CHESTER FC welcome Gateshead FC to the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday as the Blues look to climb out of the relegation zone (Kick-Off: 15:00 GMT).
Following a 0-0 draw away at Southport on Boxing Day, Chester will aim to take all three points from their match with the Tynesiders, which will be the third time they’ll have faced each other this season.
The previous two meetings have seen the Blues lose both games, having played them in the league and the FA Cup.
Gateshead have also had an inconsistent run of late, picking up only four from a possible 15 points throughout December.
In their last game against FC Halifax Town on Boxing Day, the Tynesiders earned a point as they drew 1-1 thanks to a Jamie Chandler goal on the 57th minute.
If results go their way, 10th placed Gateshead could move up three places, putting them in seventh position in the Skrill Premier table. A win for the Blues could however see them move out of the relegation zone from 21st place to 19th.
Quays News Match Prediction: Chester FC 1-1 Gateshead FC
Following an inconsistent run of form from Gateshead, the Blues could well be on to cause an upset. However, having played each other twice already, both sides will know one and others style of play, and with key man Gareth Seddon suspended for Chester, it will be hard to see where the goals will come from.
Team News: The Blues will welcome back Paul Linwood and Jason Jarrett who return from suspension, whilst Ross Killock and Lewis Turner have been deemed fit to play by parent club, Leeds United.
Chester FC: Danby, Kay, Heath, Horan, Linwood, Harrison, Reed, Jarrett, Lindfield, L Turner, Fearon, McIntyre, N Turner, A Williams, Higginbotham, Seddon, Mahon, Miller, Peers, Menagh, Atkinson, Killock, Rooney.
Gateshead FC: Bartlett, Baxter, Sirrell, Chandler, Curtis, Clark, Larkin, Maddison, Turnbull, Walker, Hatch, Oster, Marwood, Magnay, Cummins, Ramshaw.
Chester stay rooted after draw with Gateshead
CHESTER FC remained in 21st spot in the Skrill Premier table after they drew 1-1 with Gateshead at the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday.
The Blues took the lead in the 10th minute after John Rooney sent in a delightful ball from a free-kick and Ross Killock rose highest in the box to send his header past Adam Bartlett.
This lead was to last up until the 66th minute when James Marwood struck the ball powerfully past John Danby to draw Gateshead level. George Horan lost Liam Hatch in the build-up, whose pass found Marwood in space, leaving Danby helpless after failing to commit to come out of his goal.
Chester had a great chance early on in the game when Jamie Managh picked up the ball on the right wing, then ran well to cut inside to shoot on his left foot which saw Bartlett pull off a good save.
Menagh came close again following a neat bit of play from Jamie Reed down the left channel. After skipping past two Gateshead defenders, Reed looped the ball into Menagh who could only send his volley over the bar.
Just before the break, Chester had another chance to score after Jason Jarrett collected the ball to set up Lewis Turner. He beat Lewis Sirrell easily to send his low 20-yard drive goalwards but couldn’t beat the Heed stopper.
Chester started the second half as they finished the first and immediately won a corner from kick-off. Rooney crossed the ball which found Jarrett at the back post but he sent his effort over the stand.
Moments later the Tynesiders came close to grabbing a goal after Hatch found himself in space in the Chester box to direct a header towards goal, only to be blocked on the line by George Miller.
The best chance for the Blues came just before full time when Alex Titchiner crossed well to find Horan in the Heed box who rose well but could only guide his header over the bar.
Speaking after the game, Chester boss Neil Young said: “Up until they scored I thought we were the better team.
“Fair play to the players, they have kept going and they have got something out of the game, I thought it would have been unfair if they didn’t and to be fair to their manager, Gary [Mills], he said that we were the better team and we deserved to win.”
Quays News Man of the Match: John Rooney
The forward put in a good performance today and helped the Blues out both in attack and defence. Challenging strongly for the ball and creating many chances from well worked moves and crosses, he was without doubt the standout performer for Chester today.
Chester FC: Danby 6, L Turner 6, Horan (c) 6, Killock 6, Heath 5, G Miller 6, Jarrett 6, Menagh 6 (McIntyre 4), Rooney 7, Titchiner 6, Reed 5 (Peers 4).
Subs not used: Kay, Mahon, Williams
Gateshead FC: Bartlett 6, Chandler 5 (Brown 6), Curtis 5, Clark (c) 5, Turnbull 5, Baxter 6, Walker 5 (Cummins 5), Marwood 6, Sirrell 5, Maddison 4 (Hatch 6), Oster 5.
Subs not used: Magnay, Ramshaw
Referee: Peter Bankes
Assistants: Mark Cunliffe and Chris Isherwood
Fourth Official: Bernard Nicholas.
By Steven Peach at the Swansway Chester Stadium