ChesterFC.com takes a look back at the events of the Blues’ 2018/19 National League North campaign – month-by-month!
Guiseley 1-1 Chester – It could be seen as a big turning point in the campaign. When Scott Garner headed home an 87th minute goal for the Lions, the writing was on the wall for a third consecutive defeat. But a late fightback was a sign of things to come, as we saw a Bern and Jonno side in action – refusing to go down easy. Jon Moran’s stoppage time looping header earned us a point – and had the Blues looking forward at picking up some victories.
The next small matter was getting the home game on. Bradford PA were scheduled to visit on the 8th – and everyone was giving up their hours to work incredibly hard to get the game on.
Then the positive news came that our safety certificate was restored and – everyone felt – the season could really get underway. Luke Jordan arrived on the Friday from Ramsbottom to bolster the squad ahead of a big game against another strong side.
Chester 5-3 Bradford (Park Avenue) – What a cracker it was to see the Blues pick up maximum points at the Swansway. An early goal didn’t deter them, as strikes from Dan Mooney, Anthony Dudley and Craig Mahon put them 3-1 up. The carnage of the game saw BPA pull it level after the break – but again the Blues did not waver and Mooney and Dudley both made it a brace apiece to seal an impressive victory.
Chester 0-0 FC United – The rearranged matches were coming thick and fast. FC United got men behind the ball on the Tuesday and restricted the Blues to a minimum as it finished goalless. One incident of note was Craig Mahon being turned down for what appeared to be a stonewall penalty in the second half.
Boston United 0-2 Chester – But then there was another victory to keep the momentum building. Steve Howson’s bullet header and Dan Mooney’s curling finish sealed another big three points in Lincolnshire.
Chester 3-1 Kidderminster Harriers – It just got better and better as the Blues picked up another one in the W column with a vital win on an electric night at the Swansway. Under the lights, the atmosphere was sublime, and Chester were flying. They lost Captain Scott Burton in the warm up, but his replacement – 17-year-old Academy Graduate Iwan Murray – stepped up to the plate in style. He won a penalty early on which Anthony Dudley converted and then a sensational brace in the second half from Matty Hughes sent the home faithful delirious and purring over another win.
Then it was time for the Emirates FA Cup – the famous old competition. The romance wasn’t even dead at the Second Qualifying Round stage, as the Blues were drawn against the ‘Purps’ of City of Liverpool. A potential banana skin against a team who had a good number of travelling fans.
Chester 4-0 City of Liverpool – But it was to be a safe passage into the next round for the Blues. John Pritchard stole the show in the opening 45 with a fantastic quickfire brace. Then the kids proved to be ‘alright’ in the second half, as teenagers Iwan Murray and Cain Noble got on the scoresheet.
Dunston UTS were drawn in the next round, a tough away trip to a lower league side. But that was for October. Next to end a sensational September was a trip to the league leaders…
Chorley 0-0 Chester – It was a fantastic point against top of the table, as Chester were the first side to hold the Magpies at home. However, it could have been so much more as Deane Smalley was brilliantly denied by Urwin as the Blues piled on late pressure. But an unbeaten September showed promising signs…