dealt with by the Jarrow defence and fell to Shodeinde ten yards out, but he hit his shot wide from a great position.
United skipper Campbell then went close on two occasions being denied on two different methods. A burst into the box saw him get on the end of Fil's pass. His first effort was blocked and as the ball came back to him, he poked it on target from 8-yards only to see Pickering make an excellent low save.
Then when Shodeinde was fouled by Alex Bone just outside the box, Campbell curled a great free kick around the wall only to see the ball hit the top of the bar and bounce over.
In truth though United although pressing could not find the killer pass or final touch to give themselves a chance at coming back and were shown how to seal a game on 78 minutes.
A lightning break from Jarrow saw Whittle find Dan Smith inside the box and he looked a likely scorer. Wilkinson came across with a last-ditch tackle but took man and ball and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Salim stepped up and comfortably dispatched the penalty kick past Harwood to make it 3 - 0. Salim and his strike partner Mulvain had caused United problems all game and their hold-up play and physical presence had made it difficult for the Chester defence.
United though, as is their want, continued to look for a consolation. A brilliant move involving four second half substitutes almost producing a wonderful goal. Dan Robinson and Elliot McClen creating a great opportunity finding Brandon Young.
Young's superb cross into the middle saw Matty O'Brien time his run perfectly to get there in front of the Jarrow defence but his 8-yard header wasn't so well timed and flew well wide.
It was a last chance for what would only have been a consolation goal as the visitor's celebrated a great three points at the final whistle. United condemned to another defeat where they played some good football but ultimately lacked that cutting edge.
TEAM : 1. Keiron Harwood 2. James Bakou 3. Ethan Gray 4. Taylor Campbell (c) 5. Dylan Wilkinson 6. James Morley 7. Alex Fil 8. John Anderson 9. Jay Gibson 10. Sam Johnson 11. Benji Shodeinde
SUBSS : 12. Elliot McClen (for Fil - 75 mins) 14. Matty O'Brien (for Anderson - 75 mins) 15. Keallan Huddleston (DNP) 16. Brandon Young (for Shodeinde - 65 mins) 17. Dan Robinson (for Bakou - 46 mins)