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Chester FC striker looking on the bright side

Published date: 21 February 2012 |
Published by: Dennis Wall
Read more articles by Dennis Wall


 

MATTY McNEIL is keen to take the positives from the Blues drawn encounter at Chasetown.

The 35-year-old Chester striker remains confident his table-topping club can get back to winning ways when they entertain Buxton on Saturday at the Exacta Stadium (3pm kick-off).

McNeil, who combines his role as a centre forward with his job as a postman, has netted 12 goals so far this season and has impressed Blues fans with his tireless performances.

The former Stockport County and Southport striker provided the assist for Antoni Sarcevic’s goal in Chester’s 1-1 draw at Chasetown before the home club grabbed an equaliser.

“We’re still top and it’s still all in our own hands. We’ve just got to take the positives from the Chasetown match and start taking our chances in front of goal,” McNeil said.

“We’ll get together in training this week and plan ahead. Hopefully we can get the three points, keep winning, and see those teams chasing us slip up somewhere along the way.

“I was totally disappointed about our 1-1 draw at Chasetown. We were against the wind in the first half and it was hard work. We didn’t really create many chances, but then we improved and should have won the game.

“Nobody picked up the runners for their goal from a free kick which was a big surprise because that situation never happens in a training session.

“It was really poor defending from us because we allowed their lad to nip in unchallenged and beat Adam Judge on his near post.

“We should have been well ahead by that stage and we paid a price for missing a lot of goalscoring chances.

“But we came away with a point and there are still 13 games to go. We’ve just got to get a win at home to Buxton on Saturday.”

Praising the workrate of winger Jerome Wright, goalscorer Sarcevic, and substitute Chris Simm, McNeil added: “Jerome  worked well down the flanks and provided a number of crosses, but we had many one-on-one chances which should probably have been converted.

“I thought Jerome was onside for the chance he scored from near the end which was ruled out for offside. He finished well. But it was just one of those games you continually look back at because we missed chance after chance.

“We had a goal disallowed, we had a penalty saved, and then they scored from probably the only chance they created.

“But we have to look at the positives – we got a point out of the match.

“Antoni took his goal really well from my flick on and that really got us going and made us play a lot better in the second half.

“Simmo (Chris Simm) did fantastic to get round his man before being fouled which led to the penalty being awarded, but Matty (McGinn) was really disappointed about his spot-kick because he is normally very reliable from the penalty spot, but their keeper read it and although the kick wasn’t perfect their keeper saved it.

“Even from then on in we were 1-0 up and we just had to defend.

“I was in the middle with my marker and I could see men in front of me. Judgey (Adam Judge) tried to get to the ball but their lad got there before him and nodded it home.”

And Blues boss Neil Young revealed he was annoyed at the manner in which his side conceded Chasetown’s equaliser.

“To be fair to Chasetown, everyone could see what they were about.

“They were exactly the same when they came to Chester. They are resilient, hard to break down, they have got big lads who’ll go in and do what they’re good at.

“I told my players at half time that if they scored it will be from a setpiece. And then we gave a silly free kick away and I don’t know what went on for their goal. Any one of three players could have put the ball in the back of our net.

“It wasn’t good enough on a difficult pitch, but we had to take our chances and we didn’t.

“We didn’t set up properly for their goal. We didn’t have anyone in the near post area, and we didn’t defend the free kick well enough. But we always have to put our chances away when they come along.

“We are where we are. We have got to get on with it and get back to where we are against Buxton this weekend.”

- Former Chester City manager Keith Curle has been named as the new manager of Notts County.

Curle succeeds Martin Allen who was sacked just hours after the 3-0 defeat at Hartlepool on Saturday.

Curle was working as former County boss Neil Warnock’s assistant at QPR until Warnock lost his job at the Premier League club in January.

The 48-year-old is thought to have turned down the chance to join Warnock's backroom staff at Leeds following his appointment at Elland Road.

The former England international defender takes over a team that is 11th in the League One table and eight points adrift of the play-off places.

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