Ross Hannah hailed the ‘fantastic respect’ shown by both sets of supporters during Chester’s 1-0 derby defeat to bitter rivals Wrexham.
Tensions were high prior to kick-off, with a delayed start to the first derby in recent years not to be subject to ‘bubble match’ restrictions only serving to crank up the atmosphere further.
However, both sets of rival fans stood perfectly silent as fallen heroes were honoured ahead of Remembrance Sunday, and Blues striker Hannah praised all 4,079 supporters for their conduct inside the Deva and hopes the ‘bubble’ will now be consigned to the past.
“The fans deserve massive credit for the minute’s silence,” he said.
“I didn’t hear a single peep out of anybody so that’s fantastic from both sets of supporters.
“Wrexham fans were still coming in so that was fantastic and rightly so, that’s how it should be.
“Other than a few little minor things that happened, I don’t think there’s been too many problems and I think it’s been a successful decision.
“I’m obviously disappointed for our club and our fans. Wrexham go home with the bragging rights and that’s disappointing but all I can say is we’ll continue to work hard and we will turn the corner, I’m positive of that.”
Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to congestion outside of the Deva, with coaches carrying Reds fans ‘held up’ en route to the stadium, but the 31-year-old refused to use that as an excuse adding that such delays can occur at the top level.
“We were itching to get out there, we could sense the atmosphere brewing as we were warming up,” he said. “We were disappointed we couldn’t get out there at 7.45pm but there’s no excuses on that side.
“The gaffer had more of a chance to go through certain stuff, we just kept ourselves moving and looked forward to kick-off.”
The Blues struck the woodwork twice and saw two strong penalty appeals waved away, on a night where they could and probably should have gained at least a point.
Hannah, however, felt Wrexham ‘did what they do well’, in getting their noses in front and defending resolutely for long periods, a trait which has seen them climb level on points with league leaders Dover.
“I agree we shouldn’t have lost, but at the end of the day, they’ve done what they’ve been doing which is being solid at the back and winning close games,” he explained.
“The little details in both boxes made the difference. We work hard on set-pieces and all aspects of the game and it’s a big part of football.
“Some teams rely heavily on it. It came up trumps for us at the weekend when big Ryan (Astles) got us a point at Eastleigh from a corner but unfortunately we’ve now conceded from a set-piece which turns into the winner.
“The lads are disappointed but we’ve still got to pick ourselves up. We’ve got plenty of games to go, although we can’t keep saying that can we?
“We have to start finding ways to win football matches, simple as that.”
The Blues’ last four games, trips to Maidstone and Eastleigh and home matches versus Barrow and Wrexham, have yielded just four points despite producing four good performances and the striker admits that’s a strong sense of frustration.
“We’d take not playing well and getting a point at the minute,” he added. “If they’re honest, that’s what they’ve done, not played well but won the game and been ruthless in both boxes.
“It’s disappointing but I’m sure the gaffer will look at the game and we’ll come back in, go through it, and look to the next game.”