Saturday, 16 November 2013

Not taking smoke bombs to football matches "really easy"

The world of Chester FC fandom has been thrown into disarray by published scientific findings that show it is actually "really easy" to go to a football match without a smoke bomb in your pocket.

"Yes, we've run some extensive experiments, all of which have turned back similar results," reports Dr Thomas Laundryroom of The Royal Institute of Not Being a Moron at Football Matches.

"We had previously concluded that 'it's not that hard' to not take fire-based annoyances to sporting events, but more recently we've discovered that the more accurate answer is that 'it's really easy, you inconceivable dullard'."

And Blues fans have been rocked by the news.

"This is going to revolutionise the way I watch my football," said terrace regular Gordon Tightjeans. "I've always gone the footy with a lighter and a smoke device. That's just how my dad taught me. I didn't think you could get in without one. I'm gonna save so much money now I realise that I don't have to be an attention-grabbing child."

Other fans have dismissed the findings.

"I only go to football matches with the express intention of making life difficult for people with respiratory problems," confirmed Degsy Coolcap of the H-Block youth movement. "If I'm now being told I've gotta watch the togga without choking an asthmatic, then I'm sorry but that's political correctness gone mad!"

Elsewhere, some clown probably said "no pyro, no party", like that's a thing.

Meanwhile, further studies have shown a startling correlation between the sorts of fans who moan about price hikes and the sorts of fans who don't care that their behaviour may result in club fines.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Peacock flies the nest

Following an already-turbulent start to the season, Chester FC has been further rocked this weekend, with the announcement that professional ink manipulator and beardy pseudo-celeb The Tall Peacock is to depart his role as the Chester Chronicle's reporter on all matters Deva.

The Peacock's Twitter feed has long been the first port of call for Chester fans in search of news and exclusives pertaining to their club, even though that definitely seems like the kind of function the official website should be carrying out.  News of his depature has been greeted with mixed feelings with some expressing their sadness, others branding the journalist as a "dreadful glory hunter" for bailing in the midst of Chester's nightmare run of defeats, and one chap even claiming to be "more of a Dennis Wall fan, anyway".

However, for The Peacock, who will henceforth be covering Blackburn Rovers for some Lancashire news outfit*, it was an easy decision.

"For three years, I've been able to print the same story every week," admitted the Jedi Pen-Twiddler.  "Basically, Neil Young would try and keep a straight face whilst stating that whatever assortment of beer-bellied postmen and probable ex-convicts his team was facing that week would be 'strong and well-organised', and I'd flesh it out with something about how he still fancied signing a left winger.  Sometimes we didn't even bother with the formality of the interview, to be honest."

"Problem is now, there's a bit more to be thinking about, so I'm going to go and report on Blackburn where nothing bizarre or controversial ever happens."

The Peacock is well noted for his sense of humour.  As well as his regular promotion of hilarious blog The Jestrian, he once described a match between Chester and Buxton as a "blood-and-thunder clash", though this move backfired on him as his tears of laughter fried the laptop upon which he had typed the report.

"Cost me and arm and a leg that did," recounted the Podcast rent-a-guest.

With the identity of The Peacock's successor as yet unknown, The Jestrian has taken it upon itself to provide a breakdown of the possible candidates:

Sharks Prowling - The Chronicle's chief Chester FC enthusiast, owner of gorgeous hair and able to hold his breath under water for ten minutes

Caramel Lucy - Even better hair than Prowling and, as an Italian, able to tell Deva Chat fusspots a thing or two about genuine corruption in the running of football clubs

Shaved Pigs - Occasional Tall Peacock tribute act, capable but thought to be put off by the lack of a Seals Podcast, leaving him unable to ruthlessly up his own profile in the way that the outgoing candidate did

Famous Colin Murray - Having departed the BBC for Talksport, a local newspaper seems the next logical step

The Jestrian - But The Jestrian and The Tall Peacock are the same pers... ssshhhhhh!

Having now covered his last game, The Peacock will drift off into the memories of Chester fans, lodged somewhere between Michael Wilde and Stuart Graves in the affections of Blues followers everywhere.  His Blackburn adventure begins on Monday.

In unrelated news, Venky's new Peacock Burger is expected to be available from early next week.


*The name of said organisation has not been cited here, as if they were ever to Google themselves, their newbie journo may be left struggling to provide a coherent explanation as to why there's a corner of the internet where he's known as a lofty colourful peafoul.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Turner round and say goodbye

Chester manager Neil Young has been dealt a hammer blow for the final two dead rubbers of the season, as identical twins Nathan and Lewis Turner have been recalled by their parent club Leeds United.

With Leeds now safe in the Championship, new manager Brian McDermott is seeking to up the morale at the club, and has chosen to do so by staging an all-LUFC remake of the classic 1990s film The Parent Trap - a film in which two identical twins (both played by Lindsey Lohan) are raised separately, by one parent each, but meet in later life and begin to regularly swap places with each other in order to spend time with the parent they never got to meet.

Whilst Leeds midfielder Michael Tonge had designs on playing the Lohan role himself, McDermott has determined that production costs would be lowered by using actual identical twins, and has recalled the pair accordingly.

"I think they'll play the part admirably.  It may even be more believable than the 90s version, because Lewis and Nathan actually look more like each other than Lindsey Lohan looks like herself," enthused McDermott.

Young is thought to be frustrated by the move, but accepts that these are the pitfalls of loan signings.

"The real blow is that I'd had the 'remake the Parent Trap' idea myself," lamented the Blue Chief.  "Now I'm going to have to use Gary Powell and Jimmy Soul as the kids instead, and they only look a bit alike."

The Turner twins made a big impact on the Blues in their short time with the club with Nathan dominating the midfield and Lewis nodding home the club's hundredth goal of the season to confirm the Seals' championship status.  Whilst this means that they deserve to be acknowledged for their individual contributions, they really don't help their own cause by making their Twitter accounts unnecessarily similar in terms of username and profile picture.

Their departure leaves under-fire manager Neil Young sweating on the last few games.  After winning his third title in three years, Young showed himself to be a sentimental sort, allowing Iain Howard to play the last home game of the season against Solihull on Saturday, so that he could be brought off to a standing ovation in the second half.  This led Deva Chatters who had begged for Howard's inclusion all season to berate the manager for playing fringe players and losing the club's unbeaten home record.

"I walked out in disgust before we were even presented with the trophy," raved Angry Blue.  "I don't know why I even follow football, if the thought of winning trophies doesn't even get me going.  I'm almost punishing myself aren't I?  Maybe I should take up something else?"

With the Chester squad now shorn of two important players, Young has admitted to scrabbling around desperately trying to bolster the team before Halifax on Thursday.

"He's been going through the telephone directory, ringing all the Turners, hoping to track down Nathan and Lewis's mum so that he can ask if there's an unknown triplet who's slipped through the net," explained assistant manager Gary Jones.  "He's been unsuccessful so far.  At one point he rang Radio Merseyside reporter Neil Turner, and had to pretend like he'd meant it.  Bit awkward, as Youngy can't resist giving an interview, so that was three hours out of his day."

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Neil Young: Web Splat

Following the Chronicle's "ask a painfully obvious question" web session with Neil Young today, the Jestrian has carried out its own Q&A session with the Blues manager, using questions submitted by you, the fans.  Well, not necessarily "you".  Pretty much definitely not "you", actually.  Read on.


The Jestrian:  Neil, thanks for joining us.

Neil Young:  No worries.

TJ:  Our first question comes from Tommy Floodgates from Blacon, and he wants to know "does it concern you that the Jestrian constantly makes up quotes and attributes them to you, occasionally portaying you as halfway between lunatic and megalomaniac?"

NY:  Not at all, in fact I hope they write an entire feature in which I'm answering questions in that manner.

TJ:  Excellent, thanks Neil.  The next question relates to away games.  Graeme Bouncycastle, an East Stand regular, asks "are you going Guiseley, mate?"

