Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A hole lot of nonsense

Following Chester’s home win against Mickleover Sports on Saturday, fans have turned on the club in a scathing criticism of the state of the Exacta Stadium car park. Angered by the team’s failure to beat Mickleover by at least three goals and having spent the preceding week complaining about the ample parking opportunities that surround the ground, it is now the physical condition of the car park which has come under scrutiny.

The complaints were sparked following a sticky situation which played out before the Mickleover clash when C-Block dweller Gary Edwington took a wrong turn down a pothole en route to a programme seller.

“One minute he was there, the next he was gone,” yelped programme vendor Trendy Yachts.

Edwington's cries ensured it wasn’t long before he was aerially hoisted from the hole, and once he had resurfaced, he revealed that other items were buried within the pit of gloom and despair.

“There was a CCFC fax machine manual, a faded red cap, one them peculiar Red Square home kits and Robert Gill,” said the shaken Edwington.

The incident has caused several fans to produce their own peculiar rants.

“Can’t we get the gypos to tarmac it on the cheap?” argued ‘Permanently Flabbergasted Blue’ off of The Devachat. It was one of those posts that seems like it's probably racist, but that the moderators let stay on the board in order to avoid being called over-zealous by the 95% of the forum who are radically right-wing, but spend most of their time complaining about the three or four "loony liberals" on the forum who criticise such things as racial abuse, swearing in front of children and the bricking of coach windows. 

Having, obviously, refused to follow this suggestion, The Council now face the wrath of supporters, with fans demanding that the local authority spend their bucket-loads of spare cash on a non-league football club car park on the outskirts of town.

“Sounds reasonable,” chuckled Councillor Spikey Cones, wearing a wide grin. “Sure the majority of tax payers will back that to the hilt - those roads needing attention in areas that people use seven days a week for their regular commutes can wait.”

The club have confirmed that the repair of the car park has been added to the official wish list, along with a brand spanking new bar, the Dane Bank Stand, a new training facility, fresh lobster from the kiosks, a Wi-Fi open zone and half time cocktail-making sessions.

"All these things will be added to the Exacta as soon as we can find a new avenue for extorting the fans," said the recently-quiet Media Officer Jaffa Cakes.

"We need another thing like the Blue$ Player, where we take the services of volunteers and charge for them.  We're in talks with the people who man the club shop about them paying for the privilege of working for our club.  'Sponsor a litter-picker' is another initiative that's been suggested.  We've tried to take The Tall Peacock's content and charge for it, but the Chronicle threw a hissy.  Our last idea is to ask the Jestrian to change to pay-to-view and donate the revenue."

The interview was swiftly wrapped up and Cakes left with a dictaphone stuffed in his mouth.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Chester FC vs Mickleover Sports - Stodge Report

Neil Young saw his men return to winning ways on Saturday as they defeated little-known leisurewear chain Mickleover Sports.

In the build up to the game, the Chester faithful were excitedly discussing who would get the nod for the acclaimed left wing position. After two days of uncertainty, manager Neil Young eventually settled the matter by arranging a pre-match Jenga tournament, broadcast as a pay-per-view event on The Blue$ Player.

Iain Howard was pictured looking distressed after he narrowly lost the final to Jerome Wright, who produced a gutsy performance to withdraw a lower brick at a stage when the tower looked particularly vulnerable. Wright plodded the brick on top as the stack stood surprisingly firm, and the writing was on the wall for Howard with his very next move. Attempting the perilous removal of a high brick, the plasterer visibly winced as it became evident he was about to lose the contest. The tower hit the floor, and Wright did a little victory jig. You have to pay if you want to see it though, as men in suits need money.

Viewers had been surprised to see reserve goalkeeper Adam Judge take part in the first round, as he disappointingly crashed out to Stefan Cox.

"I’ll play anywhere," grunted Judge. "I was gutted to lose out, but Youngy did warn me that playing the traditional game is completely different to the online version. Apparently you’ve got to have a 'feel for the bricks.' Coxy had the edge there."

In contrast to recent weeks, Young opted for a formation that home fans could at least fathom, as opposed to the free-for-all that was the Hednesford game. The Blues Supremo shifted Antoni Sarcevic into a central midfield position and partnered Michael Wilde with Postman Matt, forming a more traditional 4-4-2, to the relief of look-at-me journalist The Tall Peacock who reportedly suffered migraines trying to identify the formation at the previous home game.

The match had a familiar feel to many other home games, where Chester enjoyed a lot of possession but lacked a cutting edge. However, the deadlock was broken early on, when Scary Alex Brown petrified the ball home from the edge of area. The home crowd's nerves were briefly calmed, before they witnessed Alex Brown's celebration, which was so horrifically frightening that NATV's highlights video has been given an 18 certificate.  You have to pay if you want to see it though, as men in suits need money.

Things got better soon after, when Matty McNeil rose high to meet a lofted Robbie Booth delivery to fire the Blues two goals ahead. Mickleover's plan was working perfectly – turn up in a JJB buy-in-bulk kit and go two down early on to lull the home team into thinking that they are amateur tosh. The tactical plot paid off as John Danby lit a cigar and casually tossed the ball to top scorer Matty McGinn to play in Sports winger Martyn Smith, who whipped in a delightful cross for the unmarked Eric Graves to nod past Danby.

"C'mon, who thought he’d actually go and score?" chuckled McGinn.

Mickleover proved themselves to be deceptively good as they halted Chester from extending their lead, whilst looking like they'd be capable of springing a surprise at the other end.  The closest Chester came to extending their lead was a Sarcevic thunderbolt that rattled the woodwork, ensuring that he'd at least win the MOTM award, and a disallowed effort from McNeil who spent three minutes doing a celebratory Roger Milla wiggle at the corner flag, before embarrassingly realising that play had continued as normal.

The attendance was roughly 1,300 below the previous home game. Possible reasons for this include the fact that people were asked to park their car without breaking the law, the massive choking against Hednesford, the televised farce at Anfield, the fact that Levi Mackin has a large family who didn't turn up this time, a faulty turnstile, aliens, the depressing socio-economic situation of Zimbabwe, Elton Welsby, no free tickets given to schools, good ales in the Blues Bar leading to some fans forgetting to go inside at kick off, lack of Galaxy Minstrels in the refreshment area, the fact that pay day was the wrong side of the weekend, and people just making other plans because football isn't their whole life. Which is also fine.

Chester held out for the victory, despite a scrappy performance, ensuring that they move three points clear at the top of the league. However, in the post match press conference, Young made it clear that he was displeased, before confusing everyone about wingers.

