Thought i'd get in early, before that albatross, Rio, parks his shifty shadow, over the Moss Lane proceedings on Sunday.
Well what can I say - the Robins can be quite agile, they like perching on garden forks and they enjoy a mid morning worm...… however they have really spindly legs and you hardly ever see them in the summer. They disappear. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't turn up on Sunday.
When the refs hooter goes at 1.30pm, you can rest assured that Bern and Johno's, 100% mackerel fed, rag tag bunch of common, grey, hydraulic and mechanical seals will be all over the pitch. Lumbering around, balancing on the ball, necking fish during the hydration breaks and mainly making Frank Sidebottom's mob look like a proper bunch of tw*ts.
Well that's my prediction.
They say 'Sunday lunch is the best drink of the week' - looking forward to this one....the perpetuality continues......CoYS's !!!!
Yeah think I’ll give the beer garden of a full to capacity pub a miss in the middle of a kill8er pandemic.
That'll be full based on current social distancing guidelines. I'm currently sheilding so couldn't go anyway but if the pub is doing things properly based on current guidelines I don't think it would be an issue.
*Just a disclaimer, you are going to be in for a very long (but hopefully enjoyable) read - my apologies!
Never felt as excited for a Chester game in a while yet I can’t even go - typical really! This will be a mammoth test, particularly with our top scorer departing and our late return to training, but at the same time there is absolutely no reason why we can’t come away from Moss Lane with a place booked in the last four. As the away side we will feel much more advantaged with nobody in attendance, as there won’t be an intimidating atmosphere which will relieve us of any pressure. We also just need to say goodbye to this whole ‘Altrincham’ mentality by just treating it as a normal game. Our woeful record at Moss Lane is well-documented, but we simply must forget that now and not let it get to our heads, because we have as much a chance of winning than they do. Alty are obviously an excellent side and will be the favourites, which may well put them under a slight bit of pressure, but we’re a good side ourselves and to be honest I thought we didn’t fare too badly in our last outing at the J Davidson Stadium.
Our last match was all the way back on March 7th as we fell to a miserable 2-1 defeat away at Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC. This game is absolutely meaningless in regards to tomorrow as both teams have no form, although it could actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise because had this fixture been played the following week, we may have been affected psychologically. I can remember the first half being very drab with John Johnston missing a sitter, and I can recall Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC taking the lead at the other end as Tom Clare bundled in to make it 1-0. We began the second half in an improved fashion as Matty Waters managed to find the net directly from the corner spot for us to make it 1-1. Another defensive lapse proved to be costly at the other end, as Oli Johnson looped a header in to make it 2-1 to Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC. We couldn’t muster a second equaliser which made it an embarrassing afternoon in West Yorkshire.
Altrincham have once again had an excellent season as a red hot second half of the campaign has saw them earn a deserved play-off berth. The Robins made a very slow start to the campaign though, as just two wins out of eight in the opening month saw them languish near the relegation spaces. Alty managed to rectify their poor start though, especially in November, as an unbeaten league run, topped off with a dream away day at Portsmouth, saw them kick-start their campaign. Our opponents since maintained that form, particularly after Christmas, as they eventually broke into the play-offs and haven’t looked back since. Altrincham have a whopping five former Seals in their side, who are Tony Thompson, Elliott Durrell, Craig Mahon, Dan Mooney, and Tom Peers. Goalkeeper Tony had a brief spell here at the back end of the 2015-16 season where he was solid enough, while he has been at Alty from 2017 - turning out to be a fans’ favourite. Meanwhile, winger Durrell was here from 2016-17 where he was bizarrely refused of a new contract by Jon McCarthy. Elliott joined our opponents from fellow play-off rivals York City in January. Thirdly, winger Mahon goes down in Chester folklore as a legend, having been here from 2013 up until January of this year. Mahony has been impressive for The Robins thus far after his transfer from us. Penultimately, winger Dan Mooney was on loan here from Fleetwood Town last season, where he particularly shone in the first half of the season by creating his own ‘goal of the season’ competition. He faded away after the New Year though, which reminded me of free agent Ryan Lloyd as he too was 50-50 in his second loan spell. Lastly, striker Tom Peers is an Academy graduate having signed first team forms in 2013. He was here until 2016 where one particular highlight was when his equaliser at Altrincham’s rivals, Macclesfield Town, turned out to be the catalyst in our injury time win in 2014. Tom has been at Moss Lane since 2017 and has been in and out of their team.
A lot of fantastic stuff has happened behind the scenes at our club in recent months which has really pulled us all together to clearly implement our club motto - ‘Our City, Our Community, Our Club’. This has actually happened at the perfect time as there was a real division when Stuart Murphy approached us a few months ago, but rather ironically we, the supporters, along with our volunteers, directors, staff, and players have since united as one to highlight how powerful the collective people in fan-ownership can be. I haven’t experienced a feel-good factor as strong as this since 2013, or possibly 2014 in the FA Cup, and this really could have a positive knock-on effect in regards to our on-pitch performance tomorrow. It’s actually becoming more and more popular in the play-offs at all levels to see the outsiders fare more successfully than the teams that have just missed out on automatic promotion, because the outsiders have that buzz of just managing to sneak in there which translates to a more positive and confident mindset, whilst teams who missed out on the automatics can be affected mentally and bottle it under pressure.
Of course, we have had a four month break so the tables may well turn just for this occasion, although they certainly didn’t for Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton Town who were the outsiders. WE, Chester FC, will be put under the same name tag as the above, but does it really matter? Of course not! Just look at Braintree Town for instance in the 2017-18 season, as they won promotion back to the National League by playing all three matches away from home whilst being part time, so it CAN be done. We are fortunate to actually be in the play-offs as I was really fearing that we’d slip out after the Horsfall horror show, but perhaps we can use this Lady Luck to emulate Wycombe! I am not expecting promotion this time out due to the circumstances, but I do expect us to give it a good go and give it 110% as well, and with this squad I fully believe they will give it their all, because they CARE about our club and should be regarded as heroes for their terrific gestures, whatever the outcome. Give me this squad over the complete diatribe of Lucas Dawson, Wade Joyce, and Liam Davies any day of the week. Whatever the outcome, I am extremely proud of all of our squad and can’t ask for much more really. Just play to the maximum and shake-off the Altrincham cloud that always seems to catch us whenever we are at Moss Lane, and you never know, we could nick something. UP THE SEALS!
Score: Altrincham (Hancock) 1-1 Chester FC (Elliott) - Chester FC to win 5-4 on penalties
Attendance: 3̶,̶1̶2̶7̶ (1̶,̶0̶0̶0̶ Chester FC)
My predicted lineup: Gray K.Roberts Livesey Grand Taylor Jackson G.Roberts Glendon Johnston Dudley Elliott