Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Back on the Promotion trail

I must admit, I've only just realised that I've not blogged since before Christmas, so to anyone reading this, hope you enjoyed your festive celebrations, and had a great New Year, seeing the Blues top of the League at Christmas and going into 2012 was all we wanted, and got!

Form has been a bit patchy for the Blues since that win at Marine, but the fact remains we are now three points clear of Hednesford, with 2 games in hand, and with the implosion at Northwich, Chorley & Marine seem as though they could be the challengers to the current top 2.

Powell gets a late Christmas card
That Northwich game was extremely frustrating, with the early goal and sending off meaning we should have won that match at a canter, but we failed to take our chances, and let Northwich back in it, and if we're being truthful the ref could and should perhaps of given Vics a penalty in the last minute - although it wasn't the first mistake of the day by him, having decided to let himself be overruled by an official who was furthest from the Michael Powell and John Disney incident - purely ridiculous that.

The turn of the year saw us then take on Nantwich at home, and revenge was in the air following the 4-1 defeat back in August, but Nantwich proved very stubborn, and a succession of missed chances meant that our first home game of the new year ended in a draw, just like it did back in 2011 against Warrington! The most amazing thing from the Nantwich game was the attendance, over 3500 were inside the Exacta, and I'd popped in to the Safety Room to ask if we were anywhere near the 3000 mark at about 2.50pm and was staggered to be told we were already over 3200 and people were still queueing outside!

The thoughts then turned to Rushall, where we all wondered how we'd fare against a team that have taken points from most of the teams at the top of the table this season, but those fears were dispelled as we set out on a major 4-0 win over our West Midland counterparts, and that was great to see, restoring some confidence perhaps lost in the Nantwich draw.

Maybe next year, Wembley.
Attentions then turned to the FA Trophy, and I think it's fair to say we were all gutted that we didn't get at least a draw against Ebbsfleet, as our performance certainly deserved that outcome, having had to travel so far, the lads pulled out the stops to try and get the replay, but that 3rd goal just wouldn't come, and the Wembley dream was left behind, with a possible envious glance back at Wembley Stadium by those travelling back on the train.

I definitely think we missed Powelly in the middle, and who knows maybe we would have got something had he not been missing that game.

Then the big game at home to Hednesford, and another great crowd, only 91 fans travelled from the Midlands, which was maybe disappointing, but seeing over 3200 Chester fans inside again was superb. As for the match, well that was another day of frustration, with rare slip ups at the back costing us the game, but I did feel that if we could have got back to 2-2 in that game then we would have gone on to win, but alas we didn't and we had to surrender our superb home run of 27 games without defeat.

eerily dark on a sunny day
Perhaps the most disappointing thing to deal with was the smashing of a window on the away supporters coach - there is no place for that kind of act at our Club, we have built Chester FC up with a family reputation, and that will continue. These people just don't realise the effect that this has on the Club, think back to the Colwyn Bay mess. We were trying to get various sponsorship deals for the Club, and they then see that there is trouble at our first friendly - that had so much impact on what we were trying to do, as potential sponsors will think that they do not want to be involved with bad news, and rightly so. But thanks to a great effort to pull sponsors back in, we succeeded in convincing them that Chester FC were a forward thinking club, with a strong community ethos, and I think the proof is in the pudding, but these idiots certainly don't think about the fact they are hurting the Club they claim to support.

Anyway, back to the football, and we were all left disappointed by the fact the Liverpool v Man Utd reserves match had fallen foul of the weather a couple of weeks ago, and there was an argument that the pitch covers should have been deployed, but in the end it really made no difference as the temperature plummeted once the sun disappeared beneath the West Stand, and ice started to appear on the pitch and by 6pm it was clear that the game would have been a ice-nightmare for the players involved, and we could have talking of the likes of Berbatov causing themselves a great injury, something which we would have not wanted, and clearly the ref decided the same. Who knows what kind of action these clubs could take if such an incident occurred.

That game will hopefully be replayed in April, and certainly Liverpool understood that we were beaten by the weather, and hopefully come April, we'll have better weather and a potentially bigger crowd.

The fact that we had another home game on the Saturday meant that we would take no chances on the Friday night, and we put the call out for fans to come down and help lay the pitch covers, and I think that it was the right decision to make as the cold snap certainly happened on the Friday night, and a quick call to arms again meant that the game went ahead, and what a start - 2 goals in the first 20 minutes, and I think its fair to say we were all expecting an avalanche of goals, but it really didn't happen, and after Mickleover scored their goal we sort of went into our shell a bit.

The plus point was the introduction of Stefan Cox who certainly had a lively looking debut, when he eventually got the ball, he then made life a misery for the full back, and when he swapped to the right wing, with Howard on the left, we looked to have a bit more balance, and Cox looked electric down the right, despite being a left winger!

My favourite shot from a cold crisp day at the Exacta
I recently took the opportunity to get some snaps of the Exacta Stadium, on a cold crisp day, and hopefully anyone reading this (is there anyone reading this bar me??) will like those photos, which I've included on here today.

On the media side recently, there has been plenty going on, just the other week myself & Pat visited the new BBC set up at Salford Quays, to meet one of Colin Murray's production team, and the place was very impressive, a very 'open' feel to it, with all staff having a decent view out of the windows, but also where people walking past can see in to their office, so you're pretty much on view here to anyone!

We're working together with Colin's team for something that we had hoped to announce this season, but things have just dragged on a little bit longer than what we'd hoped, but we will still definitely be doing something with Colin & co in the near future - the major plus is that he has been coming to our home games whenever possible, showing his support for the Blues.

The Jestrian has to be one of my favourite reads each day, even though I'm the butt of some of those made up names, Jar Jar Banks, Army Tanks, and Jaffie Bracks being some of those names, but I do love the humour of it, and its all a welcome break from the busy life that this 'media junkie' seems to have, even though I'm officially out of work at the moment!!

Looking ahead to today, well there is a stack of CFU stuff to be getting on with, so time to put a bit of man power to that, will blog again soon, and will attempt to not leave it over a month this time!

Come On You Blues!

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