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Chester versus FC United preview

FC United make the short trip down the M56 to take on newly reformed club Chester FC on Wednesday and with both teams enjoying a good pre-season in front of big crowds the match should prove another good night for the supporter-owned football movement.

Chester are gearing up to start this season in the Evo-Stik Division One North, just one below FC United, so they should provide another good test for the Reds and all at the club are excited to be welcoming us to the Deva Stadium. Club secretary John Davies said: "We’re really looking forward to the game, not least because it’s a good opportunity to pick the brains of a few of your people to give us a bit more advice and help in getting us through this first season."

Chester have so far recorded victories over sides representing Tranmere Rovers (2-1) and Wigan Athletic (4-0) before losing narrowly to Marine 1-0 at the weekend whilst pulling in crowds of up to 1,900 supporters. Davies has been thrilled with the way the last few weeks have gone. He said: "It’s been really hard work but it’s all coming together now. Chester Fans United brought the club back from extinction and I’m absolutely delighted for everyone involved with how things are going.

"The fans are fantastic. To get those sorts of crowds for pre-season friendlies is wonderful. We’ve sold more than 650 season tickets too so things are looking very positive. We’ve had a bumpy ride in getting here what with appealing the decision to place us in the North West Counties League, so now we’re looking forward to the season ahead, playing new teams, meeting new friends, visiting new grounds. We hoping to emulate yourselves at FC United by working our way up the leagues, we know it won’t be easy but we’re up for the challenge."

FC United general manager, Andy Walsh has attended meetings with Chester fans on previous occasions and he is also pleased to be able to watch the two teams who were established due to struggles off the pitch, battle it out on the pitch. He said: "We’re delighted to have been in the position to help Chester FC during its reformation and we’re grateful to be invited to give them a match. We hope that as many FC United fans as possible will make the trip because it should be another great occasion to demonstrate what supporter-owned clubs can achieve together."

With less than two weeks until the season’s opening weekend trip to Marine, manager Karl Marginson is getting close to deciding his starting 11. However, the match at Chester gives Margy another chance to look at a few things and he knows Chester will provide good opposition.

Margy said: "Obviously, it’s early days for Chester but they look like they have got the makings of a good side and they’ve got a good manager in Neil Young, who won promotion with Colwyn Bay last season. We’re looking forward to giving them a game and as they’ve shown with their results so far it’ll be a good test for us."

Young has had to start this season from scratch but he’s used his contacts in the game to establish a strong squad of players. He pulled off a coup by signing fans’ favourite Carl Ruffer from Witton Albion. The 35-year-old defender played more than 100 times for Chester City between 2000 and 2004 and was part of the squad that won the Conference and promotion back to the Football League in 2004.

Midfielder Andy Burgess has also joined after spending much of last season at Mansfield and Luton Town in the Conference. FC United fans will be familiar with Chester’s striker Adriano Rigoglioso, who made six appearances for the Reds last season. FC United, who are unbeaten in four, are also looking in good shape with the arrival of Michael Norton, Scott McManus and Martin Parker over the summer as well as Nicky Platt and Steve Torpey rejoining the club.

Norton has been in fine form, scoring five goals in six appearances and Chris Ovington, who joined the Reds towards the end of last season, has been on the score-sheet in both of the last two matches against Bala Town and Ramsbottom United. The midfielder turns 20 on Tuesday and assistant manager Roy Soule has been impressed with the former Leeds United youngster.

He said: "Chris has got good attributes, he’s got skill and speed but it’s still a bit of an eye opener for these young players to come out of the academies and start playing in non-league against, shall we say - uncompromising defenders? He’s handled it very well."

Chester FC versus FC United of Manchester is this Wednesday, kick-off 7.45pm at the Deva Stadium with prices at £7 for adults, £5 concessions and £3 juniors. Get yourself to that football ground.

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First Posted ~ 10:02 Tue 10 Aug 2010
News ID ~ 3011
Last Updated ~ 12:57 Mon 21 May 2018