NY:  Yeah, I probably should.  Been all the other awayers this season like, so it'd be a shame to ruin the record right at the end.

TJ:  Nice one, Neil.  Sticking with the theme of away games, Benny Brusselsprouts asks "what is your favourite song to sing with the Garys in the technical area?"

NY:  Ah, there's so many.  That's just something we like to do at away games for the loyal fans.  Seriously, if you've never been an away game, you're well missing out.  Me, Gazza J and Gazza P work hard on our harmonies, and I think our acapella version of Billy Oceans 'For the Longest Time' is pretty tight these days.  Any song that allows Powelly to rip out a mint trumpet solo is always an event, too.

TJ:  Tru dat, yo.  Gerry Handrails asks "what's with the state of the trains on the Chester to Lime Street line?  The seats are a disgrace."

NY:  Not my problem anymore, dog.

TJ:  Thanks, dog.  This one comes from Timmy Halfwit - "Did Jeff Banks sign Lee Trundle without your knowledge?"

NY:  Yep.

TJ:  Cool.  Henrietta Bountybar asks "if we hadn't got that last minute winner at Prescot Cables, would you have quit?"

NY:  No, but I did duck out ten minutes before that happened, if I'm being honest.

TJ:  Completely understandable.  This one comes from Adam J - "how do you sleep at night?"

NY:  Let it go, mate.

TJ:  Safe.  MC Chris Simm asks "can we expect any more MC Neil Young tracks"?

NY:  That's probably a question for you, isn't

TJ:  No idea what you're talking about.  The Michellin Man asks "where's yer puffer gone?"

NY:  I still wear it if I'm going to a posh function or wedding.  Gotta use it sparingly, as you can't find them very easily in shops these days.

TJ:  Strange, that.  The Pirelli Man asks "where's yer puffin gone?"

NY:  Kennels.

TJ:  Obviously.  Yannick Loopyloop asks "what are your plans for next season?"

NY:  Win it by Christmas and spend the rest of the year going round the country in an open-top bus using a mega phone to let everyone know that I'm ace.

TJ:  Sounds good.  Next, from Amy Treeswing - "what areas are you looking to strengthen for next season?"

NY:  Pies, mainly.  And another six left wingers.

TJ:  Predictable. One final question from a 'Mrs Young' - "What do you want for dinner, later?"

NY:  Beans on toast, but with those beans that have the little pork sausages in.

TJ:  Truly disgusting.  Thanks, Neil!

NY:  Cheers, la.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Harrogate Town 1-3 Chester FC - Match Squelch

Chester FC remain well top of the Blue Square North after beating Harrogate Town on a day which was grimmer than those 'hilarious' "Keep Calm and..." images that you get twice a day on Facebook.

With Harrogate trialling a new system whereby the pitch is prepared elsewhere, then dropped into an Olympic-sized swimming pool, Blues manager Neil Young was hesitant in his preparations, and suffered a further pre-match blow as midfielder Scott Brown sank into the pitch whilst retrieving a ball from behing the goal.

"We found Scotty again after the match," said a relieved Young.  "He'd burrowed his way out and, excited by the experience, he's going to take up deep-sea diving. Which will leave us short for the Witton game midweek unfortunately."

Following a first half which contained so little football that at points you forgot that you weren't just watching a country fete with overgrown children running about the place, Chester managed to carry a lead into the interval.  Nathan Jarman scored the goal, firing the ball through the goalkeeper's hands.

"I'm still not convinced that was actually the ball," grumped Harrogate keeper Craig MacGillivray.  "I think he just booted a lump of mud past me.  It was hard to tell by that point."

Indeed, the ball was so caked in dirt by the half hour mark that a few flowers had grown in the stitching, causing the referee to stop the game.

"I'll have these for Mother's Day," he enthused.

Tony Gray doubled the lead in the second half with a clever header, to the delight of his manager.

"Did you see the way that the mud stuck to his head?  It looked like hair," mused Young.  "I'm well tryin' dat."

Matty McGinn bundled in a third, before marching off in a strop because it wasn't a crisp left-footed drive, like we've all come to expect from him.

"Wish I'd missed," growled the former Southport man.

A late consolation for Harrogate came courtesy of a Dominic Knowles free kick.

"I let it in, cos I didn't want to get my top dirty," explained Blues keeper John Danby.  "I had it well covered though, ol' Safe Hands over here.  No need to pull an Adam Judge on me for the run-in, Youngy."

The Blues now await their Senior Cup tie at home to Witton, during which it is expected to snow.  Then not snow.  Then snow again.  Then not snow.  Then snow.  And then stop.  You get the pattern.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Harrogate Town vs Chester FC - Match Jaunt

Chester FC travel to Harrogate tomorrow for one of those Yorkshire-based games they sometimes have to play.

The Blues go into the game following a wave of controversy caused when club director Brill Quiff derided Chester fans who didn't show up to Chester's Cheshire Cup Quarter Final with Tranmere on Monday. Angry Seals fans have turned on the director, justifying their non-attendance by stating that they just "don't care about the competition".

"How dare he criticise my commitment to the club?! I didn't attend because I couldn't have cared less that we were playing," raved a hurt Loyal Blue off of the Deva Chats.

Meanwhile, Marketing Degrees have been torn up and new syllabuses drafted as experts gravitate towards marketing director Quiff's ingenious model.

"It turns out that the best way to get people to buy your product is to call them out for not buying it," said one of those London Media Types that you get. "I've just drafted a new slogan actually - "if you don't buy Fairy, then I have no respect for you as a human being" - PR by shame. It's the future, man."

Meanwhile, Chester are top of the league by a long way, but apparently we're more interested in what director thinks what about the attendances.

"That's the image that club officials are asking me to put out there," mused a confused Chronicle journotron The Tall Peacock. "It's like in school when you get your mate to tell a girl you like her. Except in this context, "you" is the club, my column inches are the "mate" and "you like her" is just ill-advised comments that you wish they'd keep to themselves."

Harrogate have played at a whole bunch of different grounds this season, but manager Simon Weaver insists that this is not a ploy to trick Chester into turning up at the wrong place.

"No this match is definitely at Plymouth's stadium," he said, shiftily.

Harrogate have had to play four games in eight days, a workload envied by Halifax, whose season is yet to start.

A win for Chester will please Blues fans but appal Brill Quiff unless it's by four or more.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

820 disgusting men

Chester director and motorcycle botherer Brill Quiff has outraged Blues fans and fellow board members after voicing his opinion that Chester fans might like to actually attend the club's games.

Listing some good reasons as to why the turnout for Chester's Cheshire Cup semi final with Tranmere might have been more impressive, Quiff (famous for his casually misogynistic "men go to the game whilst wives go shopping" initiative as well as his lesser known "get your little lady to knit you a Chester scarf" and "make sure she has a cake on the table for full time" campaigns) then got carried away, labelling the attendance figure of 820 "disgusting".

"I looked at the empty seats and vomited myself sideways," raved Quiff to Chronicle prose-pony The Tall Peacock. "Seriously, vomit everywhere. It was like smelling silage, or stepping in dog poo, or going to Wrexham."

"Basically what I'm saying with my choice of words is that, if you didn't turn up, you make me sick. And I'm hoping that that will make you want to come watch my football club in future."

Chester fans have taken to Deva Chat to slate this over-reaction, in a move lacking the sense of irony and self-awareness that you'd hope it would carry.

"Can't believe he's getting angry about something that was actually pretty good," scathed that one who always slags off Neil Young.

Meanwhile, Quiff's fellow board members were quick to draft an official statement reassuring the Chester public that the club isn't really that bothered whether they show up or not.

"820 was fine, stay at home if you like," read the statement.

In other controversy, one of the 820 attendees, Stoke City striker Michael Owen, has upset some dullards by saying on Family Fortunes that he lives "near Cheshire" rather than "in Flintshire", despite these being the same thing.

"To be fair to Michael, he was just avoiding that bit of the conversation where Vernon Kay would have had to ask where Flintshire is, leading him to say "near Cheshire" anyway," said anyone sensible.