"We really don't suit wingers, but everyone really likes wingers. They cry out for wingers, apparently. So I played with two wingers and then brought on Stef Cox, who is a winger, and he was mint but wingers leave us exposed when we play with wingers so now I really don't know what to do about all these wingers," said Young, scratching his head.

"I wish he’d make his mind up," bemoaned winger Robbie Booth. "I'm tearing my hair out. You thought that receding hairline was natural didn’t you?"

Friday, 27 January 2012

Chester FC vs Mickleover Sports - Match Prejudice

Chester head into tomorrow’s clash with Mickleover with a refreshed confidence, after Hednesford were surprisingly and hilariously defeated by Marine in midweek. The Blues know that a win would strengthen their title dream and struggling Mickleover present an opportunity for the Blues goal-shy strike force to get back on track.

The focus has fallen upon the Chester FC forwards in recent weeks following a series of spooned chances, with the Evening Leader publishing a startling article featuring Jamie Rainford, who exclusively revealed that the front men want to score goals.

In other revelations, Neil Young will arrive before kick-off, defenders will attempt to keep the ball away from the goal and the word on the street is that the substitutes will go for a light jog and stretch at a mystery point during the Mickleover tie.

“It’s the only way we can keep Wildey happy at the moment, he lives for that clap from the Main Stand when he warms up,” nodded Gary Powell, wearing socks that looked alarmingly like tights.

Meanwhile, The Tall Peacock of the Chester Chronicle - forcing his way through the crowds of screaming women who had turned up at Chronicle HQ hoping to catch a glimpse of his colleague Sharks Prowling - preferred to link up with injured captain George Horan.  To the relief of Blues fans, Horan confirmed that he will NOT be panicking following the Hednesford defeat.

“I was getting worried about what our captain felt after Saturday. I was panicking that he was panicking, and that it would make the whole team panic which would then make the fans panic. I’ve not been able to concentrate since. My thanks to George and The Peacock for allaying our fears - I needed this and so did my family,” sighed Exile Kevin Stressman, justifying the article.

Whilst some teams have provided humour with as little as the name of their manager this season, (Peter Rinkcavage of Frickley a prime example) there are no obvious jokes to make about Mickleover boss Dick Pratley.

Mickleover Sports shortened their name from Mickleover Jolly Good Sports in 2004, but maintain an air of sportsmanship not shared by Hednesford Gamesmen.  It is expected that no Mickleover player will dive or argue with the ref, whilst manager Pratley is well known for appluading his opposition when they score.

Neil Young meanwhile has introduced Fleetwood's Stefan Cox to his squad;

“He’s a wide man, he’s pacy, quite small, he delivers crosses, he’s unlike anything we currently have,” said Young, of his fourth left winger of the season.

Turning his attention to his opponents, the Blue Chief confessed that he doesn't know a great deal about Mickleover.

“Paddy Cluskey's got a boss tracky from there, though. Give him credit, he wears it well.”

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Park and Whine

Following Jamie Rainford's half-decent return to first team action, Chester FC fans have settled on a New Thing to be unhappy about, declaring the car parking situation at the Exacta Stadium "even worse than Stephen Vaughan".

Many Blues fans remain stranded on the stadium car park following Saturday's defeat to Hednesford, with food packages being dropped in by passing Airbus jets.  "If only there was a Subway in the East Stand", mused Geraldine Witty, an East Stand season ticket holder who sits a couple of rows behind the bench in order to enjoy the management team's regular second half sing-song.

Scientists at the Royal Institute of Car Parking Dunce-Craft have proven the parking situation at the Exacta to be more stupid than a Zeppellin carrying a cargo of several 12-sided javelins, with just one entrance and no clearly defined spaces.

"I like to make the situation worse by having a go at people who have the gall to reverse their car into position, so as to make the getaway a little easier," said that one car park steward who always does that.

Another exit is located at the back-end of the car-park, but this is kept locked for absolutely no good reason whatsoever.  Council spokesman Adam Drone told The Jestrian: "It's not actually a road.  It might look like a road.  It might have markings on it, like a road would.  But no, it's not a road, so you can't use it."

The farce is set to spiral out of control when the Blues return for another home encounter this Saturday, with a club statement today confirming that local authorities will be patrolling the road outside the stadium, ticketing any cars parked on double yellow lines.

Supporters have expressed their displeasure at not being considered to be above the law, with online Blues fans who frequent the Twin Towers of Extraordinary Intelligence (Facebook and The Devachat) railing against these instructions.

"How can you just move the goalposts like that?" raged G Block regular Donald Wickerbasket.

"What happens to the people who don't hear this message?  They'll not know that it's illegal to park there, and they'll get ticketed.  Bit harsh when they've parked there thinking it's OK to park on double yellows.  The council are acting like it's well documented that you're not allowed to park in places where you're not allowed to park.  Like it's part of the driving test or something."

Wickerbasket is not the only enraged fan.

"The authorities should spend their time trying to catch proper criminals," said Gerald Skinhead, who is the kind of guy that thinks throwing a brick through the window of the Hednesford supporters bus is just "good banter".

Pleasingly, a solution may be imminent as the issue has caught the eye of Witton Albion chairman The Lark of Paris who has announced their intention to let Chester use the car-park at Wincham Park on matchday.

"Or you can just come watch Witton.  Not that we're trying to steal your fans.  Though we might be.  We're crazy."

Despite the problems, Chester are expecting their highest crowd of the season this Saturday, mostly because 3,000 Blues are still within 500yds of a turnstile.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Go Westley

Miaow: Neil Young found this whilst searching
 for a new left back.

Neil Young has shown the strongest signs yet that he has ambitions of managing full time after it emerged that he is employing tactics made famous by Graham Westley, a man who has recently earned Football League employment following years of experience in the non-leagues.

New Preston North End boss Westley hit the headlines this week as it was reported that he had sent motivational text messages to his players in the early hours of Saturday morning.

This, it transpires, is no longer a technique unique to the former Stevenage gaffer.  The Jestrian understands that at 2am last night, several Chester players were disturbed by their smart phones as Young emailed them pictures of “lolcats”.

“It was dead annoying, doesn’t he know we’re trying to sleep?” raged Matty McNeil.

Nothing New: Former Chester City
Manager Terry Smith used to use lolcats to
demonstrate his training techniques.
“I thought something serious had happened!” said a bewildered Iain Howard.

“I liked the one that was asking for a cookie,” laughed Chris Simm.

