Chester kept up the pressure on leaders Northwich with an impressive four goal demolition of Matlock Town on Saturday afternoon.
Neil Young shuffled his pack, which included handing on-loan striker James Ellison his home debut and awarding star signing Antoni Sarcevic his second debut. Popular opinion seemed to suggest that Sarcevic's return would add an extra couple of hundred to the gate, alluding to a previously unnoticed boycott called the 'We Don't Return Til Sarcevic Does Co-Operative'.
“I got a text on Friday afternoon and I must admit I come over all giddy,” rasped Devachatter ‘sarceishome’.
“I pulled over on the hard shoulder on the way home from work, just to do some breathing exercises. The kids wanted me to take them out when I got in, but I ignored them and went straight upstairs to the computer and watched "Sarce’s Best Moments in Blue" on Windows Media Player, a video montage that I created myself. Sarce is home.”
Chester Nomads U10s sponsored the game (and everything vaguely related to the game) and were rewarded with a photo with Former Players Association guru Gary Talbot.
“We didn’t even tell him we were at home today” remarked concerned board member The Dark Owl.
“He just keeps turning up, at everything."
Reports suggest that Grenville Millington was seething that he missed the photo opportunity;
“He thought that he and Gary were a team,” confirmed a close family friend.
The early exchanges of the match were dreadfully scrappy and boredom set in. Michael Powell took advantage a lull in play to Tweet another picture of his new puppy, and Neil Young and Gary Powell were overheard discussing the new dance routine that Dermot does prior to his spin. Jerome Wright did do some light stretches by the corner flag, but quickly lost interest and took to constructing a watercolour-pastel painting depicting his frustration at not making the starting 11.
Chester broke the deadlock midway through the first period, as Liam Brownhill lofted an inviting delivery to the back post and Matty McNeil rose highest to powerfully head the ball past the goalkeeper. Brownhill ran over to the recipient of his cross and yelped “You might be really, REALLY old, but that was class,” before high fiving the languid veteran.
The home side took control of the contest from this point onwards and even Michael Taylor came close with a thunderous 25 yard volley.
“Tay Tay can do dat - that’s just how he rolls,” drawled Taylor.
On 56 minutes, McNeil doubled his tally for the day with a close range finish following some neat footwork. 74% of the home attendance likened the goal to something that Lionel Messi would produce, but it’s Matty McNeil for goodness sake.
The Blues pummelled the Gladiators for the second period, as John Fashanu and Ulrika Johnson lacked the tactical nous required to implement a system to stop Young’s rampant men, and their day was summed up late in the game when a cheeky lob from Luke Holden deceived the goalkeeper and was deemed by the linesman to have crossed the line. Rather than cheers, the goal was met with rapturous laughter as it was clear to everyone in the ground that it never landed beyond the line and lip reading experts even quoted Holden as saying “Stone me, he’s actually given that? Seriously?”
Michael Wilde was back, once again, although the Harry Mac Terrace resisted pleas from PA announcer Nut Megg to sing the chorus from Take That’s ‘Back for Good’. The loveable club ambassador marked his return with a well taken header from an Iain Howard delivery to wrap up a comprehensive home win.
“Yes it’s true, that was a great win, but it was a right nightmare getting away from the car park,” argued Young.
“The council should do something about it, and we should use that second exit – totally ruined the day.”
Finally, Michael Powell got booked at some point in the game. Obviously.