Not everyone shares this opinion.

"Yeah, so he raised £30k for the Childbirth Appeal at the Countess of Chester, but that money is tainted now, because he mentioned Cheshire even though he lives nowhere near Cheshire," moaned someone without real problems. "I say nowhere near. In a Cheshire postcode, obviously. And he also said he lived in Ewloe, which is right. But he's still disgusting. Him and the other 819 of you."

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Neil Young admits to Lewis Turner prank

After weeks of pretending that there's a Lewis Turner, Blues manager Neil Young has finally admitted the whole thing was a joke which "got out of hand".

Following the impressive performances of Leeds youngster Nathan Turner, Young joked that the midfielder was playing so well that he might even sign his identical twin brother.  When journalists failed to pick up on the joke, the Chief Seal was forced to plough ahead with the concept.

"I didn't want it to look like I'd made a joke which had bombed, so I called up Nathan and asked him if he'd be willing to pretend to be his own brother for a press release," confessed Young.  "We did a few pictures and got a few quotes off him, and it all went swimmingly at first."

The ploy also had the effect of making it look like the former Colwyn Bay manager had pulled off a spectacular coup by bringing in two loanees from a Championship club.

"No-one was impressed that I'd secured one Leeds player," bemoaned Young.  "As soon as I'd brought in a second, everyone started giving me props.  It felt nice."

However, as the weeks have worn on with no sign of Lewis Turner getting any pitch time, Young has been forced to admit that the player doesn't actually exist.

"We even considered trying to play Nathan as Lewis in a couple of matches in order to keep the illusion going, but it's difficult to register someone who isn't real with the league," explained the Blue Boss.  "I had a look into how expensive it would be to forge a birth certificate and whip up a National Insurance number, but I was told we couldn't do that because of the club's financial situation."

"I bet I'd have got away with it in the first year," he added with a grimace.

Nathan Turner himself is said to be glad that the chirade is over.

"I was having to pretend to be Lewis at training some days," he explained. "Youngy was desperate to save face.  He asked me to come up with a character for Lewis - some traits that differ from Nathan.  I decided that Lewis would be a coffee drinker, even though I hate coffee.  Dreadful move on my part, it makes me feel sick and I've got too much energy in the evenings."

"Still, the alternative is going back to Neil Warnock at Leeds, so I've just stuck it out to be honest."

In other news, Ben Mills has hurt his knee, but Young hasn't ruled out the possibility of mysterious new striker Melvyn Mills making a debut against Harrogate at the weekend.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Chester FC 1-0 Tranmere Rovers - Match Extra

Chester FC overcame Tranmere Rovers last night to propel themselves into the semi finals of the Cheshire Senior Cup. The Blues took until extra time to secure the result, leaving stayaways feeling very smug.

The match was also notable for people talking excitedly about how Michael Owen was at the Exacta, even though it's the also-present Terry that's the Chester legend.

"Terry who?", scoffed Harry Mac regular Henry Popculture.  "And when's John Bishop gonna come down the Deva again?"

George Horan scored the winning goal for Chester, stating that he "really couldn't be bothered with pennos".  Meanwhile, Neil Young spent the whole game heckling his opposite number Shaun Garnett.

"You're not even FROM Cheshire," Young was heard to roar, having consulted his old Merseyrail rail map.

The Blues squandered a number of decent chances, but Blues manager Young later confirmed that this was deliberate.

"There was no-one in the end stands, so it was a chance to make the stewards do a bit of dashing about," explained the King Seal.

The victory sets up a home semi-final against Witton, and Chester fans are concerned by the number of matches left on their side's calendar.

"There's still a bunch of league games, which'll get in the way," bemoaned Main Stand burger-swerver Gary Printscreen.  "We don't want George getting injured against Harrogate.  Two more wins and the trophy's ours.  It has to take priority now."

Young has confirmed that he shares this viewpoint.

"Yeah, we need to make sure we take in a cup final," nodded The Big Blue Cheese.  "Wrexham are off to Wembley, so we need to make sure we are too.  What do you mean the final's not at Wembley?  Where's the Cheshire Wembley?"

Following a frantic Google search, it was confirmed by Chronicle pen-twiddler The Tall Peacock that the final will take place at Westminster Park, with the for-sale Danebank Stand being flown in specially for the occasion.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Chester FC vs Tranmere Rovers - Match Senior

Chester FC take on Tranmere Rovers at the Exacta Stadium later tonight in the Cheshire Senior Cup, even though Tranmere definitely isn't in Cheshire and there's no-one over 65 involved.  Except maybe Neil Young.  Anyone know how old he is, really?

Following a free weekend, the Blues manager is expected to field a first team side, especially with Guiseley comically losing again at the weekend.

"It's pretty much won now, I reckon," commented Young, 83. 

"Must be those pitch covers we inherited from Chester City," he followed up, alluding to Guiseley's habit of making up more stuff about Chester FC than some not-as-popular-as-they-used-to-be blogs that could be mentioned.

The winner of the tie will face Witton Albion, a side most famous for repeated attempts to forge links with the Blues last season.

"I'm sure if we get through to the semi, they'll be offering us their team coach to get us to their ground and cooking some tasty stew for all our fans," confirmed Blues CEO Pet Husky.  "Great club, can't do enough for you.  They even took Michael Powell of our hands when the refs in this division ran out of yellow cards."

Tranmere are currently in the League One play-offs but are expected to field a fringe side.  Chester, meanwhile, will be hamstrung by the fact that many of their fans just aren't interested in the Senior Cup.

"We don't need our footballers distracted by games of football," grumbled Logic Blue, off of the Deva Chats.

The game will be settled by penalties if need be, but Young has confirmed that his players have not been practicing.

"You can't recreate the tension of the Senior Cup in training, so we haven't bothered getting the basic skill and technique down," said the Blue Boss, echoing the brilliaintly sensible mantra of most managers.  "I imagine it's the same with open heart surgery or negotiating a hostage situation.  No point practicing away from the game, the stakes aren't high enough until it's actually happening.  Just go with your gut."

Friday, 1 March 2013

Fans asked to donate shirts

Chester FC have sensationally announced today that they have run out of home shirts as Paul Linwood has bled on them all.

Linwood spent most of his time off the pitch on Wednesday, replacing shirt after bloodied shirt, and kit man Jimmy Soul has confirmed that there are now only nine left for the next home game.

"It's dire straits," admitted Soul. "We tried to patch Linny up, but every time he went up for a corner, the ref told him to get off the pitch. At first we thought he was getting a nosebleed being that far forward, but it turns out that that was the only time the ref could be bothered checking."

Linwood actually picked up the injury following a clash with former Blue Darryn Stamp, and later found himself in A&E where he went through eight gowns before he could be stitched up.

"It's a nightmare," fretted Linwood. "Went to work today, had to get Jimmy to bring me some spare ties. He reckons his job doesn't extend that far, but I got onto Youngy and he told Jimmy either he brings me my ties or he won't follow through on his promise to sack Gary Jones and make Soully assistant manager."

Fans are now being asked to donate their shirts to make up for the shortfall.

"We're especially looking for XXL shirts as you can fit three Danny Williamses into one of dem," explained CFU media translator Jaffa Cakes. "Fortunately we don't need any yellow ones, as none of you bought those numbers."

"I'd buy a yellow shirt," responded Deva Chat.

Chester enjoy a free weekend this weekend before a huge clash against Tranmere in the Cheshire (and Merseyside, apparently) Senior Cup.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Chester FC 3-1 Gainsborough Trinity - Match Slink

Chester FC kept up their unrealistic home form with another win last night, overcoming Gainsborough Trinity in front of so few fans that statistics show that more people have whined about poor attendances on Deva Chat than actually showed up to watch the Blues win from behind.

Following the recent successful reversal of Danny Williams and Matty McGinn's roles on the left side, King Seal Neil Young took the rather less obvious step of switching Wes Baynes and Dave Hankin on the right.

