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United are up for the Supporters Direct Cup

After Saturday’s 4-1 win over Airbus UK Broughton, FC United continue their pre-season with a trip to Chester FC to contest the Supporters Direct Cup. Craig Phillips provides this preview…

While only a friendly the importance of this game for the coming season could be crucial as both United and Chester are being tipped to be at the higher echelons of the league table come the end of April and to score an early blow against one of your rivals would be a good way to start the season.

A lot of positives were taken from the victory in Wales last Saturday, not only the result but the performance of the team containing several new faces which played well together for the first time, something which the players will be looking to build on in this weekend.

This is the fifth time United have contested the Supporters Direct Cup, having played AFC Wimbledon in 2005, 2006 and 2009, and last season the Reds faced AFC Telford United. United’s only victory coming against AFC Wimbledon in 2006 at Gigg Lane.

This week has also seen the release of the forthcoming fixtures for the season and United will know a good pre-season is required as they face a tough away day in the opening weekend at newly relegated Stafford Rangers, who will be looking to bounce straight back into the Conference North this coming season.

As well as FC United giving support and advice to Chester’s newly established supporter-owners last year, the two clubs are not strangers on the pitch either. Last summer, Chester hosted the Reds for an entertaining midweek 3-3 draw. Hopefully, Saturday’s match will be just as enthralling.

Chester FC were formed in 2010 following the winding up of Chester City FC in March of last year. A supporters group called City Fans United had been set up the previous October when large numbers of the support became disgruntled with the way their club was being run. CFU organised several protests which included an on pitch protest at Eastbourne Borough which saw the game abandoned.

CFU decided to form a ‘phoenix’ club in February 2010 and in a vote of more than 1,000 fans the name Chester FC was chosen for the new club who would begin their life in the 2010-2011 season.

Initially, the club was to play in the North West Counties League but following appeal to the FA the club were placed in the Evo-Stik Division One North for the season.

That season began with a 1-1 draw away at Warrington Town but went from strength to strength as cheered on by consistently high attendances; including a record 3,307 against Bamber Bridge, Chester FC moved to a strong position in the league, building up a 12 point lead by March.

Chester had an indifferent end to the season surrendering their handsome lead at the summit of the division, and despite defeat at Garforth Town on the final day of the season their superior goal difference meant they won the league and promotion to the Premier Division in their inaugural season.

The United defence must be wary of the threat posed by Michael Wilde who netted 36 goals last season for The Blues but a host of new faces brought into the club means that Chester are one of the teams to beat in the league this season.

None more so than Jerome Wright who signed for Chester in May after five years with FC United. Wright was always a fan favourite with the FC faithful and it may be strange to see him bombing down the left in a blue shirt rather than his scarlet number 10 we’d become accustomed to over the years.

Chester come into the game following a 1-0 win over League One side Tranmere Rovers at the Deva Stadium on Tuesday evening. In a game played in front of 1,806 fans, new signing Wes Baynes got the goal that sank their opponents from the Wirral.

So both teams come into the game on the back of good results, with new faces looking to bed in ahead of a season which promises so much for both sides. All the ingredients for a brilliant game you’d imagine.

Entrance for the match is priced £10 adults, £7 concessions, £4 for under-16s and as with all of our friendlies - FC United do receive money from the gate receipts. So get yourself down to that football ground and you will (hopefully) see United pick up their first silverware of the season.

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First Posted ~ 13:15 Fri 15 Jul 2011
News ID ~ 3649
Last Updated ~ 13:15 Fri 15 Jul 2011