CHESTER can tonight maintain the prospect of securing silverware on three fronts.
The table-topping Blues are hoping to sign an emergency goalkeeper in time to play in the League Challenge Cup second round tie at Newcastle Town (7.45pm), having already reached the last 16 in the President’s Cup.
Chester boss Neil Young who watched his side earn top spot in the Division One North league table after a well deserved 2-1 weekend victory at Cammell Laird, where first choice shot-stopper Richard Whiteside suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury, is expecting a tough test against a Newcastle side who celebrated a 5-0 President’s Cup home win last week against Trafford, and who have achieved a 10-game unbeaten run to date in Division One South.
“Newcastle are a very good side who won 5-0 last week,” Young said.
“We’ve got 16 fit players and I think I’m going to have to ask the same lads to play again because it doesn’t look like we’re going to get anyone back in terms of fitness, so the lads who were on duty on Saturday, apart from Richard Whiteside, will be the lads who are on duty tonight.
“I’m also hoping that Rob Hopley will be fit and there are a number of options as far as the goalkeeping position is concerned.”
Loan signing Antoni Sarcevic will be available, as his suspension from a dismissal against Lancaster City does not take effect until this Saturday’s home match against Mossley.
Pleased with the way his side battled their way to victory against Cammell Laird Young also praised the performance of former Chester City goalkeeper Phil Palethorpe.
He said: “I think we should be converting more of our goalscoring chances when they come along, but goalkeepers get paid to keep clean sheets.
“From Phil Palethorpe’s point of view he knew he was facing his former club and I know he is a proud lad and a very good goalkeeper who is in fine form.
“Most players, not just goalkeepers, are always going to raise their level of play against us in front of big crowds, because they know it’s their chance to show their ability.
“Cammell Laird’s players achieved that on Saturday against us. They showed plenty of effort and some of the football they played on a difficult pitch was good.
“But I’ve got to give credit to my players because the one thing they haven’t been lacking is the willingness and effort, and to keep going.
“I was delighted to see Michael Wilde scoring his two goals.
“His first goal was very good because I could see his movement. He just moved backwards off the centre back and then darted forward and got across the defender to get in a great header.
“He scored again shortly afterwards, but nobody knew why it was offside except the linesman who seemed to want to be the referee.
“I couldn’t understand why we had to play seven minutes of stoppage time because if the referee had allowed to let the game flow a little bit instead of spending three or four minutes talking to players I think we would have got an even better game.
“Our fans saw another entertaining match and hopefully they went home with their hair intact and pretty much happy.”