Other reports of goings on at North End include a story that Westley employed a sports psychologist who ‘got the squad thumping their chests while chanting “We are going to f****** win this Saturday", but Young stopped short of emulating this, worrying that it would lead to another spate of players breaking their collarbones.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Close Encounters

Neil Young today laid bare his masochistic plan to make this season's title race even more nail-biting than last year's.

Having given away something approaching a mathematical certainty of a lead to win Evo-Stik Division One North by a margin of two goals, Young declared that this season, he hopes to sail even closer to the wind.

"It was a bit boring in the end, we won it with bags of space.  If we can do it by just the one goal this time, I'll be delighted.  Maybe even on goals scored, actually.  We're quite good at them," said the Blues supremo, having only been asked about Chester's injury situation.

"I proper enjoyed milking those few minutes after the final whistle at Garforth - everyone was looking at the Puffa Prince for confirmation that we'd won it.  I've never felt so important.  I want that rush again."

Young then conceded that he hadn't double-checked the Evo-Stik Premier rules, but admitted "if we can win it on alphabetical order, that'd be even better.  The paperwork is already in place to change our name to Aalborg FC should Bradford PA launch a late assault on the top spot.  We’d best make sure those pesky Danish investors don’t catch wind of that plan though.  They’d be all over it."

Blues CEO The Pet Husky backs Young's attempts to instill some drama to proceedings and openly admitted to The Jestrian that he'd also done his part to help out. 

"Northwich's points deduction for using blue ink on Tom Field's registration was a real blow to us, but it gave us an idea", he barked.

"We're expecting the League to contact us for a copy of Levi Mackin's Ethiopian passport any day now."

In further preparations for the last game of the season, with Hednesford emerging as the team most likely to take it down to the wire, attentions have been turned to their final-day opponents Worksop Town for the potential identity of this year's Chester FC legend.  Tigers front-man Jamie Jackson has been installed as early favourite and is rumoured to be clearing his diary for Chester's end-of-season awards dinner where he'll collect the Dan Toronczak Memorial Jug.

"He'll be leaving his wallet at home," Jackson's agent confirmed.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Chester FC vs Hednesford Town - Long Delays Report

Chester's title hopes suffered a setback on Saturday as they crashed to defeat against fellow contenders Hednesford Town as the visitors displayed that most snivelling of characteristics - the ability to win on talent alone mixed with the obsession of using snide little tactics anyway.

Hednesford boss Rob Smith had attempted to employ mind-games from well before matchday, as though he was Sir Alex Ferguson or something.  Following Saturday's game, Smith admitted that his tactical inspiration actually comes from another source entirely.

"The 1980s West Indian test cricket side," he revealed .

"We get in a bunch of big, hard players, with bags of ability, then we contrive to waste as much time as is humanly possible - it's far easier to win a game where the ball is only in play for 17 minutes.  Far less defending to be done."

The Hednesford goalkeeper began wasting time before scoring had even commenced, taking so long over goal-kicks and free kicks you'd be forgiven for thinking that his life depended on the precise placing of the ball.  Indeed, Police began investigating him under the Theft Act 1968, as experts tried to deduce whether you can be found guilty for stealing several minutes from the lives of 3340 people.  The investigation broke down when no-one could remember the keeper's name.

There were some flash-points, whilst the ball was briefly in play.  Levi Mackin broke his collarbone early on, and as Cleggy asked for Mackin's girlfriend to report to the players' entrance, there was controversy as seven different women turned up, as a bunch of wannabe WAGs tried their luck.  An "I'm Spartacus"-style melĂ©e ensued, and even Mackin, having been pumped full of painkillers, struggled to identify the real one.  The fight was eventually broken up by smooth CEO The Pet Husky, who boomed "ladies, please," in his commanding voice and the girls desisted.

On the pitch, following a two-footed tackle from a Hednesford midfielder, Christian Smith was so incensed that he decided to do his best impression of said tackle, but amplified by ten.  Smith launched himself into the tackle, wiping his opponent out with every limb available to him before protesting his innocence.  A confused referee let Smith off with a booking and awarded Chester a throw-in, in one of the more bizarre passages of refereeing seen this season.

Either side of Smith's caution, Hednesford netted two goals, Chris Clements and Gary Hay scoring from pinpoint assists by Chester's Iain Howard and Michael Taylor respectively.  Matty McGinn knocked home his customary penalty on the stroke of half-time to halve the lead.

After the break, in between an increasingly fine display of time-wasting, a football match occasionally broke out, Chester bombarding their tormentors' goal with chance after chance.  The Blues couldn't make the breakthrough, however, as the Hednesford keeper turned out actually to be pretty good, annoyingly. 

With the game ending 2-1, it was Neil Young's turn to waste everyone's time, conducting his usual four hour post-match interview so that The Tall Peacock would have a couple of quotes for his weekend article.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Chester FC vs Hednesford Town - Pressure Preview

Chester welcome title-hopefuls Hednesford FC to the Exacta tomorrow, in a game that neither manager is backing their side to win.

Despite having beaten the pace-setting Blues twice already this season, Hednesford boss Rob "Eeyore" Smith has continually commented that his team won't win the league.

"The pressure's on Chester.  We'll never acheive anything.  And even if we do, what's the point?  Football is such a futile game.  A bunch of guys haring round some grass kicking a synthetic pig's bladder?  And these guys have to have second jobs as well.  Why do we even bother?  I could have been a doctor," lamented the pessimistic Smith.

Chester manager Neil Young has joined in the self-deprication-fest by insinuating that the pressure is entirely on the shoulders of the Hednesford players.

"We go into the game as underdogs, given that we're top of the league," insisted Young.

"All the expectation is on Hednesford to win.  No-one expects us to win - we didn't get to the top of the league by being a team that wins more of its games than it doesn't.  Actually, we might have.  Oh snot-rags, there is actually a bit of pressure on us for this one isn't there?!"

The interview was cut short by Young panicking and throwing himself through the nearest window.  Fortunately, the window was on the ground floor and his injuries were superficial.

And Young can at least afford to buy a few plasters and a little can of antiseptic spray, as he and Gary Jones have now signed new contracts to keep them at the club.  Negotiations for the deals seemed to take forever, but this was apparently less to do with disagreements over terms, and more to do with Neil Young's inability to stop talking.

"We spent most of the time listening to a lecture Neil had prepared on sedimentary rocks," said a visibly exhausted CEO The Pet Husky.