"Gareth Bale was a full back, then a wide midfielder, so I thought I'd pull a similar trick and see if we're not sitting on our own Bale," explained Young.  "Thought if we discovered one, we could make a bit of cash, see?"

Gainsborough took the lead in the first half when Craig Nelthorpe capped off one of the finest passages of football seen at the Exacta this season with an assured finish.  Nelthorpe unfortunately ruined the moment by looking like he'd never scored a goal before, appearing completely unsure of the celebration procedure, then making an owl noise at a perplexed West Stand.

"I think he thought the Dark Owl was sitting in there," reported niche website

Chester got back on terms quickly enough as McGinn smashed a long range shot straight at the Trinity keeper Jan Budtz, who appeared to forget that goalies can use their hands and chested the ball down for Tony Gray to tap home.

"This is why we let Ben Mills go out on loan," confirmed Blues boss Young.  "We're relying on opposition goalkeepers to provide us with effective link-up play."

The home side then took the lead when Matty McGinn scored that goal that Matty McGinn sometimes scores.

"Left foot, struck hard, across the keeper, howling into the bottom corner.  You've seen him do it once, you've seen him do it a hundred times," mused club historian Jazz Drummer.  "Get a new trick, Matty..."

The second half saw Nathan Jarman extend Chester's lead.  The goal had a suggestion of handball to it, but no-one cared as moments earlier Tony Gray had been snapped in two with no-one getting punished, so it all seemed to have evened itself out.  Sort of.

The win puts Chester 19 points clear of second placed Guiseley, begging the question of just how many people would have shown up if the Blues were languishing in lowe mid-table.

Chester FC vs Gainsborough Trinity - Match Blink

Chester welcome Gainsborough Trinity to the Exacta Stadium tonight with the visitors due a battering for failing at the weekend to prevent Wrexham achieving a trip to Wembley.

Whilst the truth is probably that Gainsborough fought hard over the two legs of the FA Trophy seni-final against higher league opposition and came within one goal of earning extra time, the fact is that we've now all got to hear about how Wrexham are off to see the tiny floodlights of the nation's leading football stadium.

"Now we've gotta act like it's not impressive that they've got there, and like we wouldn't love the chance to be there ourselves," grimaced Harry Mac regular Graham Silkspindle.

The Blues go into the game able to open up a 19 point gap over second place Guiseley, and manager Neil Young reckons the game is one of the most important of the season.

"If we win tonight, it tips our lead over from a 'silly' 16 points to a 'ridiculous' 19," explained Young. "That's an important difference. If we reach 'ridiculous' territory, Guiseley may throw in the towel."

Fans are eager to see whether or not Young rings the changes again. The Chief Seal handed a surprise start to fans' favourite Iain Howard at the weekend, and supporters are primed to throw a strop if the plasterer has to sit down again tonight.

"First the away kit, now Iain Howard gets dropped. Fans' club my eye," pre-typed one Deva Chatter with his hand hovering over the enter key in anticipation of the team sheets.

The game sees Chester's last outing for ten days, with Blues enjoying their 45th free Saturday of the season at the weekend - a number only outstripped by Halifax. But not intentionally.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Chester to play in "skins" next season

Following the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the designs put forward for next season's CFC change strip, CFU media king Jaffa Cakes has reacted by screaming "fine, we just won't have an away kit next season, then!"

With fans furious that the colours suggested for next season's second shirt aren't positioned where they'd like on the spectrum, it has now been confirmed that the The City Fans United board have given up and Chester will only have a Blue and White striped shirt next season.

"On occasions where we can't wear the famous Blue and White, we'll just play shirts vs skins," explained Cakes.  "It actually works pretty well, as all the fans already have skin, so they've got the kit the already.  We all know Chester fans reckon they're entitled to have stuff for free, so this is the perfect solution."

With gathering pace, Cakes continued to list the benefits.

"It also means there are no gripes over sizing.  If you're 4XL, then your skin will adjust, and we don't have to hear you moan on about how hard it is to get sporting gear that fits a physique which hasn't exercised in 20 years.  Strange, that."

"Of course, the design is gonna look a bit different on some fans as against Jarmo and Howard but maybe highlighting that difference will see a reduction in shouts of 'I could have scored that' from supporters who you suspect would be gasping if they ever had to run out the tunnel at the Exacta."

To compound the bizarre situation, a poll has been set up on Deva Chat asking which colour people would prefer, with orange emerging as an utterly inexplicable front-runner.

"Orange?!  Seriously, WHAT?!", roared Cakes, riled again.  "What possible connection have we ever had with orange?  I had a Tango at the match once, that's about it.  Imagine if we'd have suggested orange!  They'd have been screaming their heads off and asking for grey."

Indeed, scientists at the Royal Institute of Unrequested Sporting Facts have confirmed that no club wearing orange has ever looked anything other than Sunday League.

"Yes, that includes Blackpool," growled Dr Roger Thimbleclink.

Manager Neil Young is thought to be keen on the orange idea, however, and intends to loan in four players to wear the orange shirt and stand around his Exacta parking spot like traffic cones in order to reserve it.

"Think big, win big," nodded Young.

In related news, it has been confirmed that colours are just a side effect of light reflecting off stuff and into your eye, and so long as you can tell which team is which, everything is probably ok.

"But no, suddenly everyone thinks they're Gok Wan," muttered Cakes.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Chester FC 2-0 Vauxhall Motors - Match Combust

Chester FC continued their assault on the Blue Square North title on Saturday, by overcoming Vauxhall Motors 2-0 in front of a smug-looking Swansway Peugeot South Stand.

The Blues took an early lead when impressive new loan signing Brendon Daniels slotted home from an Iain Howard cross.

"Oh yeah, another signing pays off for Youngy," swaggered Blues manager Neil Young.  "Just call me the Loan Ranger.  I'm Sylvester Stal-loan.  Erm... Loan Rivers?"

Most fans, however, were noting the contribution from Howard on a rare start.

"See?  He should be in the eleven every week," said the entire East Stand at the same time, in an odd coincidence.

"Anyone tried a pie, today?", they followed up, in an even odder one.

Both teams spent the next hour apparently locked in an agreement to not really do much, whilst Lee Trundle looked good.

"Trundle looks good," confirmed a few fans.

The second half saw John Danby producing a couple of passable Superman impressions to keep the Motormen at bay, before substitute Nathan Jarman scored, meeting a Tony Gray cross with his right foot and flicking it up to volley in with his left from close range.

"It was just like Gazza in Euro '96," insisted Jarman to an unimpressed Antoni Sarcevic.

Chester now welcome Gainsborough Trinity to the Exacta on Wednesday, with the visitors due a beating for failing to prevent Wrexham getting to Wembley at the weekend.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Chester FC vs Vauxhall Motors - Match Ignition

Chester FC welcome Vauxhall Motors to the Exacta Stadium tomorrow, provided that the visitors can find a Zafira big enough to ferry everyone across from the Port.

The match is under threat of being overshadowed however, as Deva Chatters fret about how to spell the colloquial nickname of the Motormen.

"Vokkies? Vauccies?", fumbled Perspective Blue. "Vockies? Vaukis? Vokkys? I don't know, I don't know, I don't know!!!"

Chester go into the game with new signing Brendon Daniels available for selection.

"It's nice to have a player who sounds like he should be a 1980s TV celebrity," explained manager Neil Young. "I had to actually check that he hadn't presented Wheel of Fortune or something like that."

Ben Mills is not available as, after months of chasing him, Young has decided he doesn't want Mills after all.

"Typical man," said one of those female- type humans that you sometimes get.

Vauxhalls are on a silly run of form, but suffer like Chester when it comes I attracting fans.

"Problem is, there are so many bigger brands on our doorstep," acknowledged manager Carl Macauley. "You see people driving round the Port in Audis and Porsches and it just breaks your heart."

