Chester FC drew 2-2 with Bangor City on Saturday in their 112th home friendly of the pre-season.
match pulled another sub-700 crowd - a surprising revelation that a
long line of home exhibition games against uninspiring opposition don't
so much build excitement for the coming season as exhaust fans before
it's even begun. The attendance of 693 meant that more people watched
the game unfold on The Tall Peacock's Twitter feed than followed it with
their own eyes, with the Chronicle pen-genius's follower count having
now topped 800.
"Even I thought about giving this one the old Youngy Swerve,"
admitted manager Neil Young. "There's been loads of games, and if you
put all the crowd in the East Stand, they can't see the bench well
enough to notice I'm not there. Unfortunately, I got caught out 'cos I
was at the Beer Festival and Pet Husky [CFC CEO] saw me at the bar before the game and
started asking me questions about the game. Then he asked if I was coming in. Had to go along with it."
Bangor took the lead just after the half-hour mark, Chris Jones
slotting home following a penalty box melée that resembled seals having a
Marc Williams hit back almost instantly, before his
strike partner Nathan Jarman gave Chester the advantage. The front two
have been electrifying in recent games but, as they aren't Chris Simm,
no-one is convinced just yet.
A second half saw chances come and go, before David Morley slotted a
late equaliser home for the visitors, leaving Blues fans hurriedly
trying to establish whether this is one of those friendlies where
there's a trophy involved.
"Oh, I'm not going to have to sit through penalties, am I?" rang out one voice, through the silence that met the goal.
Meanwhile, some frightening hooligans put their feet on the Exacta seats in protest at Chester's lapse, and stewards called for back-up.
apparently innocuous game, the match has had more of an impact that was
initially thought. New groundsman, Not Gary Kent, has confirmed that
the pitch will now be unplayable for the coming season, having already
had a season-and-a-half's worth of play on it in the past few weeks.
"Probably best to trying to book County Offices or something," advised Not Kent.
Chester have one more friendly, away at Conwy tomorrow evening. There is nothing interesting about this.