CRAIG MAHON described himself as ‘immensely proud’ after becoming Chester’s record appearance holder.
The 28-year-old, into his fifth campaign with the Blues, broke George Horan’s record of 159 competitive matches since the club reformed in 2010 when he lined up for Chester’s midweek clash at Gateshead.
Although ultimately not the result the Dublin-born winger wanted, as Tom Shaw’s Blues crashed to a 3-2 defeat, Mahon was understandably elated to have reached the significant milestone.
“It’s an honour and a real privilege to say I’ve played for Chester for 160 games, I’m very proud,” the winger said.
“I’ve had messages off my parents saying how proud they were. It was a really nice occasion for myself but obviously the result takes the shine off it a bit.
“But I will never forget what the club has done for me, what the previous gaffers have done for me and what the fans have done for me, so I’m very grateful and all I can do is keep working hard on that pitch and keep repaying them.”
Addressing the last-gasp defeat at the International Stadium, as Chester shipped a 93rd minute goal, he added: “It’s a tough pill to take as I thought we were the better team for the whole game.
“We were the better team but we conceded two soft goals. Our heads could’ve dropped but we kept going, we kept fighting and had the right attitude. To get back to 2-2, do you either go for it or settle for a point?
“Two minutes later they’re 3-2 up. It’s heartbreaking to take because we’ve got fans travelling all this way, we’ve got fans back home listening on the radio and Twitter.
“We wanted to be positive and give them as much as we can so it’s heartbreaking to come away with nothing.
“I gave the ball away for the second and they’ve broke and scored so personally I was gutted but the boys showed the character we have and that’s fantastic. We kept going and champing at the bit.
“We’ve got a bit of luck with the first goal and Ross is always there in the right spaces to score a goal.
“Young Matty comes on, does fantastic and what an unbelievable finish! You think this could be our night, where our luck changes, then we go down the other end and concede from a corner, the game is over. It’s hard to take but we’ll learn from it, go down to Dover and get three points.”
Next up for the Blues is the long away trip to Dover Athletic, who lie fifth in the table but were beaten 1-0 by Boreham Wood in midweek.
With Harry White, Ross Hannah, Nyal Bell and James Akintunde now all fit, Mahon believes there’s a chance the Blues – currently 21st in the table – can ‘cause a shock’ and bring three points home.
“This weekend we’re almost at full strength, all four strikers are ready to go,” he added.
“I really believe we can start picking up wins. Hopefully I can bring the luck of the Irish on Saturday because it’s tough down at Dover.
“They are up near the top and doing well but with the squad here we can take something from there. It wouldn't surprise me to see us go there and get the three points.
“You can’t knock the passion. Shawsy and Jon McCarthy signed good players, we’re showing that at the moment but we’re not all clicking just yet, just glimpses at the moment.
“I can see us going down to Dover and causing an upset because if we play like that, teams will struggle against us.”
See full story in the Chester Leader