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?"