A first day victory for the Blues, the first in six years, was a just reward for an excellent display. Iain Howard’s goal separated the two sides, but the difference was a committed and impressive display of teamwork from Chester. Here are my highlights (in no order or coherent thought):
1) It was really bloody hot.
It was one of the very few times I didn’t want to stand at a football match, taking cover in the seated area instead, which made the performance from Chester all the more impressive. All eleven players who started looked like they could have done the full 90 minutes if required, which (hopefully) shows that the fitness and conditioning of the players is good. So, well done Youngy for getting them fit, those runs really are worth it.
2) That Linwood fella…
I need to eat my hat. I don’t wear or own a hat, but I need to buy one and then eat it. Linwood was assured, comfortable, solid, read the play well, worked with Horan well… a great performance.
3) The floor is not just for standing on.
Chester played a lot more on the floor than last season and it really helped us win the match. It meant we were in control of the game for longer periods, something which will definitely come in handy this year. Last year the personnel we had allowed us to get it from back to front quicker. That is, of course, still a valid tactic at times, but playing it on the deck should be the default tactic for this season, which is nice.
4) The midfield was excellent
All of them were great today. Hankin’s runs were probing and difficult to deal with. Howard had a cutting edge in front of goal and was always busy up and down the line. Ash Williams was in his element mopping up, tackling and playing it simple. And Sarcevic had his best all round performance in a Chester shirt, with a great goal line clearance and defensive play coupled with his usual dangerous attacking play.
5) Levi ‘Christian Smith’ Mackin
Last year we had Smith, a centre midfielder, to fill in at centre and left back. This year we have Levi Mackin. He probably won’t play at centre back, but judging from his performance today, he’ll be absolutely fine to cover for McGinn in the future. Handy.
Right, that’s it. At least until the Workington game. Feel free to add your thoughts below!