RICHARD WHITESIDE is targeting a hat-trick of clean sheets tonight at unbeaten Bamber Bridge.
The Chester goalkeeper has had to make a series of impressive stops for the Blues who have celebrated a 6-0 win against Trafford and a 2-0 home league victory against Garforth Town in their last two matches.
And Whiteside admitted he had been pleased with his recent performances to help his team secure an unbeaten start to the campaign and fifth position in the Division One North table.
He said: “From a personal point of view I’ve been very happy since we started our season.
“I feel we’ve got a very good side and I’ve got a very good back four in front of me which is fantastic.
“We’re getting used to playing together now and we look quite strong. We set a good standard with a 6-0 home win against Trafford, but it was always going to be tough to emulate that on Saturday against Garforth.
“Our performance against Garforth wasn’t as polished as our victory against Trafford, but at the end of the day it’s another three points and from my point of view another clean sheet.
“Garforth made life a bit difficult for us during the first half and I think they are in a bit of a false position at the moment in the league table.
“As soon as they get a few games under their belts I think they’ll be a mid-table team because they are a good side and have a few good runners.
“Garforth weren’t as bad as everybody was anticipating and that was reflected in the scoreline.
“I think tonight’s match at Bamber Bridge will be a different kettle of fish because they have played four games and haven’t conceded a goal.
“They will be a strong side, but we’re all looking forward to the game and hope to extend our unbeaten start to the season.
“Although I’m a Preston lad I don’t know an awful lot about Bamber Bridge, but I’ve heard on the grapevine what they are capable of and we’ll have to be on our guard.
“We can only beat what’s in front of us at the end of the day, and Bamber Bridge will be another big game for us.
“It will be good to see a good turn out from the Chester fans because they play a big role in helping the lads perform.
“It’s good to have the big crowd behind us at Chester rather than them being on our back like some places I have played at.
“The spectators here are a fantastic bunch, especially the fans behind the goal on the terrace.”
Whiteside has retained his place in the starting line-up after sharing shot-stopping duties in pre-season with former Liverpool keeper Chris Oldfield.
But 25-year-old Whiteside sees 19-year-old understudy, Oldfield, as a good prospect, and added: “Chris is a top young goalkeeper and I feel he has a bright future in the game.
“He’s top drawer, he has some fantastic attributes, and if he can learn about the physical side of the game at this level I think he’ll be very good.
“I’m just pleased to be getting a regular place in the Chester team at the moment.
“I left Southport to join Cammell Laird where Neil Young was the assistant manager.
“I signed a two year contract at Cammell Lairds which ran out at the end of last season and as soon as Neil found out he had got the Chester job he was on the phone to me.”
- League leaders Chorley travel to second placed Clitheroe tonight for a top of the table clash.
Third-placed AFC Fylde can keep the pressure on the two front-runners with a home victory against Mossley, while Warrington Town entertain Leigh Genesis.
Trafford will start as favourites to secure a home win against Durham City, while bottom club Garforth Town play host to Salford City, and Radcliffe Borough face Harrogate Railway Athletic.