Meanwhile, despite the feeble mind-games, scientists at the Royal Institute of Makin' Stuff Up have confirmed that tomorrow's game is a big clash between two teams who could well win the league and both should be expecting to do well and doing their utmost to win.

Should the game be abandoned due to weather conditions, Witton Albion have offered to stage the encounter instead.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


After the narrow defeat to Ebbsfleet last weekend, the relief amongst staff and supporters has been evident as everyone can now “concentrate on winning the league”.

“The gaffer was keen to overload the attack in the last ten minutes on Saturday to snatch an equaliser, but I had to restrain him and remind him that we need to concentrate on the league,” revealed assistant Gary Jones.

The habitual saying has spread throughout the club and is now being used as a silver lining for a variety of problems that have since occurred.

With the Blues all set to host a prestigious reserve clash between Liverpool and Man United on Monday, the weather intervened and the game was postponed.

“It shouldn’t have been arranged in the first place; our football pitch is not for playing on. We need to think about the league,” muttered Commercial Manager Paul Bodman.

Tuesday’s First Aid course was next to fall. Volunteer guru The Barrelled Ferret explained “there’ll be no life saving skills here whilst there’s an EvoStik title up for grabs, good grief.  NO DISTRACTIONS!”

Further to this, Honorary Life President Barry Hipkiss was left fuming at Wednesday lunchtime, when his wife Pam declined the Tour Bus virtuoso's request that she deliver to him a cheese and pickle sandwich. When quizzed by concerned friends, Mrs Hipkiss confirmed that she was afraid of the effect that such a delivery could have on Chester’s title challenge.

“You try getting through the working day on one of Cluskey’s Irn Bru bars,” retorted a disgruntled Barry.

Meanwhile, Neil Young has been in hot water with Merseyrail, after he refused to send engineers to fix a broken-down down train, choosing instead to prioritise his side's push for promotion.

Elsewhere in Chester FC circles, journalist The Tall Peacock was rendered silent yesterday as his sole source of information Wikipedia had a cheeky shut-down for the day.  The Peacock was later found by colleagues, trying to boot up Encarta 97 on his laptop, as his next best option.

"He'd gone a bit crazy, so we let him go home," said un-sung Chronicle pin-up boy Sharks Prowling.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Disney Re-Makes at the Exacta

Neil Young ordered his Chester squad in last night, but not for training. When quizzed, Young admitted to being "tickled" by the Northwich management situation, and said that he had brought the squad together for some collective laughing.

The Boxing Day Battle Royale still leaves a sour taste in the mouth of those connected with Chester FC, and with Northwich boss Andy Preece walking out on Monday, Young decided to set his troops a number of tasks in order to enjoy the misfortune of their supposed title rivals.  The first exercise saw the starting eleven from Ebbsfleet line up and circle the bar with their arms wide open in the manner of an aeroplane, to symbolically mock the departure of Preece to Welsh Premier league outfit Airbus UK Broughton.

For the next challenge, Young asked the squad to pair off and see who could do the best John Disney impression, with extra points on offer for elaboration. With the prize up for grabs revealed to be a day's free use of the Dee 106.3 cat costume, ex-Chester City midfielder Ben Davies made a return to the Exacta especially for the challenge, intimating that he's "always up for a bit of play-acting".

After several re-enactments of Disney's clash with Michael Powell, the eventual winners were on-again-off-again couple Christian Smith and Chris Simm.  Simm played the part of Disney whilst Smith portrayed Powell, sellotaping a toupee to his forehead in order to achieve full quiff-mimicry.  Simm reacted to the heavy breathing of Smith by falling the floor with a wry grin on his face, and ended up on his back like a upturned turtle in distress.  Smith then pulled off a magnificent "quick-change", in order to also play the part of the referee, brandishing himself (returning to the Powell role) a straight red.  Chairman Sir Chris of Pilsbury whooped with laughter as he wagged his finger, declaring "this pair will go far".

Other noteworthy attempts included Wes Baynes and Liam Brownhill, but this was adjudged "unrealistic" as Brownhill genuinely punched Baynes in the face, as revenge for Baynes cheating in a recent game of Monopoly, continuing the pair's ongoing board-game feud.

Iain Howard was unable to pull off the Christian Smith-esque quick-change during his and Michael Wilde's piece, the rhythm of the whole thing spoilt by Howard dashing across to the Royal Mail sorting office to change into a referee's uniform midway through.  By the time he returned, Wilde had given up and Matty McGinn and Scary Alex Brown were in full flow, with many unable to watch Brown's horrifying interpretation of events.

Michael Powell sat the challenge out, explaining that it was "too soon".

Contracted players were then rumoured to have waved their contracts in the air, in the manner that away fans at Anfield wave £5 notes at the Kop, in response to reports that The Vics lost their manager because they didn't offer him a contract.  However, seasoned observers have suggested Preece's departure was actually due to his being offered more money and a free go on the Beluga.

The laughter turned raucous towards the end of the evening when a short theatrical performance from the back four, ripping on Tom Field's ineligible contract, was met with a mid-laughter snort from Gary Jones, which always seems to make things funnier.  Some cocky youth team players, whose names you sometimes see in a Dark Owl Tweet, impersonated the snort as things turned plain ridiculous.

As the night drew to a close, news filtered through to Neil Young that the title contenders have now been locked out of their ground, but the manager declared "actually, that's not all that funny" and that he would "happy slap" anyone who dared to poke fun.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Once more unto the Haik-blu, the feature where those connected to Chester FC write poems in the Japanese form of Haiku, a form of poetry where each poem consists of three lines, the first containing five syllables, the second containing seven and the third containing five.

Twitter, thou doth grate
I am a verbose poet
But they knoweth not
Jamie Rainford laments Twitter's character limit for not allowing him to fully express himself


Superb team spirit
Much much better than Chester's
Wait, where is the boss?
Northwich's Kyle Armstrong learns of manager Andy Preece's departure


Hey, remember me?
I don't have gloves anymore
I do not need them
Adam Judge


Buy some pitch covers
Don't bother using them though
Cracking investment
The Chester FC board explains where thousands of pounds worth of the fans' investment went


Monday, 16 January 2012

Ebbsfleet United 3-2 Chester FC - MyMatch Report

Chester FC tumbled out of the FA Trophy on Saturday, losing 3-2 to quasi-football club Ebbsfleet United.