The game is expected to be more enjoyable than Tuesday's trip to Workington, if only because fans are guaranteed to be able to watch the grass on the pitch grow.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Chester board announce new "Stand Builder" scheme

With news breaking today that Northwich Victoria's Danebank Stand is to be auctioned off, prominent members of The City Fans United board have confirmed that the club will be launching a "Stand Builder" scheme in order to bring the inexplicably popular terrace to the Exacta Stadium.

"It's basically like the squad builder idea that we implemented to bring Ben Mills to the club, after we'd brought Ben Mills to the club," confirmed TCFU media pipe Jaffa Cakes.  "We're gonna go off and buy it, then we'll be asking you to pay up, 'cos you said something about it on Deva Chat."

"We're still gonna ignore anything you say about pies on there though."

The Danebank Stand is apparently where we all stood when Chester played Northwich on Boxing Day 2011, and its reputation is an indicator that peer pressure is still rife in football.

"The atmosphere that day really wasn't THAT special," confided a confused, but anonymous fan.  "It was decent, obviously, given the nature of the occasion.  But no-one was looking round the stand in awe of the acoustics or anything.  We were too busy wondering if someone was going to get John Disney back in the ocean so that he'd stop flapping about on the floor, I think."

"Then, three months later, one guy says "The Danebank Stand was amazing", and suddenly everyone's on the bandwagon not wanting to look like they're not up to speed on chant-friendly structures.  I don't even know what a Danebank is.  Wasn't he in Another Level?  Did a single with Victoria Beckham?"

The ideal plan for the purchase of the Danebank appears to be to put it flush in front of the West Stand at the Exacta Stadium.

"West Standers love a moan, so I reckon they'd be delighted at having their view obstructed," explained Banks.  "It can't replace the West Stand, as then the West Standers will all just move into the Danebank, and that will just amplify the deathly silence that eminates from that area of the ground every home game.  Can't blame them for being quiet though, they're probably spending the time thinking up the perfect words to use on DevaChat to describe how the volume of Cleggy's microphone isn't quite right."

Rumours that the club intends to purchase the stand in order to lend it to Histon are unconfirmed.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Workington Red Sox 1-1 Chester FC - Match Mill

Chester FC went all the way to Workington last night and only brought home a point, even though we all had to be up for work this morning.

Despite the fact that it would have been far more decent of the Blues to reward their travelling fans with a performance akin to those seen in the Droylesden and Stalybridge hammerings, Chester failed to beat the Red Sox, despite the hosts only having ten men for most of the game, after their defender Lee Andrews decided that even he couldn't be bothered with the late night and got himself sent off for sneaking a piggy back on Nathan Jarman without warning the former Grimsby man first.

Marc Williams eventually helped the Seals into the lead with a diving header but the visiting side, accustomed to bookies paying up way before their job is done, figured their bets were safe and sat on their laurels before watching as Workington got back on level terms through Gari Rowntree.

"He could have at least given me some fruit pastilles to soften the blow," grumbled Blues keeper John Danby.  "I even like the green ones."

Chester's failure to win is not a disaster however, as Guiseley also slipped up again and everyone else is so far off the pace that they might as well be in a different league altogether.  That includes you, Halifax.

News broke after the game that top scorer Ben Mills is to exit the club on loan for a month to Altrincham.  This has met with a mixed reaction rather than with outright rage, confirming that manager Neil Young has now reached a position where his decisions have been so uniformly brilliant in his three years in charge that he can pretty much get away with anything now.

"Yeah, we signed Ben, then asked you for money to fund it, and now we've turfed him out to Alty and replaced him with a short-term option in Lee Trundle.  I mean, sure, we could have given Ben - as a long-term investment - a run in our team to get his form back.  He's not even played alongside the team's real creative force Marc Williams since he's been back at the club, after all.  But the fact is, we've only got a 16 point gap to play with, so we can't afford to be fielding players who were netting better than a goal a game only a few months ago," explained Young.

Chester now look forward to a game against Vauxhall Motors on Saturday, with the club still trying to secure a deal to sign Craig Curran for several thousand pounds and send him off to play for Bishop's Stortford, before the board looks all nonplussed and asks where all the money's gone again.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Workington Red Sox vs Chester FC - Match Trundle

Chester travel to Workington again tonight for an encounter that promises to be as cold as the last trip was wet.

The original attempt to play the match in December had to be called off due to torrential rain, though you'd be forgiven for thinking that it was all the referee's fault if your only source of information is Deva Chat. Indeed the fans' message board reached one of its many lows as fans criticised a solitary human being for the freak conditions.

"We're all responsible really," mused West Stand philosopher Jean Smokeash. "Climate change, man. We gotta do something about it."

Meanwhile, fans who claimed to have received messages from residents of Workington that day informing them that the game would never be on, but who travelled anyway have recently realised that they've no-one to blame but themselves in that case.

The big news leading into tonight's game is that Lee Trundle has signed for the Blues, sparking outrage on Deva Chat.

"Lee Trundle? I couldn't be angrier if someone stole my identity then used the credit card to buy a Grey's Anatomy boxset," snarled away day regular Jerry Basketweaver. "What do we need with a man with over 100 Football League goals? We're not even in the Football League."

Somewhere lost in the irrational outpouring of bile, mostly spewed forth by those Blues fans who think that playing football for two clubs who are quite close to each other should be punishable by death, is the rather more sensible point that a Chester team which is 16 points clear with four strikers already in the squad could probably do with saving their cash. However, others believe that Trundle's signing could put an extra hundred on the gate.

"He was in Soccer AM a lot, and Trundle is just a funny name, so people may come along... Or should I say trundle along?!", cackled one of those West Standers that you get.

A win for Chester will tighten their already vice-like grip on the title. A loss, and Blue Square want their money back.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Corby Town 1-2 Chester FC - Match Reflect

Chester FC won 2-1 this weekend, on a Saturday that raised more questions than it answered.

Initially, Chester's victory, coupled with Guiseley's defeat at Vauxhall Motors, looked to have put Chester well on the road to a third successive promotion before Blue Square Bet announced that they were paying out on bets for Chester FC as champions.

"What does this mean?", fretted manager Neil Young.  "Blue Square own the league don't they?  Are we champions?  We must be if they say we are.  Someone find out before Tuesday.  I'm not going Workington unless I very much have to."

A 2-1 victory for Chester saw goals from Dave Hankin and Nathan Jarman, whilst a scarcely-interested Young spent his time texting Lee Trundle and trying to find old videos on the Showboat segment from Soccer AM.

"Yeah, I been chilling with Trunds lately," confirmed The Big Blue Cheese.  "We're about the same age and our knees are in a similar state, so we've got plenty to talk about."

A late goal for Corby reawakened the Chester fans who had travelled only to spend the second half checking Twitter for score updates from Ellesmere Port.  Vauxhall Motors form is now so good, that Blue Square have stopped taking bets on them to sneak their way up as champions.

"We're certain Chester will do it, but Vauxhall are motoring too so we're just trying to play it safe," said Blue Square bookmaker-in-chief Ally Algae. 

Meanwhile Motormen chief mechanic Carl Macauley has confirmed that he has been scoping Chester for their weaknesses and is confident of launching an assault on the title.

"We've noticed that the best way to take on Chester is to not do much all season, then go on an insane run right at the death," nodded Macauley.  "Skelmersdale did it two years ago, and almost pulled it off with an unrealistic scoreline on the final day. We're trying to replicate that, though I'm concerned that maybe we overdid the 'not doing much' bit for the first half of the season."

Despite Chester's win, Neil Young has stated that he will be strengthening the squad, and today confirmed the signing of Trundle with others possible.

"The time that you're at your weakest is when the prospect of you losing top spot is so remote that a bookie is willing to give their cash away," explained an experienced Young.

A trip to Workington awaits, with Blues fans expected to withdraw their support for the club's Squad Builder fund and pour their cash instead into a Road Builder fund for the west coast of Cumbria.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Corby Town vs Chester FC - Match Meditate

Chester are back in league action this weekend as they attempt to capitalise upon Guiseley’s failed midweek attempt to win a football match.

