CHESTER FC host Gateshead at the Deva Stadium on Saturday in the fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup (Kick-Off 15:00 BST).
The Blues will be looking to bounce back after suffering a 3-0 defeat away at Braintree Town last Saturday, which saw defenders Paul Linwood and Lee Pugh both sent off, consequently meaning they will be banned for this game.
During last season’s cup campaign, Chester got beat in the third qualifying round after losing 3-1 away to FC Halifax Town.
Similarly, Gateshead were also knocked out in this round after losing away to Alfreton Town 2-0.
More recently, The Tynesiders have been in impressive form, winning four of their last five games, which has moved them up to 10th in the Conference Premier.
Chester have also gained another confidence boost this week after Ross Killock joined the club on a one month loan deal from Leeds United. The defender who can play at either centre-back or right-back is eligible for Saturdays FA Cup clash.
One player The Blues will be without however is Peterborough United loanee, Shaquille McDonald, who has left the club to join Histon FC. The 18-year-old made his debut for The Stutes against Guiseley on Saturday, where he earned a point for his new club after scoring towards the end of the game.
Quays News Match Prediction: Chester FC 2-1 Gateshead FC
Goals have been hard to come by for Chester, who are the lowest scoring team in the league. With this in mind, and the recent turnaround of results for Gateshead, this will be a hard game for The Blues. Despite this, home advantage will play a big part to the game and Chester will want to give their loyal supporters something to cheer about as they look to reach the first round of the cup.
Chester FC: Danby, Kay, Heath, Horan, Linwood, Harrison, Reed, Jarrett, Mills, Lindfield, L Turner, Fearon, McIntyre, N Turner, A Williams, Higginbotham, Seddon, Pugh, Titchiner, Atkinson, Killock.
Gateshead FC: Bartlett, Baxter, Sirrell, Marwood, Curtis, Clark, Larkin, Brown, Turnbull, Hugill, Brodie, Oster, Chandler, Ramshaw, Lelan, Hatch.
Chester gate-crash out of the FA Cup
ON the 150th anniversary of the FA, expectations were high around the Deva, and with the addition of cup veteran Danny Higginbotham in recent weeks, many felt this was the year to achieve new things.
Unfortunately this wasn’t the case, as long serving defender, James Curtis, scored a wonder goal for Gateshead to knock Chester out of the cup.
The 31-year-old, who has been with the club for a decade, took his goal superbly on the 73rd minute after picking up the ball from inside the Chester area, to turn and thump his effort home on the half volley.
Despite the goal, Chester had John Danby to thank on many occasions to keep the score respectable.
Gateshead had the chance to open the scoring minutes into the game after smart play from James Marwood left him in space inside the Chester box, where he sent his shot wide.
Moments later, Chester were on the offensive after a good counter attack found Nathan Turner outside the box. He unleashed his 20-yard effort but Heed goalkeeper, Adam Bartlett saved well.
The Blues came close again on the 15 minute mark after Gareth Seddon played the ball delightfully to Jamie Reed, whose header on goal was comfortably saved by Bartlett.
Gateshead continued to attack and came very close to taking the lead on 35 minutes after Rob Ramshaw broke down the right wing to pick out Marwood who was unable to capitalise on the chance after putting his effort wide.
Minutes into the second half, Seddon picked up the ball and turned well to shoot in the Gateshead box, but Curtis blocked well which took all the momentum out of the ball to allow Bartlett to collect.
Kevin McIntyre then broke down the left wing for the Blues and sent a dangerous cross into the box to win a throw in. Lewis Turner sent the ball in which found Michael Kay but he skied his effort over the bar.
Straight down the other end, Gateshead nearly took the lead against the run of play after Liam Hatch tested Danby at his near post who saved well for the Blues to put the ball out for a corner. The ball was played in and found Jamie Chandler whose shot went rifling into the stand.
On the 63rd minute, Danny Higginbotham was found in the Gateshead area after another strong attack. He sent his header across the face of the goal but no one could reach the ball to head home for the Blues.
Gateshead came close again on the 70th minute, but strong defending from Leeds United loanee Ross Killock blocked the shot and allowed Chester to break. The ball was played to Seddon who was through on goal but his shot went inches wide of the post.
Six minutes before time and Chester came close to equalising through Killock when his header at the near post of Bartlett’s goal was well saved on the line.
After the game, Chester FC boss Neil Young said: “I thought we done OK, we were against a pretty strong wind out there which people were not taking into consideration.
“We have got to be much more of an attacking threat, overall I do not think it was a game we deserved to lose but on the day we were not good enough.”
Quays News Man of the Match: Ross Killock
An impressive performance from the Leeds United loanee made him the stand out performer for the Blues. Good in defence as well as in attack, the 19-year-old looked strong and dangerous in all areas of the pitch.
Chester FC: Danby 6, Kay 5 (Williams 4), Reed 5, Lindfield 5 (Horan 4), L Turner 6, Killock 7, McIntyre 5, N Turner 5, Higginbotham 6, Seddon 6, Titchiner 5 (Jarrett 4).
Subs not used: Heath, Fearon. Booked: Kay, Williams.
Gateshead FC: Bartlett 6, Chandler 6, Curtis 6, Clark 5, Larkin 5, Turnbull 6, Hatch 6, Baxter 5, Marwood 6, Ramshaw 6 (Magnay 4), Sirrell 5.
Subs not used: Brodie, Cummins, Boyes, Baird, Brown, Tait
Referee: Wayne Barrett
Assistants: Mark Ackerman and Chris Husband
Fourth Official: Leigh Doughty
By Steven Peach at the Deva Stadium