Friday, 26 August 2011

One of those great nights at the Exacta

Wednesday night we had such a great atmosphere at the Exacta Stadium for the visit of FC United of Manchester.

I think we all knew we'd get a decent atmosphere, but I think the fact that we got a cracker of a game to go with it was the icing on the cake, oh and the victory too!

The Harry Mac getting in to it on Wednesday!
Considering we have only been together for a year or so now, this match definitely presented us with our biggest opposition to date - and a club that was within a whisker of getting into the Conference North last season, and we more than matched them, in fact I'd say we fully deserved the win over FCUM on Wednesday, and should have been about 3 or 4 up at half time.

It was one of those eagerly anticipated games, and for me even more so as I'd been away when the friendly match took place in July, so definitely was looking forward to this, although was trying to keep the lid on it whilst at work, in order for me to then finish at 4pm, and get in to match day mode.

It was going to be a busy one as far as the media side of things was concerned, as there was plenty going on, Sweden's national radio channel Sportschannel P4 were going to be there, as were The Guardian, who were coming up to film a piece on it, and then there was the visit from FC United's entourage, which included FCUM Radio, who would I'm sure have given a different account to that of Blues Live on Wednesday night!

Blues Live has been a great success so far, and we're now looking at the possibilities of covering the away games, but that is still a possibility rather than a probability given the issues with wireless coverage away from home at some of the grounds in the League - what has to be remembered is that too much use of the wireless signal at away games could pose problems for the press at the game, so all these things have to be taken into account.

Anyway, back to Wednesday, and once at the ground, time to do the usual things in my role, which is of course to see the press, make sure they are sorted with everything for the match ahead, and then dealing with any queries that come my way, greeting the opposing board members, checking in with Cleggy & Dan to give them the schedule for the evening, getting the team details for our Twitter coverage, and then getting the various people ready for the pre match and half time sequences. I also needed to ensure that the Guardian reporters were seeing everyone they needed to see before the game.

One of those was the Chester FC Youth team presentation, and how great that Tony Durkin is sponsoring the Youth team this year - he's been a great sponsor of Chester over the years, and fantastic to see that he is still involved with the club now.

Simmo's laces give way again!!

The game then of course got underway, and what a game we saw, a really good open match with the Blues going for it in the first half, something we all want to see of course, as we've found that we do tend to batter teams in the second half of a game, so why not the first, but we certainly took the game to FC United, and had it not been for the crossbar and Simmo's laces then we could have been 4-0 up at half time, but we'd definitely take the 2 nil lead!

At half time it was of course challenge time, and this week the challenge was to 'Hit the Post' from the half way line, and the winner of the competition certainly gave it a good go, wearing stand our red boots, he hammered his first attempt just inches from the half way line as I looked from the stand, and his second and third attempts weren't that bad either!

He was unlucky in the end, but I think he was made up that he walked away with a family ticket to Chester Races, who'd kindly donated the prize.

Back to the game, and the second half started the same way as the first did, and we were desperately trying to find that third goal, but it just didn't seem to want to find us, and then FC went and made things a whole lot worse by grabbing a goal ten minutes before the end, to ensure that we were all nervous as anything, maybe not Garforth-style nervous, but it was bad enough but when that free kick sailed way way over the bar, that was time to relax, and thankfully the whistle went straight afterwards, and we'd done it, beaten one of the League favourites, and I'm sure confidence will fly though the camp now.

The night wasn't over, as it was time to do the post match stuff, before settling down to a nice cold pint. Think I left the ground at 10.30 but still managed to get a much needed bottle of wine to celebrate with on the way home!

It all starts again tomorrow too, with another home game, and hopefully another decent crowd to follow up on our FC United game, and hopefully another three points on the horizon too, so enjoy the game everyone, and Come on you Blues!

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