It is estimated that 73% of the Chester-supporting populus listened to a crackled radio commentary of the Gloucester v Guiseley match on Tuesday, whilst 100% of their family members spent the evening looking terribly dismayed that this is what their lives have come to.

“Seriously, who was tuning into that mess?”, questioned Blues manager Neil Young. “I didn’t even listen myself, just waited until I got a text off Bansky."

The Steel Park outfit have struggled this season and lie dangerously close to the relegation zone, but received a boost to their safety this week when Colwyn Bay, who lie below them, inexplicably named Frank Sinclair as their new manager.

"We decided Frank was the man, after reading his Tweets," confirmed Bay chairman Bob Paton.  "It was between him and Jamie Rainford."

The Blues head into the clash with only one recognised right sided midfielder in Dave Hankin, and Young has revealed that he was hoping to add some competition in this area prior to the fixture.

“Dave is more than capable, it’s just that it’s been really dull on Deva Chat this week so I wanted to give ‘em something else to talk about,” explained the Seal Leader. “Mind you, if Corby have got decent pies then DC is gonna GO OFF on Saturday night – don’t even tell me if they’ve got a free highlights package too”.

Young has full squad to choose from for the fixture, apart from George Horan who is rated 50-50 after reporting that he feels "a bit queasy" about the thought that he may, at some point, have unwittingly eaten horse meat.

“I’ve asked George to be a bit more open minded about meat” retorted Young. “I ate some Babirusa once – it was delicious."

Thursday, 14 February 2013

St Milner's Day is "World's Longest Standing Troll"

18 years ago today, Chester City FC came from behind to draw 2-2 with Wrexham, despite only having nine men.  They have continued to troll Wrexham fans with this result ever since.

"We just keep talking about it because it winds them up," confirmed veteran fan Gerry Breadbasket. 

"Obviously a draw under moderately-sized floodlights against a nothing team in the mid-nineties isn't still a cause for celebration for us.  We were bored of it after a week, truth be told.  But they get so animated when you mention Andy Milner, that it's hard to stop commemorating the date."

Indeed, academics have confirmed that there are few funnier sights than a Wrexham fan with their knickers in a twist.

"Some of them even go so far as to claim that Chester is in Wrexham's shadow," giggled respected historian Ivor Tweedpatch.  "This is funny, as Chester was built by Romans, whilst Wrexham was built by Redrow... although I think even they got bored and left the job half-finished?"

The constant harping on about "St Milner's Day" by Chester fans has now been confirmed as the country's longest running 'troll', dwarfing such classics as David Cameron's "we're all in this together" and the suggestion that the X Factor is a show about music.

"It's the same every year," raved Breadbasket.  "You see all the Wrexham fans getting together and warbling about how we're still living off one result against them.  They've missed the point altogether and it's pretty hilarious to watch."

"Have you ever seen a Wrexham fan trying to be smug?  It's like watching a child who thinks he's a genius because he's just learnt how to do joined-up writing.  Which is ironic, as most Wrexham fans don't know how to write. That's why there's no goat-equivalent of the Jestrian.  That, and the lack of wit."

It is predicted that Blues fans can stretch the wind-up out for another decade at least, as it doubles as a reason to avoid calling February 14th "Valentine's Day", the current preference of a society attempting to redefine the verb "love" as a noun, and quantify it by reference to uprooted flowers and dinner reservations that cost three times what they would any other time of year.

Meanwhile, studies have confirmed that Chester FC is one of the luckiest football clubs around, as their rivals are from a town that really is THAT bad, meaning that there's not even any need to make stuff up.

Because, all joking aside, Wrexham is grim.


Many thanks to the Twitterer known as Viv Savage for contributing the line  "Chester was built by Romans, whilst Wrexham was built by Redrow." 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Player out of focus - Michael Powell

Tears have been shed at the Exacta Stadium this week as iconic Blues midfielder Michael Powell moved on permanently, signing terms with Witton Albion.

A rich source of material for the Jestrian, Powell was awarded a yellow card in virtually every game he played for the club, but occasionally mixed things up with a red.  Indeed, his last ever game for the club was cut short in such circumstances when he was dismissed early away at Halifax.

"I guess, in hindsight, that if you're a player on the periphery of the squad, headbutting a man is not the best plan to win your place back," muses the midfielder.  "It seemed like a good idea at the time, though.  Cheeky flick of the noggin - bosh!"

Powell's disciplinary problems have had a far greater impact than many had realised.  It has now been confirmed that the £20,000 recently reported missing from club accounts was actually blown on paying the fines racked up by the former Southport man's penchant for yellow cards.

"There was far more to his game than the bookings, though," confirms Blues manager Neil Young, a veiled reference to Powell's fabled hair and physique.

A quiffy beanpole, Witton's new recruit wowed fans with a fringe which was once described by scientists as "bouncier than Tigger".

"We've done the experiments and everything," nods Dr Christopher Robin from the Royal Institute of Peculiar Similes.

Indeed, the midfielder's quiff is such a cult figure at the club, that Young briefly enquired as to whether he could sell Powell but keep his hair on the books.  This request was turned down by CEO Pet Husky, who confirmed that the fringe actually accounts for 90% of Powell's wages.

"I'm actually only five feet tall without my hair, so it's the major breadwinner in the family," mumbles Powell wistfully.

Instead, current squad members will be expected to take up the challenge of bringing noteworthy hair back to the club.  Iain Howard has produced some kind of boyband barnet this year, despite everyone assuming that he lacked the ability to grow hair whilst no-one quite knows what Craig Curran's agenda was.

As for Powell, he may well yet be reunited with his former employers.  Witton Albion have famously made great efforts to establish links with CFC in recent times, and Young has confirmed that the Cheshire club have informed him that he can "come over and visit Michael any time".

Thanks for the memories, Powelly.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Chester fans wear non-attendance as a badge of honour

Following the re-arrangement of Chester FC's Cheshire Senior Cup Quarter Final clash with Tranmere, it has emerged that large sections of Blues support intend to swerve the tie, in a move of mis-placed self-satisfaction.

Originally set for Prenton Park, the contest has been switched and will now be staged at the Exacta Stadium on Monday 4th March.  This has disappointed pockets of Seals supporters who were looking forward to the trip to Birkenhead, but are now less enchanted by the derby with some stating their intention to do something else instead.

"It's unusual," confirmed Dr Barry Hulahoop of the Royal Institute of Oddly Constructed Superiority Complexes.  "Not the non-attendance of minor cup games.  That's understandable in these financial climes.  Even being less interested by yet another home tie than by a rare away trip to Football League territory makes perfect sense.  But have a look at Deva Chat.  It's like their decision to stay away is an achievement."

Indeed, a brief look at the internet's number one brain emporium shows that a startling number of fans have taken the re-arrangement personally.

"Well, I'd have gone to Tranmere, but you can forget me traipsing ALL the way down to the Deva," raged Bumpers Lane Blue.  "You think I haven't got better things to do than watch the football team that I support?  Well I have.  And I want you to know."

"How crazy am I?!  I would have gone to an away game, but not a home one!", yodelled I'm Dead Quirky Me Blue.  "That doesn't make sense does it, lol?.  'Cos usually, right, usually, a home game is a more attractive affair, but on this occasion, I'D HAVE PREFERRED IT TO BE AWAY!!!! LOL!!!"

"I only wanted to go and wave fivers at Quasi-Scousers in Quasi-Trackies," admitted Snarly Blue.  "Senior Cup?  A chance for my team to win silverware?  Not for me, ta.  Because I'm cooler than you."

(This echoes the opinions of several other Chester fans, who apparently consider trying to win trophies a pointless excercise, leaving the question "what exactly IS the point of football, then?")

"Why can't there be more London-based Cheshire Cup matches?!", howled One of Them Exiles Blues.

"I'm saving my money for Corby, Workington and Harrogate instead, because I'm a proper supporter," scoffed Travelling Blue, none of whose money winds up in Chester's coffers.

