Ross Hannah dedicates Chester FC goal to his late grandmother after emotional week

Reporter:

Charlie Croasdale

ROSS HANNAH was dreaming of a Wembley return after netting Chester’s winning goal in what has been a tough week for the 31-year-old striker.

The Sheffield-born marksman revealed post-match how his 96-year-old grandmother had passed away just two days prior to Saturday’s dramatic FA Trophy first round victory over AFC Fylde, the Blues edging past the Coasters in a penalty shoot-out.

Hannah, who explained he had considered pulling out of the matchday squad, bagged the Blues’ opening goal and also converted the first spot-kick in the shoot-out.

“We’re delighted with that, I know it’s not the league but it was a cup game and we wanted to build on last week and get the win,” he said.

“It was an important goal for me today as I lost my nan on Thursday, she was 96, so it was important and nice to get that goal for the family.

“I thought about not playing but it helps take your mind off things.

“We got to Wembley twice with Grimsby, we got there in the Trophy final and lost to Wrexham on penalties, then the play-off final and lost to Bristol Rovers, so it’d be nice to get back there at some point.”

The Blues shipped a 90th minute equaliser in normal time and then had to come from behind during extra time to force the tie into penalties, Lucas Dawson scoring a leveller to make it 2-2.

“We’ve shown that strength of character which we have shown at times but we need to do it on a more regular basis,” Hannah continued.

“We bounced back from that late equaliser, ground them down and then we’ve done them on penalties.

“We’re moving forward slowly, from the break we had I think we’ve moved forward quite a bit from that Dagenham game that was a really disappointing performance.

“We’ve had words, meetings since then, a team bonding get together and it’s worked because you can really see a difference in the performances.

“I got some cramp towards the end there, I hope it is cramp as I felt my hamstring a bit, but we’ve got a week to recover now so it should be fine.”

Coasters boss Dave Challinor, who saw his side exit the FA Cup earlier in the week away at Wigan Athletic, said: “It’s been a long week for us, Tuesday took a lot out of us physically.

“I felt we needed to make changes, there wasn’t much in the game first-half. Jonny Smith and Danny Rowe have made the difference for us off the bench.

“I thought both teams took their penalties well but unfortunately we’ve missed at the wrong moment and it’s cost us.”

Email:

charlie.croasdale@nwn.co.uk

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