Ebbsfleet, better known as Gravesend and Northfleet but put through a real-life Championship Manager editor, took the lead in the first half through Calum Willock.  The Blue Square Premier side, owned entirely by avatars from online peculiarity Second Life doubled their lead through Yado Mambo, on 55 minutes.  This led Neil Young and Garys Powell and Jones to keep spirits up on the bench by doing their fabled Lou Bega impression.  As Young roared "Mambo Fifty Five!", Powell growled "now bring in the trumpet!" and Jones strutted down the touchline with a shiny trumpet, ripping a mint solo.

Jones was still tooting away as Matty McNeil stooped to nod home from an Alex Brown free kick.  With the score at 2-1, Jones switched his tune from 'Mambo Number Five' to 'Please Mr Postman' by the Marvellettes before being told to "give it a rest, now" by Neil Young.  This intervention by Young saved the fans a rendition of 'Hippy Hippy Shake' as Ricky Shakes re-instated World Of Warcraft FC's two goal lead shortly after, following a particularly well-timed push of the circle button by an Ebbsfleet fan.  The game was then paused for a couple of minutes, as the Fleet Chairman’s mum came in to ask what he wanted for tea.

With the contest looking beyond Chester, more drama was to come.  With twenty minutes still to play, Jamie Rainford hit a strike from the edge of the box, which found the net via a deflection to pile the pressure back onto the hosts, who are sponsored by "The Sims 5: Ownin' a Football Club".

Alas, there were no more goals to come as Ebbsfleet’s ‘managers’ changed their team’s mentality settings from “attacking” to “balanced” and TheFleet.com ran out winners.  Despite the defeat, Chester fans clamoured to give maudlin accounts of how proud of their club they are.

"Who'd believe that a team of part-timers could run a team of part-timers so close?  We've come so far," sobbed Gerry Nailfile, who had made the trip South.

Meanwhile, Ebbsfleet gleefully took the chance to patronise The Blues.

"Aw, what a great little club," said one club official, a Level 18 Warrior.

"I'm sure you'll be in the Blue Square Premier soon, bless."

Friday, 13 January 2012

Jestrian Issue #100: Hi-Jack!

Today should have been the day the Jestrian uploaded its hundredth piece.  Instead, a coup has been staged, and Chronicle journalist Paul Wheelock has managed to force his way into another area of CFC culture.  His views are his own, remember.  It says so on Twitter.  Stop trying to steal his views.

Some journalist, didn't even give his piece a title, so The Jestrian has added one for him.


There's nothing I won't do for a name-check
by Paul Wheelock

The player, club and supporters can move on. But not me. Oh no, for a resolution of the long-running Jamie Rainford saga was not my main motivation for this week. No, the question I really wanted to find the answer to was… just exactly who is The Jestrian?

It is a question that leads me to a pitch-black and deserted Exacta Stadium in the early hours of this morning, Friday, 13 January, as I await an extremely rare interview with my news nemesis. The person whose offbeat take on life at the Blues is often closer to the truth than it suggests.

My aim? To uncover the man (or woman) behind the mask. To get to know a little bit more about Chester FC’s very own Banksy. No, not that one. Although it could be…

“Who hides in plain view?  Who can be so knowledgeable about the club without being connected to anyone within it?” muses The Jestrian, taking up position in his (or her) usual spot – an inflatable chair in the West Stand refreshment stall.

“I can’t tell you about the man or woman behind The Jestrian, and nor can anyone else. Either that, or I'm Daniel Burns off The Seals Podcast.”

So far, so futile. Convenient, too, as it is from behind this veil of secrecy that my interviewee is able to take potshots at anyone and everyone connected with Chester FC. Directors (‘media-junkie Jar Jar Banks’), players (‘quiffy beanpole, Michael Powell’), supporters (‘The Remarkable School for Brain Magicians aka The Devachats’) and the club itself (www.animalfarm.com from September 27) have all felt the wrath of The Jestrian’s wit.

Renamed ‘The Tall Peacock’ and branded ‘fame-hungry’, I have not escaped either. But why would The Jestrian want to bite the hand that helps feeds him (or her)? Jealously, it has to be. Jealous of my record-breaking number of appearances on The Seals Podcast. Jealous of my significantly greater following on Twitter.

“No, I wish the blog was less popular,” replies The Jestrian, who much to my disappointment fails to rise to the bait. “Once it’s out there, you don't get to control who reads it, who laughs or the reasons why they find it funny. 

“I've never once advertised The Jestrian.  When it started, I just ‘followed’ about 10 or 15 Chester fans on Twitter, and watched it grow by word of mouth.  I like it being tucked away in a dark corner of the internet with a badly drawn banner.  When I came up with the idea, I said I wanted it to be ‘punky’.  I think it's achieved that.”

So if not for popularity – and it is certainly cannot be for the money seeing as my interviewee has sold a grand total of one ‘Jestrian’ branded product so far – what was and what is the motivation behind the blog?

“Standing on the terrace at an away match, I remarked to a friend that the Cestrian programme feature ‘Gregga’s Gripes’  should be given to Wes Baynes and renamed ‘Wesley’s Snipes’,” says my interviewee, whose identity is hidden by a ‘Jestrian’ hoodie pulled tight over his (or her) face.  “The Jestrian was set up entirely as a vehicle for that feature, but I’ve never actually used it. 

“The motivation is that there is no motivation.  Everything seems to be done ‘for the club’ or ‘for the coffers’ or in keeping with the community spirit.  Even The Blue and White fanzine, which I’ve not read, is I am led to believe, a (very good) serious piece of journalism and an advocate of the club.  The Jestrian hasn’t got any agenda other than being stupid.  It may stray into being slightly political at times, and if there is a message, I guess it’s that people need to just chill out about football.”

Contrary to the last. And with that – and with daylight approaching – our interview ends with me no closer to answering just exactly who is The Jestrian?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Ebbsfleet United vs Chester FC - MyMatchPreview

Chester make the long trip south on Saturday as they prepare to take on Blue Square Premier outfit Ebbsfleet United in the FA Trophy.

Neil Young will have to endure the suspensions of Michael Powell and Wesley Baynes, but expects to welcome back Alex Brown and Liam Brownhill. Brownhill has been preparing for the game by frequently name dropping on Twitter, informing his followers that he’s spending a few days with alleged friend Adam Le Fondre of Reading.  How they became friends is as much of a mystery as a Roberto Mancini press conference, but the connection does appear to be legitimate.

Young has spoken confidently about Chester’s chances, and is relishing the ‘underdog’ title.

“It’s like going from dating a less attractive woman when you know you’re the looker in the relationship, to pulling a right cracking bird and never being sure if your good enough.  But you feel confident, because you managed to get her in the first place, and then you feel like you can do anything, including beating Ebbsfleet... if that makes sense,” remarked Young, making no sense whatsoever.