It remains to be seen whether the board of The City Fans United have learnt their lesson in trying to put on football matches.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Entire Blues squad set for exit

Chester FC manager Neil Young has been dealt a blow this morning following revelations that his entire squad is set to join Halifax. Having enjoyed a weekend off, each member of Young's platoon has expressed an interest in sacking off the footy every Saturday, with Halifax considered the prime location to realise this ambition.

"People say that football is the dream job," mused current Seals captain George Horan. "But it gets boring after a while. The real joy is in getting paid to play football whilst not actually having to play football."

"I hate getting muddy," he added.

Indeed, Halifax, or Massifax as they are called by people who are wrong, have only played twice in the league this season. One of these occasions was against the Blues, when they turned up, got beat, then went away telling everyone how they're much better than Chester.

"It's a bit like in boxing, some chump getting sparked out in the second round, then going about bragging to everyone that he's well harder than the guy who just bashed him in," confirmed Young. "No-one believes him and he just looks a bit desperate."

Nonetheless, the Chester players appear serious in their ambitions to get paid to be footballers whilst simultaneously managing to spend Saturday afternoons in the pub. Indeed, the idea of professional footballers refusing to play football is nothing new. Stoke City have been doing it for years, though theirs is a variation on the theme.

Meanwhile, when asked whether Iain Howard would finally be allowed to start a game if the rest of the squad all emigrate to Halifax, Neil Young shuffled uncomfortably and asked "is that my phone ringing?", before answering the remote control for the TV in his office.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Chester's free Saturday is "all the board's fault"

Chester FC have a Saturday off this weekend, much to the discontent of their loyal fans, who also own the club, some of them, sort of.

"It's just like the old days under Vaughan," raved H Block regular Marvin Agenda. "Remember when we went all those Saturdays without a game in his last season? How is this any different? At least with Vaughan it was because we couldn't raise a squad. This is worse because we have a whole bunch of players - all on £50k a week, I've heard from a guy in a bar who had an earring - and yet The CFU is having them sitting doing nothing on a Saturday. It's a disgrace."

The ill-feeling is spreading, and despite protestations from club CEO Pet Husky that this is just how the fixtures have fallen, many continue to air their grievances.

"I like watching football on a Saturday, but these men in their ivory towers are telling me there's no match," wept West Stand regular Graeme Mopbucket. "Why wasn't this put to the The CFU membership? I want a vote on these things. In fact, why do we even elect directors? Every member of The CFU should have their own office at the ground. OUR club? Doesn't feel like it."

Some have even gone so far as to demand that heads roll.

"Who hired the fixture secretary?! Who was it? Who hired them?! Sack whoever hired our fixtures secretary! Do we have a fixtures secretary? If not, why not? Sack whoever decided we didn't need a fixtures secretary!", read one of the more balanced posts on the Deva Chats.

Others been more constructive in their criticism.

"We need city centre awareness," nodded sage supporter Thomas Sage. "You ask most residents of Chester, they don't even know there's not a match in their own city this weekend. Someone should be there with a sandwich board or something, promoting the free weekend."

"Erm. I'm busy," said the same fan in response to it being pointed out that such promotion doesn't need to be done in an official capacity by club volunteers, and anyone who thinks it's a good idea can quite easily do it themselves.

Without a match, the Blues cannot extend their points advantage over Guiseley. But that probably won't stop Guiseley officials explaining why Chester are top in their local paper, by recourse to excuses based on ignorance or lies, depending on whether or not you want to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Journalists in turmoil

Chester-based sports journalists are said to be fearing for their careers with modern technology allowing any Tom, Dick or Barry to report obviously cast iron facts on social media and discussion forums.

With increasingly ridiculous and unsubstantiated rumours being posted on Deva Chat one moment, then being written into the history books the next, local reporters are said to be fretting for their jobs.

"It used to be an art form, journalism," sighed Evening Leader Blues investigator Tennis Ball. "Nowadays, so long as it's on the Internet and suffixed by the word 'FACT' spelled in all caps, it's definitely true. How are we supposed to keep up with that?"

Chronicle stylus-stylist The Tall Peacock is thought to have already rung round exotic animal rescue centres in search of a home for his young family should the worst case scenario present itself, whilst colleague Sharks Prowling has spoken of his disillusionment over his career choice.

"It was all bright lights when I started, but the field has become muddied," groaned Prowling. "We still need sources and evidence to print something on paper, but all you need to do on Deva Chat is say 'it is true' and people lap it up. Perhaps our mistake is trying to report stuff that actually happened rather than stuff that might have, or that probably didn't but sounds good."

Many of the journalists affected are now having to find supplementary income. The Peacock has requested a trial at Chester FC, declaring himself a "pacy right back who knows more about Neil Young than he'd be comfortable with", whilst Prowling is considering a return to his former career as a male model.

"I could have been the face of Abercrombie and Fitch, you know," reminisced Prowling. "Turned it down for the journo gig. It's an open-ended offer of course. They still call me twice a week to beg me to change my mind, but I love drawing parallels between CFC and Formula 1 too much to give that up without a fight."

Other journalists have declined to comment.

"Yeah, I'm not going to be starting that witch-hunt," murmured The Jestrian when asked about people who post wildly unfounded and unlikely stories on the Internet as though they were fact, then don't even have the common courtesy to put their name to it.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Get your name on stuff

Chester FC this week launched their "Make a Stand" raffle, which will allow two lucky fans to see their name either side of the Harry McNally Terrace sign on the North Stand.

"Basically, you pay a fiver, and you could be up there with Harry," explained CFU media mouth Jitter Bugs.  "A little harsh on Harry maybe, who had to devote years of his life to helping our beloved club punch above its weight during one of its many bleak periods in order to get his name up there... but he'll still be in the middle, so it's probably ok."

It is currently estimated that current manager Neil Young has bought 50% of all tickets sold thus far.

"If I can get two Neil Youngs up there to one Harry McNally, they'll have to rename the terrace 'Youngy's Party Shack' won't they?", smirked the King Seal.

Should the raffle turn out to be a success, the club are expected to launch similar initiatives to boost the coffers. 

"We're thinking maybe a raffle to get your name on the squad listings in the programme, so that people can clamour for you to play alongside Perry Groves and Pat Nevin last game of the season," brainstormed Bugs.  "Other ideas include raffling the right to sign your name on Youngy's face in marker pen, and auctioning off Ben Mills's identity so that he has to play a full season under the name of the highest bidder."

However, most fans merely wish to earn the right to rename the Legends' Lounge, following confirmation that the term "legend" has now been fully misappropriated by Jack Wills-toting teenagers who also saw fit to alter the meaning of the word "banter" so that it now relates to boorish, witless abuse.

"It also sounds a bit elitist, the 'Legends' Lounge'," mused superfan Gary Bowandcurtsey.  "I'd like to rename it 'Corporate Henry's Swanky Wine Hut'.  Yeah, I'd pay a fiver for that."

Meanwhile, no-one is willing to put money towards the chance to rename the Blues Bar, as who knows where that donation will end up?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Player out of focus - Marc Williams

Since signing for the club last season, Marc Williams has become a fans favourite by virtue of his stylish link-up play, impressive work ethic and the fact that he uses his shoulders more than his legs when he runs.

A former Wrexham player, Williams' initial unveiling was greeted with contempt by the usual Chester fans who think that football rivallry is a real thing, rather than an amusing aside to an already pointless pastime.  However, the former Wales Under 21 forward has won over many a supporter, with some even moving to label him "The Ginger Messi".

"It's ironic, because we call him 'The Messy Ginger'," muses manager Neil Young.  "Always spills his lunch all over himself, you see.  And uses a lot of ginger in his food."

A recent stint in the side saw Williams named Man of the Match three times in a row, leaving the forward with a surplus of champagne.

"I had loads of the stuff, so me, Sarce [Antoni Sarcevic] and George Horan [George Horan] built a podium in my back garden and pretended we were Grand Prix winners," reminisces Williams.  "It was all fun and games til George sprayed his bottle all over my cat.  It went mental on him - quite scary for a moment."

