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MATCH PREVIEW: CHESTER FC v ALFRETON TOWN

Calum McIntyre’s side welcome seventh-placed Alfreton Town to the Leap76 Stadium, on Easter Monday, in what is their penultimate home game of the season.

With only two points separating the two sides and four games remaining of the campaign, the result of this contest may prove to be decisive in determining who finishes in those coveted play-off spots.

The Chester faithful will be hoping for a repeat performance of Good Friday’s match against Buxton, as the Seals thrashed the Bucks 4-1 in Derbyshire in what was arguably our best display of the season.

The reverse fixture, back in November, resulted in a 1-1 draw with Declan Weeks opening the scoring before a Liam Edwards own goal drew Monday’s opposition level.

THE OPPOSITION:

Alfreton Town are aiming to finish in the play-offs for a second consecutive season after finishing fifth last year, before being knocked out by the eventual play-off winners Kidderminster Harriers.

The Reds have enjoyed another action-packed campaign, which included almost making the FA Cup third round for the first time in their history, but their hopes were crushed by League Two outfit Walsall, who needed a replay to knock Billy Heath’s side out.  

Like Chester, they were also victorious on Good Friday, narrowly edging out Rushall Olympic by one goal to nil at North Street.

Their attack is one of the most potent in the league as their goal tally of 68 is only bettered by second placed Scunthorpe United and third placed Chorley (both 72).

THE GAFFER:

Billy Heath has occupied the dugout at North Street since 2018 and he’ll be hoping his team can take that next step after fighting for promotion in the last few years.

The 52-year-old is six games shy of managing his 250th game in charge of the Reds and he has overseen a stark contrast from the team he inherited. They have gone from flirting with relegation to consistent play-off hopefuls during his tenure.

Prior to joining Alfreton, Heath had a successful spell with FC Halifax Town as he led them to promotion to the National League in the 2016/17 season where Halifax remain to this day.

ONE TO WATCH:

Goalkeeper George Willis comes into this game fresh from his inclusion in the National League North Team of the Week alongside Chester’s Harrison Burke and Tom Peers. His place in the team was earned after a clean sheet against Rushall Olympic.

The 28-year-old stopper has kept 13 clean sheets for the Reds this campaign, and most notably Willis has kept clean sheets against National League North champions Tamworth both home and away.

A Sheffield United academy graduate, Willis has had permanent spells with Stalybridge Celtic and Boston United since embarking on a new journey away from the Blades in 2016. He has been with Alfreton since 2020 and he is a huge asset for Billy Heath’s side.

LEAGUE FORM GUIDE:

Chester FC | W17 D14 L11 | F51 A31 GD: +20 | Pos: 9th

Last Three

Tamworth (A) | D 0-0 | Scorers: N/A

South Shields (H) | L 1-0 | Scorers: N/A

Buxton (A) | W 4-1 | Scorers: Declan Weeks, Harrison Burke, Adam Thomas, Tom Peers

Alfreton Town | W19 D10 L12 | F68 A49 GD: +19 | Pos: 7th

Last Three

Bishop’s Stortford (H) | W 3-0 | Scorers: Jordan Thewlis x2, Billy Fewster

Brackley Town (A) | L 1-0 | Scorers: N/A

Rushall Olympic (H) | W 1-0 | Scorers: Jordan Thewlis

Match preview by Jude Deedigan.

Kick off is 3pm on Easter Monday afternoon at the Leap76 Stadium.

RETRO DAY/EASTER ACTIVITIES:

Monday’s fixture with Alfreton Town will see us hosting a pre-match Family Fun Day with our friends from Audacious Church.

There will be a host of free activities on offer, including inflatables, face painting, crafts, games and competitions, as well as hundreds of chocolate eggs to be given away to younger fans.

And at half-time, Lupus will join the Easter Bunny and Chester FC Community Trust’s Team of the Week for a penalty shoot-out in front of the Harry Mac, subject to the weather.

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