Young was unavailable for comment when asked whether he felt more like Chester or Ebbsfleet in his marriage.

The Fleet are owned by strange website venture MyFootballClub.  When piloted, the idea seemed revolutionary and set to change the way football clubs operate in the future, but the contributors soon got bored, the novelty wore off and the money dried up.  The club are now desperately trying to raise £50k by the end of the season, and are relying on fan contributions as much as ever, even recently asking for fans help to pay 3.5k for Clint Easton’s cartilage operation.  This idea is up for discussion at the next Chester board meeting, with the suity Lamb Shanks suggesting that “if you don’t have Blues Player, then you can show your support by paying even more money to cover our injury expenses.”

The Stonebridge road outfit are managed by Liam Daish, who is one of them names fondly remembered from a 90s Panini Sticker album, due to the fact that he actually managed to play in the Premier League at one stage.

“I conned one lad into swapping my Liam Daish for an Arsenal shiny... rare,” giggled Adam Judge, who is still on the playing staff.

Another notable fact about Ebbsfleet is that they’ve recently been awarded £100k to spruce up their ageing toilet facilities, which begs the question why on earth you’d need that much cash to upgrade toilets in a crumbling ruin of a stadium.  They boast former Bolton wingman Ricky Shakes amongst their playing personnel, who recently admitted to being devastated that an adaptation of Metro Station hit ‘Shake It’ didn’t catch on with the Fleet faithful.

"Apparently you're not allowed to write your own chants," said Shakes, shaking his head.

Chester City met Ebbsfleet (formerly Gravesend) on many occasions in their later years. They ran out 2-1 winners at the Deva Stadium in that season where nobody went because we were really bad and going bust, and some hardy souls will recall a famous victory at Stonebridge Road when the Blues held out for a narrow win with nine men, aided by Wayne Brown frequently launching the ball into the Dartford Crossing during the closing stages of the game, although he pretty much always kicked like that, in hindsight.

The game is also an opportunity for the Exiles to attend, play darts in a nearby pub, drink real ale and later inform the Devachat that they did actually do this.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Master of Witton Repartee

Following on from the Boxing Day Love-in, where Witton Albion opened their social club to Chester fans, who had travelled to watch their team's away game at Northwich, the Wincham club have now sought to take the relationship to the next level, offering £2 off for anyone who turns up for their game against Prescot Cables on Wednesday 1st February with a Chester FC programme.  Ironically, any Witton fan who turns up wanting a programme for the actual match being played will be charged extra.

"We're seeking to forge a good relationship with Chester," said The Lark of Paris, Witton's acting Chairman.
"We're also putting on a Park and Ride facility from Witton to Ebbsfleet for all Blues fans wanting to make the trip.  Furthermore, if all goes to plan, we'll soon be beaming a live, 3D projection of all Chester home games onto the Wincham Park turf for fans who can't get to the Exacta.  This might mean that we have to play our own home games on Friday nights, but it's worth it."

It has also been confirmed that Wincham Park will play host to the birthday celebrations of Chester FC's Official Focal Point, Jar Jar Banks, later this year.

"Someone said Colin Murray might show up," confessed the Lark.

Whilst some have seen these moves by Witton as harmless attempts to strengthen relations and make some cash-money, others suspect a far more sinister plot is afoot.
"The Chron won't let me print it, but I've heard rumblings that it's all part of a plot by Witton to steal Chester's fan-base in order launch an assault on the Cheshire Senior Cup in 2018/9," said journalist The Tall Peacock, in a thinly-veiled attempt to get himself a bit of publicity.

"A few CFC fans have a harmless drink at Wincham Park, or innocently watch a discounted match, then BAM!  Suddenly they're hooked.  Next thing you know, the Exacta's empty and Wincham Park is a sea of Blue.  Exercise caution, that's all I'm saying."

Witton have received even more PR from other football clubs of late, though some of this has been inadvertent.  Recently, on a programme on MUTV, Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sun asked a presenter how you would rescue people stuck in a ravine, to which the response was delivered "winch 'em, Park."

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Blues in Brief

“This is John Danby”
John Danby caused panic recently following a blanket e-mail he sent to members of The City Fans United, advertising his personal trainer business. Confusion was rife amongst recipients who were nonplussed by Danby’s had failure to add the suffix ‘with the Blues’, which is customarily tagged onto every club or offer that disseminates from The City Fans United.   Sammy Spellcheck of C Block was the first to voice his fears;

“I was interested in doing a few stretches with Danby but I only join clubs that are ‘with the Blues’.  Anything else baffles me.”

The shot-stopper has now revealed that despite a clear marketing campaign towards Chester fans, it is also aimed towards normal society.

“If you want a personalised session we could name it whatever you like, though.  Call me,” added Danby.

Reserving judgment
The official website yesterday broke the exciting news that, following minutes of tense negotiations, Chester FC have brokered a deal with Liverpool to stage LFC’s reserve clash against fierce rivals Manchester United Reserves.  The game is expected to attract a large crowd, as Liverpool and United fans, who usually make tired excuses about not being able to get a ticket to watch their ‘beloved’ teams, will get the chance to watch potential stars of the future and possibly Paul Scholes.  It also presents an opportunity for the club’s Official Attention Seeker, Army Tanks, to grab mobile numbers of bemused famous people.

“Colin hasn’t been in touch for a little while - the wife reckons we’re not sending the Murrays a Christmas card next year.  What’s the next step up from Colin?  Sammy Lee?  Stephane Henchoz?  Is he still at Liverpool?  Imagine texting Henchoz...,” dreamed a misty-eyed Tanks.

The Chorley bird catches the worm
This season’s away fixture at Chorley has been confirmed as a 1pm kick off, in order to avoid the sort of madness that marred Chester’s 1-0 success last year.  Lancashire Police are confident that lunatics who hurl bricks about and set upon innocent supporters will be deterred by the two hour time difference.

“Nobody throws bricks at that time of the day. People are less angry then because its lunchtime, for goodness’ sake.  Don’t throw things, have a sandwich instead,” urged PC Brick.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Rushall Olympic vs Chester FC - Match Hindsight

Chester returned to winning ways on Saturday, travelling to Rushall Olympic and doling out a 4-0 wonder-smash.

Having only lost one league game in four months, manager Neil Young went into the match understandably under immense pressure from the fans.  However, Young retained his sense of humour, whacking the returning Jamie Rainford on the bench in the cold and rain and leaving him there for 90 minutes.

