Neil Young saw his team continue their impressive form on Saturday, as they moved closer to the Evo Stick Premier summit with a narrow victory over a stubborn Chasetown outfit. The visitors packed the defence to keep the previously free scoring Blues away from the area, whilst also deploying tactics such as remaining unwashed for days to deter anyone who went near them.
The old "is Liam Brownhill left footed or not?" conundrum reared its ugly head again as Young teased the Chester faithful by playing him at left back, opting to give Wesley Baynes a start in the right back position. Young and his coaching staff explained this move was due to Matty McGinn failing a late fitness test, although senior club officials hinted it was because of Baynes's vague Tweeting style that often leads to disruptive hysteria amongst Chester fans.
Chester officials were pleased with the healthy attendance, which was in excess of 2900, although this figure was boosted by a stand full of local school children who had been forced to endure the game as a punishment for coming up with lame homework excuses, such as "my dog ate it", "it's in my other bag" and "my mum put it on a really high shelf and I couldn't reach it this morning."
It is also thought the traffic problems in the city and its surrounding areas contributed towards the impressive crowd. Some people questioned admitted that they were heading towards the Greyhound Park from the Sealand area in order to buy a lampshade, believing 3pm on a Saturday to be an appropriate time for such behaviour. However, rather than waiting in traffic, many decided instead to kill the best part of two hours by watching their local side play against a team with a name that sounds like a disappointing independent movie.
Ironically, Chasetown subsequently did their best to recreate a traffic jam on the Exacta pitch, parking the proverbial bus in front of their goal, a mini in each corner and one of those pink hummers that you get on orangey hen parties in the centre circle. By the second half, Chasetown's full backs had taken to charging a toll of £4.30 to use the wings This successfully thwarted Iain Howard, who didn't have the correct change.
The game itself was lacking in entertainment, mainly thanks to Chasetown's staunch refusal to allow a game of football to break out. However, the Harry McNally terrace was stirred midway through the second half when a large crow expertly swooped onto the Exacta turf and was through on goal, only to be inexplicably flagged offside by an over-eager linesman.
"I saw the crow take up a dangerous position and it looked across the line before timing it's flight to perfection" raged Main Stand regular Barry Fishwick
"The lino has had a nightmare there."
The offending official later defended his decision, commenting that the bird was "offside by a beak's length."
In the dying moments of the game, as supporters gave up hope of spotting the slightest glimpse of excitement, Michael Wilde rose highest to nod home a perfectly flighted right foot cross from Liam Brownhill late in the game, to the delight of the regulars and the nodding approval of the emergency lampshade brigade.
Chester win so often these days that it appears to have become harder to celebrate wins. When asked to sum up his feelings, Neil Young sighed and said "It's quite nice to be fair. Winning it late on made it a bit more exciting rather than scoring early."
After speaking briefly of his mild pleasure at scoring the winning goal, Michael Wilde opted to spend most of his post match interview musing on the weather;
"I know it was raining but it was really quite pleasant. Very warm for October."
It was left to Harry Mac regular Sam Gritton to have the last word;
"The lesson learnt from today's game is that if after the full time whistle, you can still vividly remember the moments where there was wildlife on the pitch, then the match was probably complete bilge."