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.