Elliott Durrell says Chester FC can mix it with big-spending Eastleigh


Charlie Croasdale

ELLIOTT DURRELL insists Chester can mix it with big-spending Eastleigh tomorrow afternoon.

The eighth-placed Spitfires, managed by ex-Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore, broke their transfer record this week to secure the services of Barnet centre-back Bondz N’Gala, and brought in a number of high profile signings during the summer in a bid to secure National League promotion.

They included defenders Ryan Cresswell, Reda Johnson, midfielder Jason Taylor and Sunderland youngster Mikael Mandron, who has bagged 10 goals this season in 21 appearances.

Blues winger Durrell, himself a summer arrival from Tamworth, pointed to victories over Dagenham and Redbridge and Dover Athletic this season as evidence to suggest Chester can claim three points at the Silverlake Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

Chester go into the away test on a run of seven without a win, after they were pegged back to draw 2-2 with Southport in midweek, after Kane Richards and James Alabi had fired the Blues into a two-goal lead.

“We now need to get back to winning games and there’s no tougher place to go than Eastleigh but if we come away from there with three points then the whole picture changes,” former Wrexham midfielder Durrell, pictured, said.

“There’s no easy game at this level but it’s winnable. We go into each game knowing we can win and we’ve shown this season we can beat teams with a bigger budget than us and get results.

“We’ll dust ourselves down and look to put the record straight.”

On the disappointing second-half display against the Sandgrounders in midweek, he explained: “Obviosuly to be 2-0 up at the break and looking comfortable, to not win from that point is disappointing, we’ve not played as we’ve wanted to play. Credit to Southport, they came at us second-half and I think in the end they deserved a point.

“There can be no complaints from our dressing room. In the majority of games we look bright going forward, but for whatever reason we didn’t get going in the second-half against Southport.

“The first 15 minutes we were on our game, I think we turned them and played it in behind and that made them defend deeper which plays into our hands.

“Second-half we wanted to do the same but for whatever reason it didn’t quite happen and that led to us getting deeper and deeper as a collective unit. There’s no blame on indivduals though, we win as a team and lose as a team and we now have to draw a line in the sand a prepare for a big game at Eastleigh.”

Home fixtures against Southport and Bromley looked winnable for the Blues, but they took just two points from the past week after being held to a 1-1 draw with the Ravens last weekend.

“If truth be told we’ve let these two games pass us by,” Durrell added, with Chester lying 12th in the table.

“We didn’t want to do that but we feel as though we’ve dropped four points over these past couple of games.

“If we’d picked up six points we’d be in a much healthier position but I think a big positive we can take is we’ve only lost once in 13 matches. 

“If you’d have said that to us at the start of the season I think we’d have taken it, given the start we had.

“Earlier on in the season it was our home form which was very good and now for whatever reason that switched around a bit. 

“Maybe we feel under more pressure at home, but I think we should have gone on to beat Southport.

“Away from home the fans are great, we’re not anticipating taking thousands down there but I know there will be a few down there and we’ll look to make their journey home a happy one.”

Alex Lynch, who produced an outstanding display to claim man of the match in the draw with Southport, will continue in goal with Liam Roberts ruled out with a groin injury.

Theo Vassell and James Akintunde are also likely to be sidelined, along with long-term absentee Ross Killock.

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