Sunday, 21 August 2011

Mixed bag of results in opening week

So, a draw, a win, and a defeat in the first week of the season, and we're well and truly back on the Chester Rollercoaster that we all boarded just 8 days ago.

It's been one of those starts, where we all wanted to see Chester FC start with 9 points but probably knew deep down that that wouldn't happen, but good to have football back all the same.

The Rushall game was possibly one of the most frustrating games ever, seeing us batter the Olympic goal, but not getting that elusive second goal, even when we got the chance to score from the penalty spot, unfortunately Jamie Rainford saw his decent effort blocked by the keeper, but the kitchen sink soon followed but their defence got in the way of everything to be fair.

"You'll get 3 crap refs in the first three games Chester!"
The performance of the referee was an absolute joke - and probably summed up by the reception the Rushall board - who are a lively (and friendly) bunch, clapped the referee off the pitch with even one shouting "Well done referee" to the man in black - one of the Rushall board was well known from his appearance last season at the Exacta, shouting that we were "big time charlies" and I certainly put him in his place last year but that's another story, we had some very good banter that night, and the same followed this one too, all enjoyable, if a little tiresome knowing the effort that has gone into making Chester FC what it is.

So a draw in the first game, but good to have it all back again, and all the matchday experience that surrounds it, on the first game we had a CFU presence outside the ground with the chance to renew memberships, and we also had the trophies out on show for fans to have their pictures taken with, and for me that's what's it all about - the fans deserve to enjoy the rewards that have come our way. I really do see Chester FC as the 'People's Club'.

It's been a long hard week at work too, and mixed in with that has been several phone calls to many people (press and non-press), organising a Swedish national radio station to come down to the FC United game, and also another conversation with Colin Murray - I'll come back to that later!

In fact, I actually received a text message from Colin whilst standing on the bank behind the goal at Skelmersdale as we set about seeing off a spirited Burscough side, with yet another dodgy refereeing decisison - never a penalty in a million years!

Jamie Rainford, the new Stuart Pearce?
Having seen Jamie Rainford step up Stuart Pearce style to hammer home his penalty, I thought right we're in for a hatful tonight, and we did eventually achieve that, but wasn't expecting Burscough to come back into it the way they did. Never a penalty - have I already said that?

I spent the first half by the dugout, and once again Jimmy Soul was funny to watch, with his disagreements with the officials, he is so so passionate, and love watching his reactions.

Off to the bank behind the goal for the second half then, and amusing to watch several fans trying to keep their drinks balances whilst running down the bank towards the back of the goal. Concentration on the match was achieved though, and the goals started flying in towards the end, what a great finish from Jerome Wright too!

So, back home within an hour with our first victory in the bag, and a happy Wednesday it was, completed with a Rustlers and a bottle of wine from the shop!

Not the best photo David Evans has ever had!
Then Thursday, and a bit tired at work, but the football didn't stop,and a read of The Chronicle at breakfast on Thursday morning showed the story that I'd been in touch with Dave Triggs of the Chron about, the £65k award from the Adult & Community Learning Fund - a truly amazing job by fellow Director, David Evans, and the work he has put in on this should not be under-estimated, and quite rightly got a good write up in the Chron on Thursday.

Thursday afternoon, and at 4pm I left work, to then speak with Colin Murray, who had to ring me back due to being soaked in the London rain, and the call followed, and it was a very good one, we spoke about what we could so with Pat & Perry this season, and there is a belter of an idea on the table for this season, and more about that later, but first Colin had to speak to his producer on the Friday to get the nod.

Friday at work is usually a slowdown day, but not this Friday, it seemed busier than ever despite the announcement that MBNA would be selling off its UK business, so not the best of weeks, but certainly not a quiet one, and after I finished on Friday, I had a couple of calls to take & make, firstly, a follow up with Colin Murray, and good news, in that his producer had given the nod to the idea that we'd spoken about yesterday - stay tuned for more details, as I can't reveal it at present, but it will be special!

Then a call to The Guardian, and a discussion around them coming up to the Exacta next Wednesday to do a special feature during the FC United game, so keep an eye out for that as they will be filming outside the ground. That took a good half an hour, before I suddenly realised that I had to leave as Dee 106.3's Friday Night Football Show was on the horizon.

The ladies love our Shane!
 All attentions turned to the weekend then, and the show on Dee, we'd had a good laugh with the Crossbar Challenge during half time at the Rushall game, and I decided to mix it up a bit and go for the a different challenge to be witnessed at the FCRushall game, and I decided to mix it up a bit and go for the a different challenge to be witnessed at the FC United game, and that was to hit the post from the half way line, so nipped down to Dee 106.3 with Shane & other guest Gary Powell, to get that one up & running.

I couldn't actually make it to Hednesford on the Saturday, but was glued to Twitter the whole time and was gutted as everyone else when the news came in about Ashley Williams, and then the goal on 88 minutes that condemned us to our first defeat, and also the first time we hadn't scored in a League game away from the Exacta.

RIP Flt Lt Jon Egging
It was also a very sad day as the Red Arrows lost a member of their own team, with the crash down at Bournemouth, and this made me feel quite down on Saturday night knowing that someone who loved his profession didn't just lose his own life, but he actually put his own life ahead of many others when he steered his aircraft away from causing what would have been a devastation below. Football seemed a distant second when watching the footage, and seeing the words from his wife on the news.

I still had plenty of CFC stuff to do on Saturday night, and if anyone wants to know what it's like to be a football manager of the Blues, and what pressure goes with it, then take an e-mail during the early hours of the morning from Neil Young, who couldn't sleep after the Hednesford match, and a very disappointed Neil Young at that. It was at that point that I thought he's only human like the rest of us, and probably feeling worse than the rest of us about the result.

Now, we're heading towards another big week of football, and just watching Match of the Day 2, so it all starts again tomorrow, and will be looking forward to Wednesday night's game against FC United, who also lost on Saturday of course at home, and I have to say one of their fans was very quiet after telling the world that they'd scored after 33 seconds, strange that!

Roll on Wednesday!

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