Chester continued their procession to the Northern Premier League title with a comfortable four goal triumph over a desperate Burscough outfit at the Exacta Stadium last night. A game which looked easy on paper turned out to be even easier on grass, much to the relief of CEO Pet Husky.
"We were looking for volunteers to come down and line the pitch with A4, but we couldn't find them in time - thankfully it didn't matter in the end," commented the Blues' top dog.
Manager Neil Young named an unchanged side from the weekend rumble at Frickley but suffered an early blow when leading scorer Matty McNeil suffered a serious looking injury. Blues fans applauded the mailman as he embarked on a seemingly never-ending hop around the perimeter, risking further injury to milk the rapturous applause. The injury to McNeil caused concern amongst the home faithful, who muttered darkly about how it could affect their deliveries on Thursday morning with the striker likely to be depot-bound for the rest of the week.
In spite of the setback, Chester took an early lead when Matty McGinn's long throw confused the Lancashire outfit into not marking Antoni Sarcevic, who promptly lashed home from close range.
Burscough rarely ventured near the Blues' area as the hosts dominated proceedings, although goalkeeper Matt Glennon was forced into action once, when a McNally Terrace steward called him over to discuss how the new South Stand clock looks a bit like the moon when lit up.
"Oh aye, yeah," chuckled Glennon.
Chester extended their advantage when Wes Baynes punted a long ball forward which, given his recent exploits, could probably have been considered an attempt on goal. As the ball fell woefully short of its target, Christian Smith nipped in to spare Baynes's blushes and nodded the ball over the keeper to leave the league leaders pretty much out of sight.
The half time break allowed Blues fans to admire the new flag, visible in the South Stand, which proclaims Alex Brown to be a "footballing genius". On a night when Lionel Messi was busy redefining the meaning of the term, fears were raised that Scary Alex had scare-mongered some Junior Blues into producing the glowing tribute. Fans who had taken their seats early had noticed Brown oddly doing stretches in that corner of the ground as a collection of shaking youths nervously pinned up the flag.
"Absolutely nothing to do with me," cackled Brown, when quizzed.
Into the second half, the visitors did improve slightly but the game was put to bed when a free kick was flicked into the path of Chris Simm who made no mistake firing the ball through the legs of the goalkeeper, disappointing home fans who conceded that the three goal cushion left the game with no plausible sense of jeopardy to keep things at least marginally interesting.
The one-sided scoreline was wrapped up late on when Antoni Sarcevic displayed a sense of humour every bit as malicious as Brown's, jinking his way to within an inch of the goal line before smashing the ball at Iain Howard, who fell over in the act of netting a goal he didn't even try to score.
Despite the success, Gaffer Young was seething after the game, as his day-job employers and match sponsors for the night, Merseyrail, inexplicably voted Chris Simm as Man of the Match when Sarcevic seemed the more obvious candidate.
"What excuse am I going to give for dropping Simmo now?" roared Young to a shell-shocked post-match Legends Lounge.
"Neil's got me on litter picking at Birkenhead Central tomorrow - apparently it serves me right," groaned Merseyrail clerical assistant Gemma Tooting.