CHESTER FC welcome arch rivals Wrexham to the Swansway Chester Stadium on Saturday with Blues looking to do the double in the cross border derby (Kick-Off 12:00).
The last time the two sides met in August, Chester won the game 2-0 at the Racecourse Ground courtesy of goals from Paul Linwood and Lewis Turner.
Regarded as one of the fiercest rivalries in the footballing calendar, the cross border derby is up there with the meetings between the Liverpool and Manchester teams.
Chester’s form since their last meeting against their rivals has only picked up slightly. The Blues were in the relegation zone and following a string of good results, they now sit 20th in the league. Wrexham have failed to reach the heights they gained last season having been unable to get out of the bottom half of the table.
Despite both team’s struggling to regain their impressive form of last season, a win in the derby will be a main aim in both clubs objectives.
The Blues last outing saw them go down 2-1 away to Grimsby Town. Poor defending from Chester allowed the Mariners to exploit the gaps in their defence which consequently lost them the game. The Dragons last outing ended in victory as they won 3-0 at home to Nuneaton Town.
Quays News Match Prediction: Chester FC 2-1 Wrexham.
Derby games can throw an array of fortunes in the mix with this match being no different. Chester have everything to play for with safety their first priority. Wrexham are safe for another season in the Conference but with home advantage in the Blues’ favour, Chester have the stronger motive going into this game.
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.
Wrexham AFC: Coughlin, Carrington, Wright, Livesey, Ashton, Clarke, Harris, Keates, Hunt, Reid, Anyinsah, Bishop, Mayebi, Tomassen, Artell.
Chester draw against local rivals Wrexham
THE cross-border derby ended stalemate on Saturday as Chester FC could only draw against rivals Wrexham at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
Finishing 0-0, the Blues started strongly after Lewis Turner picked up the ball on the right hand wing and cut inside before sending a looping left footed shot inches over Joslain Mayebi’s bar.
Shortly after Joe Anyinsah then fouled Kevin McIntyre and was lucky to remain on the pitch after his a late challenge on the Blues defender. The referee then conferred with his linesman and showed the Dragons striker a yellow card.
Wrexham then began to show their authority in the game and came close to taking the lead after Neil Ashton struck a hard shot towards the Chester goal. Aaron Chapman saved well to deny the former Chester City player and collected the ball on his second attempt.
John Rooney, who worked tirelessly to win the ball for the Blues, was found in space just outside the Reds area before launching a 30-yard strike which looked goal bound before a deflection sent it just over Mayebi’s net.
The first half petered out with neither side creating anymore chances. Following the break the game carried on in the same manner and it took a while for both sides to get back into the match.
Rooney created the first real chance of the second half after the Blues won a free-kick outside the area. The Midfielder stepped up and struck a powerful shot in the path of Mayebi who could only parry to Lewis Turner but the defender couldn’t get his shot away.
Substitute Craig Mahon then added a bit of flair to the Blues attack and made an instant mark on the game with his first touch. The winger beat Wrexham full back Mark Carrington and sent a shot on target but the Dragons stopper saved comfortably.
As the game drew to a close, both teams continued to push on but found themselves cancelling each other out in the final third. The whilstle blew for full time and as the teams left the field, more than 100 Police personnel made their way into the ground and lined the edge of the pitch ensuring trouble was kept at bay.
Speaking after the game, Chester boss Steve Burr said: “It was a typical local derby with not a lot in it. I felt with a bit more care in and around the 18-yard box then we could have done a bit better. It was very tense and the atmosphere was fantastic.”
Quays News Man of the Match: Paul Linwood.
Consistent throughout the game with his tough tackles and goal saving clearances, the centre half gave his all in this game. Having not been selected in the starting XI for a number of games, he has put himself back in contention for a starting spot in Chester’s next game.
Chester FC: Chapman, Griffin, Horan (Ashworth 62), Linwood, McIntyre; L Turner (Menagh 88), Jarrett, Bond (Mahon 71), Rooney; Seddon (c), Carlton.
Subs not used: Danby, Hobson.
Booked: L Turner, Griffin, Carlton.
Wrexham AFC: Mayebi, Ashton, Livesey, Clarke, Bishop, Keates, Hunt, Bailey-Jones, Anyinsah (Reid 62), Artell, Carrington.
Subs not used: Wright, Williams, Tomassen, Evans.
Booked: Anyinsah, Reid
Referee: Darren Handley
Assistants: Matthew Corlett and Richard Wild
Fourth Official: David McNamara
By Steven Peach at the Swansway Chester Stadium