CHESTER FC will be looking to bounce back on Saturday as they face fellow relegation strugglers Aldershot Town at the Deva Stadium (Kick-Off 15:00 GMT).
The Blues lost 1-0 against Gateshead last week in the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, and will now turn their attention back to the league in an attempt to gain a valuable three points.
Lee Pugh will still be suspended for Chester, after he was sent off during the 3-0 away defeat to Braintree Town. Michael Kay will also be banned after tallying up a number of yellow cards.
Chester will also be without fan favourite, Ben Mills, after the club mutually agreed to terminate his contract. The Stoke-based striker has joined up with Skrill North side, Brackley Town, on a deal until the end of the season.
However, four players who have signed for the club are Bolton Wanderers duo, Conor Wilkinson and Chris Lester, who have joined on initial one-month loans, as well as defensive midfielder Charlie Anderson from Mossley AFC and former Blues trialist, Jamie Menagh from Prescott Cables FC.
Aldershot, who were deducted 10 points at the start of the season for going into administration, will see this game as a must win.
The Shots were dumped out of the FA Cup on Tuesday night, going down 2-1 at home to Shortwood United in a replay.
Since then, the Recreation Ground outfit have also added bodies to their squad, bringing in Reading goalkeeper, Jonathan Henly on loan until January, as well as Portsmouth defender, Dan Butler, who has signed on a-month loan deal.
Brett Williams will provide fire power up front for the Shots, having scored eight goals so far this season, placing him fourth in the league top scorers.
Quays News Match Prediction – Chester FC 1-1 Aldershot Town – With the addition of Ross Killock to Chester’s defence, the Blues look much stronger. Combined with new loanee’s Conor Wilkinson and Chris Lester, this could give the Blues much more attack in the final third.
Chester FC: Danby, Kay, Heath, Horan, Linwood, Harrison, Reed, Jarrett, Lindfield, L Turner, Fearon, McIntyre, N Turner, A Williams, Higginbotham, Seddon, Pugh, Titchiner, Anderson, Menagh, Atkinson, Killock, Wilkinson, Lester.
Aldershot Town: L Williams; Oyeleke, Goodman, Barker, Roberts; Stanley, Rowlands; Young, Gibbs, Mekki, Paterson, B Williams, Wickham, Webbe, Douglas, Grosvenor, Stojsavljevic.
‘Superb goal’ not enough as Chester draw
CHESTER FC boss Neil Young dubbed Conor Wilkinson’s goal as ‘superb’ after he saw his side draw 1-1 at home to Aldershot Town on Saturday.
The Blues took the lead on the 68th minute after the 18-year-old chested the ball and turned well before striking a ferocious left footed shot into the top right corner of the net.
Chester looked on course to take all three points, up until substitute Jayden Gibbs got one back for the Shots in the final minute.
Dan Butler sent a swooping cross into the Blues area which found Gibbs unmarked to head home the equaliser.
Aldershot had the chance to take the lead early on in the match when Lewis Young, brother of Manchester United winger, Ashley Young, broke free and shot towards John Danby’s near post. The Blues keeper saved well but could only parry the ball to Brett Williams whose shot was blocked and cleared by Ross Killock.
Bolton Wanderers loanee, Wilkinson, then picked the ball up on the right wing to skip past two defenders for the Blues and sent his shot/cross into the box but Aldershot keeper Jonathan Henley caught well.
The biggest chance of the first half fell to Joe Heath after Lewis Turner put the ball into the box with a good cross, which found the defender at the back post, but he failed to get his shot on target and placed it wide.
Wilkinson had another chance to put Chester in the lead before the break after the 6 ft 3′ striker picked the ball up in his own half and surged down the field to unleash a shot from 15-yards but the on-loan Reading keeper saved well for the Shots.
Minutes before half time, Killock tackled strongly just outside the area leading to the referee to blow for a free-kick. Adam Mekki took the shot and sent his effort inches wide of Danby’s right post.
HT: Chester FC 0-0 Aldershot Town
Moments after the break, Chester came close to taking the lead. The attempt by Craig Lindfield saw him pick up the ball in the box, turn well to get a good shot away but the keeper saved comfortably.
With the wind being in Chester’s favour in the second half, Lindfield launched a 30-yard strike, which saw Henley perform a dramatic dive to see the ball go out for a goal kick.
Despite looking on top of his game, Henley was helpless after Nathan Turner struck a shot from just outside the area which whistled past the post.
Aldershot upped their game after falling behind and were awarded a free kick after Kevin McIntyre seamlessly gave a foul away on the edge of the Blues’ area. John Danby was tested as he pulled off a fantastic double handed save at his near post to deny the Shots an equaliser.
FT: Chester FC 1-1 Aldershot Town
After the game, Neil Young said: “I thought we played well as a unit in difficult conditions.
“Unfortunately we have conceded very late on but it was a much better performance from the players.”
This result leaves Chester rooted in 22nd position going into next weekend’s fixture against bottom of the table club Hyde.
Quays News Man of the Match: Jason Jarrett – Despite not starting many games this season, Chester looked much stronger in midfield after losing Danny Harrison for up to three months due to injury. Regardless of being linked with a move away from the Deva on many occasions, this didn’t affect his confidence and proved to be the stand out performer for the Blues.
Chester FC: Danby 6, Heath 5, Jarrett 8, Lindfield 6, L Turner 6, McIntyre 5, N Turner 6, Higginbotham 6, Killock 7, Wilkinson 7, Lester 6. Subs not used: Linwood, Reed, Williams, Seddon, Menagh.
Booked: Jarrett, Heath.
Aldershot Town: Henley 6, Stanley 5, Goodman 5, Webster 5, Mekki 6, B Williams 5, Oyeleke 5, Roberts 6 (Rowlands 5), Barker 5, Young 6 (Gibbs 6), Butler 5.
Subs not used: Paterson, Douglas, L Williams.
Referee: Amy Hearn
Assistants: Chris Isherwood and Justin Hayes
Fourth Official: Nick Barnard
By Steven Peach at the Deva Stadium