Frickley tore up the form book to claim a hard earned point at the Exacta Stadium on Saturday, frustrating their hosts, who were clad in pink in order to show support for Breast Cancer Care.
Athletic took the lead following some poor defending from Michael Taylor, who got rinkcavaged by Ollie Ryan who then lured John Danby into hauling him down. The penalty was dispatched and Chester were left wondering how this had happened after having enjoyed 98% possession until this point, 95% of it between their defenders.
It nearly got worse for The Pinks when Christian Smith was caught daydreaming about how to pretend he’s not in when trick or treaters knock on his door, and squandered possession, forcing Danby to make a save. From Danby’s throw, Chester broke past the halfway line and Jamie Rainford produced a surprising, yet classy finish. Now Rainford is back in the goals, he has upgraded his Facebook name to Egil Ostenstad.
Chester continued to dominate possession after the break and created a string of chances, with charitable hero Michael Wilde guilty of missing several opportunities. The sucker punch was soon to follow when the home defence allowed Brad Grayson through on goal, who calmly slotted past Danby.
Having re-taken the lead, the visitors looked to kill the clock in an attempt to pull off a result they'd have doubtless celebrated as though the Jules Rimet itself was on offer.
"Three points here would've been better than the births of my two children," said Frickley boss Peter Rinkcavage.
"To be honest with you, getting away with a draw probably ranks above the second one. Certainly on a par."
Matty McGinn's towering header pulled Chester level, but despite numerous opportunities and Chris Simm wielding a fetching pink plaster-cast on his comically fractured wrist, the hosts failed to find a winner.
"I spent all night colouring it in," grinned Simm when later quizzed on his inexplicable miss from three yards out.
Frickley Goalkeeper Adam Billard bravely soldiered on through the second half despite apparently dislocating both shoulders, breaking both legs and hyper-extending his nose by the end of the 90 minutes. The stopper has urged Evo-Stik league officials to look into a possible curse on the Exacta Stadium, complaining "Every time the ball went dead behind the goal, I was overcome with searing pain for a good twenty, thirty seconds. I dunno - maybe it was a halloween thing?"
West Stand season ticket holder Kenny Loops was less than impressed with Frickley's approach, telling The Jestrian "It was disgraceful. They've come here with one intention - to fight for cancer. Turning up in their blue and white shirts when everyone else was getting into the spirit of it and wearing pink? It's just disrespectful. Frickley? Sickley, more like. You can have that one."
However, not all fans were so impressed by Chester's pink attire
“I know people are going to say it was a good cause, but on balance, I’d say that Chester not playing in blue and white at home is worse than cancer,” opined Terry Emem, East Stand regular.
Following the final whistle, Blues supporters packed into the cleverly renamed 'Pink Bar' to drown their sorrows and bid for their favourite player's pink shirt in order to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. As the auction rumbled on, Christian Smith admitted that he had intentionally not broken into a sweat all game in order to increase the resale value of his shirt.
"People were very generous and we raised a few quid," reported Blues CEO Pet Husky, who later confirmed that next week's clash with Stafford would be immediately followed by media office Juffity Bink-Bank trying to put on ten different suits in the space of a minute for Comic Relief. "It's not even Red Nose Day," Husky cackled.