CHESTER are setting their sights on a money-spinning road to Wembley Stadium after reaching the last 32 in the FA Trophy competition.
The Blues booked their place in today’s second round draw after securing a convincing 5-1 first round victory at North Ferriby United on Saturday.
Goals from Antoni Sarcevic, Iain Howard and Matty McNeil, plus a brace from Michael Wilde earned Chester £5,000 in prize money and a step nearer to a dream final appearance at Wembley.
“We have to believe that we can progress all the way to a Wembley final, otherwise we wouldn’t be in the competition,” Blues boss Neil Young admitted.
“The FA Trophy only caters for non-league clubs, so why can’t we be in the final? Other clubs like Burscough and Grays Athletic have achieved a run to the final in the past, so why can’t Chester do it?
“We all know how difficult it’s going to be, but the dream is there – we’re into the last 32 and we’ve got to believe.
“It’s no good going to where we’ve got to go to next and not believing we can make the final.
“I’m sure everyone in the Chester dressing room believes we can make the final, particularly after our 5-1 win at North Ferriby United.
“We achieved a fantastic result on Saturday and could have won by a bigger margin, and that achievement shouldn’t be understated.
“Our win at North Ferriby was first class because they have been on a very good run after beating Corby from Conference North in the previous round.
“North Ferriby had scored six victories from their last seven home matches. They are a good passing side and they made the league play-offs last season.
“But we prepared right by staying overnight and we thank the club for that because it was good to see the lads put on a very good performance.
“If I’m honest I think we could have scored a lot more than five goals in the end.”
Young revealed that a big key to Chester’s win in Humberside was having the strength and power of Matty McNeil and Michael Wilde in his line of attack.
Wilde was making his first start since Chester’s 2-2 home draw against Frickley Athletic in October, and he complemented the height and physical presence of McNeil.
Young added: “I took a decision to pair Matty with Michael in attack after playing a 4-5-1 in recent weeks.
“We knew we could get at North Ferriby and there is nobody better than Matty and Michael at the moment at doing a good job.
“Matty and Michael scored three of the five goals and all in all I thought it was a good display.
“Matty deserved his goal and played well throughout the match. I wouldn’t have liked to have been the two North Ferriby centre backs on Saturday playing against Matty and Michael because it’s not what they do in the first 10 or 15 minutes, it’s the way they eventually wear defences down.
“Part of the plan was knowing we could get in behind the defence before we could release Chris Simm and James Ellison with their pace.
“But the game was out of sight well before Simmo and James were introduced.”
Young explained why he described his team’s win at North Ferriby as a fantastic achievement: “Teams coming to North Ferriby will always find it difficult because they are never going to lie down.
“A game against Chester is probably going to be most clubs’ match of the season and teams will always raise their game against bigger clubs.
“North Ferriby were never going to be any push-over because their record speaks for itself. Worksop and North Ferriby are the two form teams behind us in the division.
“We knew we had a tough tie, but I’ve got to give great credit again to the players because for them to go there and win 5-1 is a fantastic achievement.
“The manner of the victory should not be taken away from the players because people judged us from our 6-0 league victory against North Ferriby earlier in the season, but they are now a new side under a new manager who has been on a great run."
“The lads were organised and they worked their socks off. On another day I think we should have probably have scored more goals."