STUART GRAVES is planning to provide another pivotal role tomorrow night for the Blues.
The 30-year-old left-sided defender hopes he can make another crucial contribution for Chester in the club’s first home league match of the season against Trafford at the Deva Stadium (7.45pm kick-off) after netting the Blues’ winning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 league victory at Wakefield.
Graves was introduced as a second half substitute for Chester at the weekend and admitted he enjoyed his goal celebration to help earn his side three precious league points.
He said: “I don’t score many goals, but I thoroughly enjoyed the goal I scored against Wakefield because it helped earn the club their first league win.
“My first reaction after scoring was to feel delighted for all the Chester fans that had made the trip to Wakefield.
“I didn’t know whether I was going to get a game after being named as a substitute, but I was hoping that the gaffer would give me a run after Wakefield equalised just after half-time.
“I was obviously disappointed that I was not selected in the starting line-up, but I was grateful that I got the chance to go on and it felt brilliant to score the winning goal.
“I had been sat next to the gaffer on the bench and I know he was kicking every ball. It was really frustrating to be sat there and not being able to do anything.
“The lads were trying as hard as they could but, just like Warrington Town in our first league match, we weren’t having much luck in front of goal.
“The Wakefield keeper made two or three world class saves to keep his team in the match and Wakefield gave us a tough game with their physical strength.
“Not many teams will go to Wakefield this season and come away with all three points. I was relieved for all the Chester lads that we managed to get that winning goal.”
Graves, who was a member of Rhyl’s 2003/04 quadruple winning team, was signed by Blues boss Neil Young from Colwyn Bay in May.
He added: “I now feel we have had a little bit of pressure lifted off our shoulders, but there is no guarantee that the gaffer will select me in his starting line-up tomorrow against Trafford.
“The gaffer has told all the players that he will select a team who he feels can combat different types of opposition.
“We had to contend with high balls into our box on Saturday at Wakefield because they had a big lad in attack. That’s not the style that the gaffer usually likes to play, but we came away with three points after digging deep and doing a job.
“I think Trafford will try and adopt the same tactics as Wakefield when they come to the Deva Stadium tomorrow.
“I think Trafford may pack their midfield and come to play for a draw, but it’s down to us to prove that we can be patient and break them down and work hard to pick up another victory.”
- Chester’s league match against Garforth Town has been brought forward to Saturday, September 11, (3pm kick off).
The match was originally scheduled for Saturday, November 20, however, both clubs had a free Saturday on September 11 and will now meet at the Deva Stadium.
As a result, the home match against Skelmersdale United originally scheduled for Wednesday, September 29, will now take place on Saturday, November 20.
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