CHESTER FC welcome Salisbury City to the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday in what is a must win game for the Blues (Kick-Off: 17:30).
In order to retain their football Conference status, Chester must either match or better the score of Hereford United, who are the only other team fighting for survival.
Following the results on Easter Monday, Dartford lost to relegated side Tamworth, ending their time in non-league’s top flight. Chester meanwhile defeated play-off hopefuls Cambridge United, 0-1 at the Abbey Stadium. A simple goal from Danny Carlton gave the Blues all three points, leaving them just two points above the drop zone.
Hereford, who played Alfreton, also took all three points after a 3-2 win at Edgar Street. Goals from Kingsley James, Jarrod Bowen and former Blue, Dominic Collins has kept the Bulls in the relegation scrap.
The last time Salisbury played the Blues, the game finished 3-1 in favour of the Whites. The match was also paused following an unexpected arrival from a parachutist who accidently landed on the pitch at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.
Due to the importance of the game, BT Sport have announced they are to broadcast the game live. With previous matches against Halifax and Dartford both being on TV and the results going in the favour of the Blues, Chester will be hoping they can make it third time lucky and win again in front of the cameras.
Quays News Match Prediction: Chester FC 2-1 Salisbury City.
With a huge amount of importance put on the final game of the season, Chester will need to claim all three points regardless of what happens during the Hereford/Aldershot match. Salisbury’s away performances have been inconsistent throughout this season with the record for the Whites standing at W6 D3 L13. Following Monday’s crucial win against Cambridge, momentum will be high for the Blues and with home support in their favour; this could be the defining factor.
Chester FC: Danby, Kay, Heath, Horan, Linwood, Harrison, Jarrett, Lindfield, L Turner, McIntyre, N Turner, Seddon, Mahon, Peers, Menagh, Rooney, Chapman, Brown, Daniels, Mainwaring, Carlton, Griffin, Caton, Ashworth.
Salisbury City: Puddy, Amankwaah, MacDonald, Dutton, Wilson (c), Brett, McPhee, R.Sinclair, Lewis, Roberts, S.Sinclair, Frear, White, Sheringham.
Chester relegated from the Conference Premier
CHESTER FC were relegated from the Conference Premier on Saturday after a 2-2 draw at home to Salisbury City wasn’t enough to keep the Blues in the division.
With both Chester and Hereford battling it out to remain in the league, it was a topsy-turvy afternoon with results going both in favour and against the Blues.
In order for Steve Burr’s men to stay in the league, they had to either match or better the result from Aldershot, where Hereford had to win to keep any hope alive of staying up.
The game started well for Chester as it was the hosts who took the lead. A superb strike from Jason Jarrett outside the box was deflected by Danny Carlton which caught Will Puddy by surprise, resulting in the ball to land in the back of the Salisbury goal.
The Whites then got a goal back courtesy of a Charlie Sheringham header. Salisbury crossed the ball into the Blues’ area which wasn’t dealt with, allowing the son of former England striker, Teddy, to head home comfortably.
Chester weren’t hard done by however and took the lead once more thanks to spectacular strike from John Rooney. The attacker intercepted the ball outside the Salisbury area, twisted and turned well before launching a powerful curling effort into the top right corner of Will Puddy’s net.
The crucial goal came four minutes from time when Jamie White scored a goal reminiscent of his strike partner, Sheringham, who rose highest from a cross and headed home his effort beating Aaron Chapman in the Blues goal.
As the visitors drew level, news reached the Swansway that Hereford had also taken the lead at the recreation ground, resulting in a crushing five minute spell for Chester which sees them return to the sixth tier of the football pyramid.
Speaking after the game, a despondent Craig Mahon spoke on behalf of the players and said: “It’s heart-breaking, I can’t explain the emotions that the lads went through today. One minute you’re up, the next minute you’re down and then obviously to concede in the last five minutes is the worst feeling.”
Shortly after the interview with Mahon, Chester Boss Steve Burr faced the media and expressed his sadness from the result: “It’s difficult to make any positive comment from today because we’re all down in the dumps because we haven’t pulled it off and haven’t managed to keep the team in this division.
“We’ve just been keeping our heads above the water, out of the bottom four and to go down with 50 points on the table, normally you would expect that to be enough but the table doesn’t lie and it’s very difficult to comprehend what has happened.”
Speaking of where the Club goes from here, Steve said: “I have no idea at this present moment in time, it’s a season in the Conference North and trying to bounce back.
“At the minute we’re just very down at the fact that we haven’t been able to pull it off and keep the team in this division and that’s a massive disappointment to me personally.”
When asked whether he will remain manager of Chester next season, he added: “I don’t know yet, I will have to sit down with the people here and talk to them and see what they want to do.
“It’ll go down on my CV as a team that’s been relegated and they might not want me here but I do feel that since we have arrived, we’ve had a go at keeping the team up and I feel that certain decisions which have got to be made here we have got right.
“We’ll have to sit down when we’ve got clear heads and see where we’re going.”
Chester FC: Chapman, Kay, Brown, Linwood (Seddon 46), McIntyre, L Turner, Bond, Jarrett, Menagh (Mahon 46), Rooney, Carlton (Hobson 77).
Subs not used: Danby, Ashworth.
Salisbury City: Puddy, Brett, Wilson, McPhee (R Sinclair 61), White, Lewis, Frear, S Sinclair, Dutton (MacDonald 74), Anankwaan (Fitchett 88), Sheringham.
Subs not used: Wellard, Roberts.
Referee: Adrian Holmes (Castleford)
By Steven Peach at the Swansway Chester Stadium