Matty McNeil got scoring underway, after displaying some impressive footwork.  This led to a number of fans turning to their mates and expressing their surprise that someone tall can do something that isn't a header.

"When your feet are more than six feet away from your brain, I'm surprised you have any control over them at all," remarked CFC fan Gordy Science.

Michael Powell doubled Chester's advantage in the second half before Matty McGinn scored a penalty, obviously.  With the Blues in command, Young rang the changes a bit, bringing on Michael Wilde and Chris Simm.  However, in keeping with the rest of the season, it wasn't the strikers who scored the fourth, but rather midfielder Levi Mackin, earlier this week criticised by his new fans for having only ever scored six goals.  Within minutes of his introduction, Mackin, whose name makes it sound like he's a posh version of comedian Lee Mack, coolly side-footed home to complete the rout.

"It was three-nil so far as I'm concerned," moaned travelling fan Garth Helicopter

"Mackin is an ex-Wrexham player, so I refuse to acknowledge his contribution.  Tell you what though, that Christian Smith is brilliant, isn't he?"

Smith has regularly engaged in Twitter-banter with team-mate Simm, a war of words with vaguely sinister undertones.  As part of their commitment to this little battle, both players did something stupid, Smith performing a spectacular airshot and Simm missing a sitter, then it turning out he was offside anyway.  Simm later wrote on Twitter that he was "pissed off" that he didn't start the match, indicating that The Seals Podcast's apparently harmless campaign to get him on Twitter might wind up backfiring wonderfully.

Neil Young joked after the game that McNeil's pre-goal footwork was so good, he should be on Dancing on Ice.  The laughter died down somewhere this morning, when it emerged at training that McNeil had taken the manager at his word and signed up to the ITV show.  The forward has swapped places with Chico, who is now in line to play the lone striker's role against Ebbsfleet.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Rushall Olympic vs Chester FC - Match Foresight

Chester seek a return to winning ways tomorrow as they travel to Rushall Olympic, who held the Blues to a 1-1 draw on the first day of the season.

Rushall are perhaps best known for selling Zat Knight to Fulham for the princely sum of 30 Adidas tracksuits, in keeping with the club's mainly clothes-based currency system.  Knight himself was on a wage of a pair or trainers and 3 hoodies per week during his Rushall days, whilst the club recently turned down a £20,000 bid for star striker Ahmed Obeng, saying they wouldn't let him go for less than 28 pairs of chinos.

"We like to hit the clubs, and chinos are in at the moment," explained chairman John Allen.

Rushall are managed by Neil Kitching, who is confident that his side can stand the heat of coming up against the league's top side.

"I hob we can give them a good game.  Obeng was cooking on gas at their place, and we didn't let them kettle down into any kind of rhythm.  We won't be putting in a half-baked performance - I'll be at great pans to point out to the lads that we can win this game.  I've herb that they were upset not to take three points at their place, so that spices things up a bit.  I'll be doing everything I can to make sure we're frying on all colanders."

Neil Young is expected to hand a debut to Levi Mackin at some point, although Michael Powell is available for the last time before he starts his three match ban, comes back for a game, then gets booked and misses another two.  Meanwhile, Young faces increasing pressure from some fans who are desperately unhappy with Chester's two month-long unbeaten record.

Jamie Rainford is available for selection, and despite Chester's unbeaten run coinciding with Rainford's departure on loan, a good number of fans are clamouring for the controversial striker's return.  Some have taken to Twitter to spew the hashtag #teamrainford everywhere, as though the former Marine-man has suffered some grave injustice.  Suggestions that, actually, all Blues fans should merely be #teamchester are likely to fall on deaf ears, as certain sections of support appear to have committed themselves to faux-teenage rebellion.

Meanwhile, with Matty McGinn and George Horan both available to play again, Christian Smith will have to wait and see if and where Young believes he fits in the starting line-up.  Smith has been one of the most consistent performers over the Christmas period as he was unaffected by the cold weather, due to his being cooler than an ice-sculpture of a Raybans-clad cucumber that listens to jazz.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Young and Naive?

Neil Young is becoming increasingly desperate in his bids to “do something right”, havng faced the wrath of fans after recent results and transfer dealings.

The puffer jacket fanatic has seen wingman Luke Holden depart the Exacta Stadium, as Holden's first team chances dried up, despite  having initially impressed.  Holden subsequently did the classy thing and took to Twitter reveal a sordid tale of broken promises and a complete breakdown of communication with Young.  Holden repeatedly referred to his former boss as a ‘pleb’ and a ‘clown’, but this didn’t stop Blues fans joining “#teamholden” and rallying against a man who oversaw a title-winning team in his first season and has led Chester to the top of the Evo Stick Premier League in his second. 

The bizarre choice to side with man who made just two league appearances over Chester's trophy-winning manager spilled over onto The Remarkable School for Brain Magicians (aka. The Devachats), with many fans arguing Holden’s cause as 'Mark Peers Syndrome' well and truly took over. 

“First Bradley and now Lukey – Youngy’s lost it,” wailed ‘clappingforbanksy’.

Further transfer dealings have irked the Blues faithful as Young moved to secure the services of Blacon boy Levi Mackin yesterday. Many fans have been unable to see past Mackin's Wrexham connection, despite the current squad already boasting two former employees of the A55 Floodlight Brigade.

“Did you see Man City fans complaining when they signed Carlos Tevez from United? Did you? No,” retorted an exasperated Young.

“They even like Owen Hargreaves, for goodness' sake."

And Mackin's goalscoring record of just six goals over a lengthy career hasn’t much helped to appease to notoriously hard-to-impress Chester fans either. 

“I like my defensive midfielders to be prolific. Any less than 15 a season... actually make that 20 because he used to play for Wrexham... just isn’t enough at this level,” argued C Block floater Barney Blinkers.

On a more positive note, the arrival of Mackin has at least caused excitement for board member The Dark Owl, in keeping with his values of enjoying anything to do with Blacon.  

The Gauntlet of Maudlin Vitriol and has been further heightened by recent results, with Young’s men suffering two draws in their last two outings. Accordingly, many have moved to witheringly question the tactics and player selection, because not winning every game clearly doesn’t cut the mustard with some supporters.

"I don't know how United fans put up with Sir Alex," wrote 'changeitwrightgethaarhoffon' on the Devachats.

"They've lost two on the bounce.  Clearly a dreadful manager.  They should get rid.  Sort it out Young."

