There was late drama at Gigg Lane on Saturday as Chester produced a last gasp winner to snatch all three points against FC Man United.
Police had their work cut out early in the day as they were called to a nearby public house to deal with travelling supporter drunkenly quoting Sigmund Freud in a room full of FC United fans. The Police report suggests that the Cestrian had barked “A civilization which leaves so large a number of its participants unsatisfied and drives them into revolt neither has nor deserves the prospect of a lasting existence”, upsetting home supporters who were watching the Liverpool vs Man United game and were already perturbed that Wayne Rooney had been left on the bench.
Kick off was delayed by 15 minutes at the request of FC United fans, who rang the club asking for "some time for reflection” after their team secured a draw at Anfield. Some FC United fans did make it down to Gigg Lane early, draping an empty stand with flags adorned with 'witty' slogans, making it more intimidating than normal, but not as intimidating as it would be, were they able to fill it with actual human beings.
Chester were boosted by a large away following, whose bodies were three-quarters ale by the time kick off rolled around. And it was slurring Blues (or Azslurri, to give them the Italian translation) who had the first cause to cheer, as Chris Simm ramped home his first of the game.
Blues fans gleefully went on to taunt their Mancunian opposites with chants of "You've got no history", before conveniently forgetting their own and breaking into a chorus of "USA! USA!".
Rather than settle Chester down, the early lead appeared to put them on edge as a nervy spell followed. Carlos Roca bagged a brace, scoring a questionable penalty and a questionable free kick. Despite his scoring exploits, Roca still has a name which suggests he's better than he actually is, though his free kick goal is sure to have been compared to a "David Beckham Special" by FC journalists who have forgotten that Denis Irwin's dead-ball record was far more impressive than Beckham's.
The Red Rebels were put under immense pressure early in the second half as a glut of chances were followed by a red card for Man United B when Simm was bundled over by Adam Jones, whose name is officially 436 times more boring than Roca's.
Despite the reduction in numbers, United stood firm and Young introduced muscular thighed striker Michael Wilde and energetic substitute Jamie Rainford. It didn’t take long for Rainford to get involved as he broke free but frustratingly failed to round the goalkeeper when one on one. Chris Simm had also made the run with Rainford and was well positioned to score, but despite running like Basil Fawlty and waving frantically, he failed to catch the attention of the Rainford.
The Blues were finally back on level terms when Simm notched his second of the day, then slid over to celebrate with the fans. He appeared giddy for a few minutes after and later analysis showed the striker to be three times over the legal driving limit, having inhaled alcohol fumes from the away support.
As the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, Wesley Baynes swung a delivery into the area and the ball fell to captain Horan, who lashed the ball past the despairing dive of United keeper Spencer, causing pandemonium in the away stand. FC United supporters claimed that Horan had pushed a defender prior to shooting, which was probably true, but nobody really cares about that.
"It's a great result, and we're delighted" said manager Neil Young eventually, after offering up his customary comments about the officials, his musings on the Iraq conflict, his plans for a family holiday, his opinions on the poetry of Sir William Blake and a list of words that rhyme with Neil Young.
“We’ve got to keep the lads' heads on the ground though, so I’m glad there's a sombre cup game against one of them Ashton teams next weekend to dampen their enthusiasm.”