ALEX LYNCH is going all out to put ‘smiles back on the faces’ of the Chester faithful tonight when the Blues take on AFC Fylde.
Jon McCarthy’s side will belatedly begin the new National League season at the Swansway Chester Stadium tonight (7.45pm) having seen Saturday’s league opener at Solihull Moors called off at just 24 hours notice due to safety fears at Damson Park.
Hundreds of Blues supporters were left disappointed and out of pocket as a result of the late postponement, and goalkeeper Lynch says Chester’s players are fully focused on delivering three points this evening against Dave Challinor’s newly-promoted outfit, who began their season with a 2-2 draw against Boreham Wood.
“As a group of players it was the fans we felt for the most. We were expecting a lot of Chester fans to travel down to back us at Solihull, they’d booked trains, buses, paid good money for match tickets,” said Lynch, who has shaken off a groin strain and is declared fully fit.
“It’s the fans who it isn’t fair on. But we’re determined to put on a display for them back at our place and get three points on the board.
“Most importantly we want to put some smiles back on the faces of the fans who spent their hard-earned cash on us at the weekend only to be told the game was off.”
Having their opening game of the campaign called off was a ‘horrible feeling’ according to the 21-year-old, who remains Chester’s only signed-on goalkeeper, with a loan deal yet to be finalised for Burnley under 23 stopper Conor Mitchell, but he accepts there was little the players could do other than switch their attentions to the Fylde clash.
“It was a really weird one, when I first got the message off the gaffer I thought it was a wind-up! But then we all read the statement and it started to break on Twitter, so we soon realised it was called off,” he explained.
“It’s the first time I’ve experienced anything like that in football, a horrible feeling, seeing other players posting about it being gameday and seeing the results coming in.
“We had a bit of a chat about it in training but it’s one of those things and we’ll quickly get over it and move onto the next game.
“The buzz is with us now though, it’s our first game, it’s nice it’s at home. They’ve had a hard 90 minutes already and we’ll be feeling fresh so we need to make that count.”
Chester haven’t tasted victory at home since December 17, losing their last eight competitive fixtures at Bumpers Lane, but the 21-year-old shot stopper isn’t overly concerned by their unwanted winless record at home.
“It’s a new season and for the new lads it’s not something that’s on their mind,” he added.
“For those of us who were here last year, of course we can’t hide the fact our home form wasn’t good for a long period of the season and we know some of the fans haven’t seen us win at home for a while.
“We understand that but it’s a new season now, a fresh start and we’re not concerning ourselves with that record.
“It goes without saying it’d be great to get that first home win, get the monkey off our backs a little.”
Saturday’s postponement also gave striker Ross Hannah more time to shake off his injury niggle and he could start tonight.
See full story in the Chester Leader