Meanwhile, when questioned by the fame-hungry The Tall Peacock on how Mackin will fit into his system, Neil Young chose instead to reflect upon the traits of ancient North American tribe The Abenaki.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Rainford can play, but mainly at the Shay

Despite having been out of loan at Halifax since The Early Novembers, Jamie Rainford has been one of the most talked-about Chester players of the season, his name cropping up on the Popular Swirling Vortex of Cringe-Inducing Opinions (aka. The DevaChats) more than Michael Powell's name appears in a referee's match report.

It is now estimated that two in every three threads on the genius factory that is The Devachats are about Jamie Rainford to begin with, with 30% of those that started off being about stuff like formations, Neil Young's puffer coat or the temperature of the pies sold at the Exacta also descending into Rainford-talk.

Fans who post on The Supreme Archive of All Things Intelligent (aka. The Devachats) have regularly taken to their keyboards to dispute whether or not Rainford should be allowed to return to CFC after his stint at Halifax, with some posters making multiple posts, like they actually have a say in it or something.

The dispute arises off the back of comments Rainford made on his Facebook profile, which cannot be seen by any user who had the self-awareness to realise Rainford is not their friend.  Despite it emerging that Rainford's profile housed negative comments about team-mate Chris Simm made by Rainford's family members and a comment from Rainford himself saying that he'd just turn up, play his ten minutes and go home, it was his depiction of those fans who had criticised him as "muppets", and his loose grasp of the concept of spelling, which upset those posting on The Accute Observations Auditorium (aka The Devachats).

"I don't care about his disrespecting his team-mates and manager.  That bit was fine.  But I cannot abide bad spelling," said chester4eva off of The Mensa Plantation (aka The Devachats).

Meanwhile, looking past the fact that Rainford's "muppets" comment was clearly reserved for fans who had taken it upon themselves to give him stick either at matches or via social networking, large sections of CFC support decided that Rainford was definitely likening all Blues fans to Kermit and took exception, wailing and waggling their arms in the air.  Before consulting a Swedish Chef about lunch.

Predictably, some rolled out the line about the fans being the owners, and "employing" Rainford, presumably believing their five pounds a year to more than cover Rainford's costs.

"If my employer harshly criticised me, even taking to Twitter to ram his opinion down me, I'd definitely not mention to my friends that I was upset with it," said Matthew Highground out of the P Block.

All along, however, it seemed sure to be the case that most fans were equally annoyed by the apparent disrespect shown towards Neil Young and the squad by Rainford and his allies.  After all, this was where Rainford's need to apologise lay, rather than for the personal offence so eagerly sought and joyously found by certain Chester fans.  The supporters definitely wouldn’t look past these indiscretions and focus entirely on his comments about fans.

This has since turned out to be wishful thinking. As midfielder Luke Holden quit the club earlier this week, after failing to report for duty for the Nantwich match and publically slating the manager in the vaguest of terms, he also made sure to praise the fans, so he's largely considered to be a "top lad".

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Chester FC vs Nantwich Town - Match Dab

Chester endured a frustrating start to 2012 as they were held to a draw by Nantwich Town, to ensure the Dabbers complete the season unbeaten against Young’s men.  Chester have a special affinity with Nantwich, as “The Dabbers” was suggested as a nickname for the Exacta club by people who want CFC to be less a football club, and more an ongoing taunt towards former Chester City Chairman Steven Vaughan, who once made a snide remark about The City Fans United meeting in bingo halls.

It was a day of records at the Exacta Stadium as opposition midfielder McPherson broke an Exacta record, previously held by Robbie Booth, for the most alarmingly receding hairline, and the attendance record was also smashed as 3560 people needed something to do to take their mind off their impending return to work.

Young rang the changes from the Boxing Day Wrestle Mania at Northwich as Robbie Booth and skipper George Horan, improbably absent from the Northwich card fest, returned to the starting XI. There was also a surprise appearance from Jerome Wright, who was delighted at winning a festive raffle to guarantee his place in the line up.

The Blues dominated possession during the opening 45 minutes but found peculiarly-named goalkeeper Jon Brain in fine form. The brain is of course the centre of the nervous system , but despite the keeper keeping cool, his defensive colleagues proved very nervy.   Whilst the Jestrian faced a struggle with spectacularly contrived puns, it was Antoni Sarcevic who came closest when he rattled the crossbar from a close range thunderbolt.

Despite being unable to break through, good news was to follow early in the second period when Rob Clegg announced the record breaking attendance, which prompted one of them strange moments where everyone applauds themselves for actually showing up.

C Block regular Barry Badbreath spoke of his delight at turning up;

“The wife wanted me out of the house today, but the way I got in the car, navigated the traffic and took to my seat was truly sublime, and it’s nice to get a moment to give yourself a pat on the back”.

The attendance news proved a distraction as Captain Horan got caught gazing around the Exacta doing that thing where you ponder how on earth you’d get another couple of thousand in the ground, and was turned by the impressive Mike Lennon who slid the ball past Danby to give the Dabbers a surprise lead.

The two coolest characters on the pitch combined almost immediately to hoist the home team back in the tie. The Nantwich midfield stood back and admired just how slick Christian Smith is as the ice cool left back effortlessly found box of tricks Sarcevic who turned his marker and thundered the ball past the despairing dive of Brain.

Both teams used their three options from the bench in an attempt to swing the game in their favour, although the crowd were visibly perplexed as Young Joe Ormrod was introduced instead of Popular Chris Simm. This ensured that when Simm did eventually come on, loads of people bellowed ‘Simmooo’ way more than what they usually would, thinking that it would somehow convey their disgust to Young that he wasn’t introduced earlier. 

Despite both teams coming close, a draw was the final result, and probably a fair reflection of the 90 minutes, despite the Blues enjoying the majority of possession.  The game was a typical encounter for this time of the year, with many spectators who aren’t regulars turning up to annoy those who are, by loudly conducting conversations like they’re experts or something.

“Who’s the number four?  Hourang, or something.  He’s not good enough,” said Jimmy Knowledge, who last attended the Exacta a year previously, when he told all around him that Michael Wilde wouldn’t even make it to ten goals for the 2010/2011 season.

Neil Young was quizzed by the media gang but instead reflected on matters away from football.

“You're all disappointed that you're going back to work tomorrow but think about me. I get no time off at Christmas - I was in on Boxing Day for goodness sake. Give me a break. Trains and football teams don’t just run themselves, you know,” ranted the Blues Boss to a gaggle of bemused journalists, who had merely asked about Matty McGinn's injury.