It’s been a long wait and and an awful lot of hard
work, but Chester are finally back and have registered
their first point in Evo-Stick League football.
It was also nearly the grandstand finish that the 1,200
expectant Chester fans watching at Warrington Town’s
Cantilever Park had dreamt of, but they could still walk
out with their heads held high after a 1-1 draw.
Chester had made the best start possible when a great
pass from Michael Wilde found Rob Hopley in space in the
danger area on the eighth minute. Hopley had no problem
shooting past the Wire goalkeeper to put the away team
There were so many Chester fans at the game (1,200 of
the total 1,498 attendance), with many clad in fancy dress,
that it was actually hard to think of it as an away match.
I’ts been quite a while since a terrace was so packed
with Chester fans that it was sometimes hard to see the
But the noisy away support was soon briefly silenced when
the Blues’ defence let through a couple of Warrington
attackers and no one seemed to take responsibility for
clearing the ball. Warrington’s Gavin Salmon had
no trouble scoring close to the line.
That was actually Warrington’s best spell as Chester
seemed to get the measure of the uneven pitch, and half-time
came without any real chance of another goal at either
Chester then dominated the second half, with both Wilde
and Hopley looking dangerous. Andy Burgess looked threatening
when he had the ball at his feet, but Chester occasionally
lacked a well-placed foot in midfield when Warrington
Nevertheless, Chester continued to press and were it not
for the heroics of Warrington’s ‘keeper, Paul
Pritchard, the Blues could have easily scored at least
two more goals.
Before long the away supporters were jeering referee Ackers
for several decisions that went in Warrington’s
favour – especially a couple of potential handballs.
But the luck did just not go Chester’s way.
Hopley was substituted on the 80th minute by Nick Rogan,
and he sent the away fans wild not long after when he
put the ball in the back of the net. But the celebrations
were soon quelled when Mr Ackers blew for a foul on the
Both teams pressed for a winner in the closing stages,
with Warrington coming close with their best spell of
the second half. But it was honours even when Mr Ackers
blew up for full-time.
It was certainly a relief that Chester came away undefeated
and there was little to wipe the grins of pride from the
faces of the travelling fans as they patiently queued
to get out of Cantilever Park. It does feel strange to
be seen as a ‘big’ club, but I’m sure
it’s something we’ll soon get used to.