100 Club

For those that missed it, here is my Leader column from Friday November 2nd which featured a statistical breakdown of Neil Young’s first 99 games in charge. Unless Chester and Corby are involved in FA Trophy replays the fixture between the sides next Wednesday will be the 100th league game.

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The 3-0 victory at local rivals Vauxhall Motors on Tuesday night was the 99th league game for Neil Young and Chester FC. As the Blues prepare to celebrate the 100th game it’s a good time to reflect on what has been a phenomenal run of results over the last two and a half years.

The full record shows that Chester has won an incredible 71 league games since the first game was played at Warrington Town in August 2010 and the Blues have only been beaten on 10 occasions with 18 games ending as draws. It’s impossible to find such a consistent run in the club’s history and for the nearest comparable sequence you have to go back to the turn of the last century.  Between 1906 and 1909 Chester only lost nine games in three seasons although that covered just 82 games.

In modern times Mark Wright’s City lost 16 of their first 100 games after the former Liverpool and England defender took charge of the Blues in January 2002.

The Blues have been almost impregnable at the Exacta and only Chorley, Radcliffe Borough and Hednesford Town have walked away with all three points. It is now 14 games unbeaten at home since Hednesford won in the city in the middle of January.

There can be no complaints about entertainment value over this period with the Blues scoring 242 goals to average just under two and a half goals a game. At the other end a mere 77 have been conceded. Neil Young’s side have now scored in each of the last 52 league games with Hednesford Town the last team to record a shut-out in August 2011. In fact only one other team has prevented Chester from scoring in the 99 games and that was Witton Albion in March 2011. The goalless draw, in the first season, remains the only occasion in which supporters have failed to see a goal from either side.

There have been plenty of high scoring games as well with the Blues putting six past Trafford, Osset Albion, North Ferriby and Stalybridge Celtic as well as scoring five on four occasions. As far as personal goalscoring is concerned there have been eight hat-tricks with Michael Wilde scoring five of them and Chris Simm, Ben Mills and Iain Howard recording the remaining three.

Furthermore, the defensive record is also second to none and when Boston United beat the Blues 3-2 in mid-September it was the first time that John Danby had conceded more than two goals in a league game since the 4-1 defeat at Nantwich more than 12 months earlier. That August Bank Holiday defeat to our county neighbours stands out like a sore thumb amongst the results and only two other sides have managed to score more than twice against the Blues. Curzon Ashton and Radcliffe Borough both scored three times in the Evo-Stik North during the first campaign.

Danby and the rest of the defence also created a club record by going 691 minutes without conceding a league goal between August and October 2011, a record extended by 90 minutes with the inclusion of a Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Hyde.

A number of other post-war records have also been created. By winning seven games at the start of this season the Blues equalled a record set in 1914/15. The defeat at Boston also ended a run of 23 unbeaten games, which was the best since 1908/09. In addition the 15 unbeaten away games and 10 consecutive victories were also the best since 1930/31.

Since the club started it has been surrounded by a very high level of expectancy and this has often overshadowed the incredible job that Neil Young has performed. The results over the first 99 games have been a great tribute to the management team and they can all be extremely proud of their achievements and the records they have created.

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