Marcus Bignot’s side travel down to south London this Saturday to face title challengers Sutton United at Gander Green Lane.
After a summer of successful recruitment, Paul Doswell’s men are looking to chase down Macclesfield Town right down to the wire in their bid to secure automatic promotion to the EFL.
The Blues will be making just their second appearance at the London-based ground, and will be hoping to overturn last season’s 5-2 defeat in their penultimate game of the 2016/17 campaign.
Four goals before the break fired the U’s into the lead, before Nicky Bailey’s thunderous strike made it five with twenty minutes left on the clock. James Alabi netted twice in the dying embers of the game to extend his tally for the season.
Doswell’s side remain unbeaten on home turf in their last six league encounters, and haven’t lost since before Christmas when Tranmere Rovers where victorious with a 3-1 win.
In fact, Sutton are resolute at the back when playing in front of their own supporters, and are yet to concede more than one goal when playing at Gander Green Lane this calendar year.
Currently sitting in second place in the Vanarama National League, the ‘Amber and Chocolates’ are in remarkable form despite narrowly losing to Maidstone United last time out.
Chester will be looking to build on last Saturday’s goalless draw at the Swansway against a strong Aldershot side.
Whilst it was a solid defensive display, Marcus Bignot is hoping his side can be better on the ball going into this weekend’s clash.
What The Gaffer Said
“It was a hard fought, well earned point last Saturday. It was backs to the wall and an off the ball performance. We’ve been better on the ball though. Having a Management Team in place has been good this week. We’ve got some good players and we want to get our midfield players on the ball. We need to find ways to get them on the ball. We need the balance of previous performances on the ball and also the off the ball last Saturday. Three points tomorrow would turn the Aldershot point into a very good point.”
Marcus Bignot – Manager
One To Watch
Jamie Collins – Defender
Paramount to Sutton’s successful FA Cup run last season which saw them face Arsenal in the fifth round, Collins has been ever-present in the heart of Doswell’s defence since joining from Eastleigh back in 2015.
The 33-year-old experienced centre-half graduated through the youth system at Watford and even boasts two National League South titles after succeeding with both Sutton United and Newport County.
Collins reached over 100 appearances during a four year spell at Havant and Waterlooville following his release from the Hornets, before going on to play for Hampton and Richmond, Newport County, Aldershot Town Forest Green Rovers, and then Eastleigh.
The U’s captain will definitely prove to be tough opposition for Bignot’s men in two ways more than one, with the centre back also on regular free kick and penalty duty in addition to his excellent defensive record.
Kick off at Gander Green Lane tomorrow is 3pm. The postcode is SM1 2EY.