Some genius Blues have moved against the tide in recent weeks, claiming that Williams's lack of goals renders him a luxury player.  Whilst this might sound very clever (and it doesn't), it is objectively nonsense. 

The Blues have scored 29 goals in the eight and a half league games since Williams returned to the side as a second half substitute against Bishop's Stortford.  Tellingly, the Blues have managed only six of those goals with Williams not on the pitch (Williams having not started four of the matches in question, and having only played the full 90 once.) 

Four of those Marc-less goals came in one game against Droylesden - equalling the highest number of goals scored in a single match by a Chester side missing Marc Williams this season.  By contrast, Williams has helped the Blues to score five goals in a match on three occasions this season.  On each of those occasions he was then substituted, with the thitherto-rampant CFC only managing to contribute an extra two goals across the three matches, once shorn of the former Kidderminster man.

Furthermore, Williams was left out of the starting line-up for both matches this year in which Chester failed to score.

"He should still touch it last more often," grumps the Devachatter known as 'blindprejudice'.

The tricky forward also has two snooker world championships to his name, but prefers not to talk about that period of his life.

"That wasn't me.  Stop asking me about that," snaps the modest 24-year-old who is also a former Chicago-based software company responsible for creating Coherent - one of the first Unix-like operating systems for IBM PCs.

Marc Williams is available whilst stocks last.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Chester FC 0-0 Brackley Town - Match Cough

Chester fought out their second 0-0 draw of the new year on Saturday, after Brackley Town turned up and reminded us all of why we're trying to get promoted.

A dull, stodgy, stop start affair with nothing to recommend it, the Super Bowl happened yesterday.   But Saturday's match was pretty dreadful too.

Brackley arrived in the team bus, parked it front on the goal, and occasionally gazed out of the window to ensure that none of their number had snuck off in an attempt to win the game.

"Do you remember the time that tennis ace David Nalbandian got disqualifed from a Queens Club final for kicking a line judge?", enquired statistician Winston Calculator.  "It was pretty much like that against Brackley - the unnecessary booting of fellow human beings, a match official that probably should have stayed at home and you couldn't call any of it football."

Indeed, statistics provided by Spitting Feathers Opta indicate that the match contained just 2% football, an all-time record low.  The other 98% was made up of unpredictable toots of the referees whistle (33%), a raging debate as to why Iain Howard isn't allowed more than five minutes (20%), Brackley's expert timewasting (16%) and horse meat (29%).  It was also confirmed that at one stage, every fan in the ground gave up on the match in front of them and immersed themselves in their smartphones, with 60% watching cat videos on YouTube as a more entertaining alternative.

Meanwhile, midfielder Ashley Williams put pen to paper on a new deal following reassurances that the club will never have to play Brackley again.

"We stuck a release clause in the contract in case we both stay down, or we both go up," admitted manager Neil Young.  "I understand the lad's concerns.  To be fair, if we do ever have to play them again, I may quit and go back to the trains myself.  At least there it's other people's time we waste."

The match did, however, also confirm that certain Chester fans probably don't really deserve a football club.  With time ticking away and the Blues in full pursuit of a winner, spectators started to mill out of the main stand - one supporter even stopping on his way out in order to hand the ball back to Wes Baynes, who was waiting to take an attacking throw-in.

"No, it wasn't a demoralising sight for me at all," responded Baynes after the match.  "True - we're fighting hard to win a tough game that these guys have paid to see and supposedly want us to win and just when we need to feed off the fans to make that final push, they're walking out on us.  But on the other hand, the car park gets a bit crowded at full time and it probably breaches their human rights to have to queue, or something."

The result means that Guiseley can now pull themselves within two points of the Blues if they win all of their games in hand, leading to rumours that the new board have enquired as to whether they can pay Danny Toronczak to play against The Lions on the last day when they host Hinckley United.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Chester FC vs Brackley Town - Match Sneeze

Chester FC welcome Brackley Town to the Exacta Stadium tomorrow, seeking to shake off the hullabaloo which has sprung up over the last couple of days, after it turned out that the club's financial situation is in a worse state than the UK hiphop scene.

With the club expected to post a loss of £75k, officials have taken the drastic step of hiking admission prices to £650 per person, which is still much better value than a Racecourse "pie".

"We're also expecting football fans to, en masse, suddenly get a craving for Rosé whilst at the match, and this should bring in a few quid too," enthused CEO The Pet Husky.

As for on-pitch matters, with manager Neil Young filling his squad with people named Williams or Turner, fans have abandoned their dream of a team of George Horans.

"It was probably an impractical vision anyway," admitted Neils Kangaroopouch, President of the George Horan fan club

Meanwhile, having caught wind of Young's new Turner-centric transfer policy, Radio Merseyside raconteur Neil Turner has been spotted polishing his boots.

"The dream is still alive!", the veteran broadcaster was heard to shriek.

Brackley are managed by former Chester City winger Jon Brady. The visitors have been something of a surprise package this season, and are still in the hunt for the title, but some have suggested that the Australian Brady's tactic of training upside down and having half time barbeques has hampered his team's campaign.

"We have to be innovative in our preparations if we want the Ashes back," explained Brady, by way of a confused defence of his methods.

Chester have another long break between league games following this encounter, whilst Halifax are going to have to play a couple of games per day in order to catch up, leading to speculation that Jason Jarrett left the club after being told that the double shifts would still be paid at the standard rate.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Blues lost without The Jestrian

Chester FC can't even go a month without the Jestrian, it emerged today.

Despite being described by fans who've never read it as "not as good as the Onion Bag" and having been slated by those who had previously defined it as "genius" once their own hysterical attitudes got satirised, the badly designed blog is apparently integral to the success of the football club, which is now in a right state.  Having been offline for little over a month, the Jestrian has returned to find the Exacta in catastrophe.

"I feel like a parent who's gone away for the week and trusted their kids when they shouldn't have," coughed the Jestrian.

Club officials have moved to attempt an explanation.

"We've all been sitting in our offices refreshing the Jestrian homepage over and over," admitted under fire CEO Pet Husky. "While we were doing that, someone seems to have snuck in and stolen £20k or something. Sorry about that."

Financial reports today show that Chester's finances are in such a mess that a financial controller is being brought in to plan a budgetary recovery.

"People are over-reacting," said Deva Chatter Jimmy Happyclap. "Just because outside experts have been called in to fix things... Sometimes you just call an ambulance because you've got a sore throat, right? Or is that just me?"

Meanwhile, new chairman the Phony Gherkin has been using the news to lower expectations in an attempt to make anything he does look good. This had led to speculation that the Harry Mac will take to singing "it's just like watching the coallition" at the Brackley match on Saturday.

Gherkin's ploy looks to be paying early dividends, as fans have fallen for the smokescreen, overlooking a statement made by the chairman today that feedback on the Racecourse pies has been good.

"We're weighed down with letters coming in every day bigging up the pies," nodded The Gherkin, a suited man who's clearly never stood on a terrace trying to man-handle a non-pie into his mouth while a pastry floatation aid threatens to hurl itself over the side in a bid for tasty freedom.

"Yeah, loads of letters. They have to write letters, because they've never learnt how to use the internet or, you know, how to speak to other people.  That's why you've never heard from them.  Point is, these unidentifiable masses love the pies, so those of you complaining about them in your visible hundreds can just pipe down."

And the discomforting happenings haven't been confined to the boardroom. A YouTube video of manager Neil Young's post-match interview following Wednesday's game against Stockport Sports shows the Chief Seal roaring with laughter following an off-camera incident - a sight as unsettling as it is rare.

"Never happened," scowled The Merseyrail Hardnut, when shown the video.

In more exciting news, Chester will face an away clash in the Cheshire Senior Cup Quarter Finals against Tranmere Rovers, who are Chester's most fierce rivals after Wrexham. And Crewe. Probably Southport these days. Shrewsbury, even, to be honest. But not Chorley. Chorley are nothing.