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Moore leads Fleet fightback

Chester City 2 Gravesend & Northfleet 2

A BRACE from Chris Moore within three second half minutes helped Gravesend fight back from 2-0 down to earn a point at Conference leaders Chester on saturday.

Fleet had looked to be dead and buried after Daryl Clare had struck twice in the first half to give the home side a comfortable lead.

First Clare connected with a Darren Stamp header to put the home side in front after 23 minutes following a good cross from Scott Guyett

Chester continued to dominate after the first goal and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead six minutes later.

Lee Protheroe handled in his own box while under pressure following an Alex Smith corner and the referee pointed to the spot.

Clare made no mistake with the penalty to make it 2-0 and it looked as if the league leaders would comfortably extend their three-match winning streak.

But Fleet dug deep to stay in contention and came close to pulling a goal back on 40 minutes when Rob Haworth tested Chester keeper Ian McAldon.

It was Chester who had the last chance of the half, though, when Michael Twiss fired over from close range after good work from Clare.

In the second half the visitors began to get a grip of the game and prevent the flow of chances for Chester.

Duku should have made it 2-1 when he was put through by substitute Ben Abbey, but his shot was saved.

The home side were still a threat and Stamp headed just wide after 60 minutes.

But it was Fleet who were next to score, with Moore firing home from close range after McCaldon had failed to collect a Protheroe free kick.

Buoyed by the goal, Gravesend stepped up a gear and were on level terms just minutes later.

Once again Moore was on hand to turn another Protheroe cross into the net.

Fleet then came close to grabbing a winner but Dennis Oli's header went six inches wide

Chester regrouped and pushed for a late winner but when Stamp's effort hit the post they probably knew they had lost two points.

The draw means Fleet picked up a total of seven points from the last nine after securing back-to-back wins over Margate.

Gravesend manager Andy Ford said: "If someone had offered me seven points before the three festive games I'd have taken it happily.

"The last few results have helped build confidence and we had to show plenty to come back from 2-0 down.

"My original plan was to frustrate Chester by playing just one up front but once you go two goals down that goes out the window.

"So we went back to 4-4-2 for the second half and that seemed to work. Getting a result at a place like Chester was a fantastic result. When you play a side that is the best in the league, in front of 2,600 screaming fans then you have to be on top form and we were.

"Now we need to take this form into the New Year and build on it."

Gravesend & Northfleet: Wilkerson, Protheroe, Moore, Duku, Lee, Perkins (Walshe, 55 mins), McKimm, Owen, Drury, Haworth (Abbey, 45 minutes), Oli. Subs not used: O'Reilly, Evans, McClements

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