NEIL YOUNG reserved praise for his ‘secret weapon’ in Chester’s 3-2 victory at Brackley Town.
The Blues boss admitted he had been delighted with the performance of influential right-sided midfielder Dave Hankin as Chester retained their six-point lead at the top of the Conference North league table.
Young watched Hankin break the deadlock and provide an assist for Ben Mills put the Blues 2-0 up at the break against their third placed hosts before club skipper George Horan extended Chester’s advantage 16 minutes from time.
“Brackley came to watch us against Worcester and our secret weapon Dave Hankin wasn’t playing,” Young said.
“Craig Curran was ill so I decided to start with Dave and in the end we had to take him off because he was on a booking and the referee told him if he committed another foul he would be gone.
“I had to think seriously about that, but we also didn’t want to go down to 10 men.
“I thought Dave was outstanding from box to box, but I thought we could have scored a few more goals, because Ben (Mills) missed a great chance and we had a couple of other opportunities flash across the goal.
“We also limited a very good Brackley side to very little.
“Craig (Curran) wasn’t available due to illness after being our man of the match last week, and we also without Scott Brown and Dominic Collins who were both suspended.
“But Linny (Paul Linwood), Dave (Hankin), Nathan Jarman, and Ben Mills all came into the team and performed.
“People have to understand that it is a squad game and I’ve told the lads that we have a lot of big and hard games coming up and it’s not all about individuals.
“People should know that I pick teams to win particular games, but unfortunately at Brackley I didn’t have many options because of the injuries we had, but all the credit has got to be given to the team.
“We set them up and ask them to go out and put in all the effort. I don’t have to put the effort in, they do, and that’s what they did at Brackley.”
Young thought the final scoreline failed to reflect the true picture of the contest watched by Brackley’s season best attendance of 1,155.
He added: “I think the scoreline flattered Brackley a little bit, but we knew we were coming to a very good side who had been promoted like us and have had a great start to the season.
“We knew we were going to come up against a physical battle and there were a lot of balls going back to front.
“They had a lot of good, quick lads, and they play to percentages, but I thought my lads were excellent from the first minute right through to the 87th minute.
“They scored a good goal and their number 11 (Glenn Walker) caused us problems with his pace.
“But I thought the game should have been done and dusted by half-time, but it wasn’t and to be fair to Brackley they stuck at it and looked dangerous from setpieces.
“But I thought my two centre backs were outstanding against two Brackley forwards who have caused clubs many problems already this season.
“Ashley Williams in midfield was absolutely outstanding and we worked hard and that’s what it was all about because we knew we all had to put a shift in.
“Jon Brady made some key substitutions for Brackley which changed the game.
They managed to get in behind us and score, but overall I was absolutely delighted to get the three points.”