Chester FC were relegated from the Conference Premier on Saturday after a 2-2 draw at home to Salisbury City wasn’t enough to keep the Blues in the division.
Chester FC were relegated from the Conference Premier on Saturday after a 2-2 draw at home to Salisbury City wasn’t enough to keep the Blues in the division. With both Chester and Hereford battling it out to remain in the league, it was a topsy-turvy afternoon with results going both in favour and against the Blues.
In order for Steve Burr’s men to stay in the league, they had to either match or better the result from Aldershot, where Hereford had to win to keep any hope alive of staying up.
The game started well for Chester as it was the hosts who took the lead. A superb strike from Jason Jarrett outside the box was deflected by Danny Carlton which caught Will Puddy by surprise, resulting in the ball to land in the back of the Salisbury goal.
The Whites then got a goal back courtesy of a Charlie Sheringham header. Salisbury crossed the ball into the Blues’ area which wasn’t dealt with, allowing the son of former England striker, Teddy, to head home comfortably.
Chester weren’t hard done by however and took the lead once more thanks to spectacular strike from John Rooney. The attacker intercepted the ball outside the Salisbury area, twisted and turned well before launching a powerful curling effort into the top right corner of Will Puddy’s net.
The crucial goal came four minutes from time when Jamie White scored a goal reminiscent of his strike partner, Sheringham, who rose highest from a cross and headed home his effort beating Aaron Chapman in the Blues goal.
As the visitors drew level, news reached the Swansway that Hereford had also taken the lead at the recreation ground, resulting in a crushing five minute spell for Chester which sees them return to the sixth tier of the football pyramid.
Speaking after the game, a despondent Craig Mahon spoke on behalf of the players and said: “It’s heart-breaking, I can’t explain the emotions that the lads went through today. One minute you’re up, the next minute you’re down and then obviously to concede in the last five minutes is the worst feeling.”
Shortly after the interview with Mahon, Chester Boss Steve Burr faced the media and expressed his sadness from the result: “It’s difficult to make any positive comment from today because we’re all down in the dumps because we haven’t pulled it off and haven’t managed to keep the team in this division,” Burr said. “We’ve just been keeping our heads above the water, out of the bottom four and to go down with 50 points on the table. Normally you would expect that to be enough but the table doesn’t lie and it’s very difficult to comprehend what has happened.”
‘Haven’t been able to pull it off’
Speaking of where the Club goes from here, Burr said: “I have no idea at this present moment in time, it’s a season in the Conference North and trying to bounce back. At the minute we’re just very down at the fact that we haven’t been able to pull it off and keep the team in this division and that’s a massive disappointment to me personally.”
When asked whether he will remain manager of Chester next season, Burr was uncertain.
“I don’t know yet, I will have to sit down with the people here and talk to them and see what they want to do,” Burr said. “It’ll go down on my CV as a team that’s been relegated and they might not want me here but I do feel that since we have arrived, we’ve had a go at keeping the team up and I feel that certain decisions which have got to be made here we have got right. We’ll have to sit down when we’ve got clear heads and see where we’re going.”
Chester FC: Chapman, Kay, Brown, Linwood (Seddon 46), McIntyre, L Turner, Bond, Jarrett, Menagh (Mahon 46), Rooney, Carlton (Hobson 77)
Subs not used: Danby, Ashworth
Salisbury City: Puddy, Brett, Wilson, McPhee (R Sinclair 61), White, Lewis, Frear, S Sinclair, Dutton (MacDonald 74), Anankwaan (Fitchett 88), Sheringham
Subs not used: Wellard, Roberts
Referee: Adrian Holmes (Castleford)
What do you think? Is the future of Steve Burr intact? Have your say in the comments section below.