Chester FC fans turned out in force to watch a youth team match last night – generating thousands of pounds for club's fight for survival. 

A crowd of 1,065 saw the Blues' youngsters beat Gateshead 1-0 at the Swansway Chester Stadium.

Admission was free but fans were encouraged to donate to the club's fighting fund – and raised £12,800 on the night.  

Supporters were informed by the club's board last week that £50,000 was urgently needed to keep the club afloat in the short term. Since that shock announcement, £35,000 has been raised. 

Youth team boss Calum McIntyre was taken aback by the support his young players received. 

He said: "What a club! A thousand people have rocked up to watch the under 18s on a Wednesday night at the end of January. I'd like to thank the supporters, who have been absolutely first-class this evening.

"I've never experienced anything like it."

Chester's youth team are used to playing in front of a handful of fans but last night the atmosphere at the stadium was similar to a first-team fixture. A goal by Cain Noble secured a 1-0 win for the home side, sending them through to the quarter-finals of the National League Under 19 Alliance Cup. 

A host of other fundraising initiatives have been arranged, including an all-star game between ex-Premier League players and a Chester Legends XI managed by former Blues boss Neil Young. The February 15 match is being organised by Chester-born former England footballer Michael Owen, radio presenter Colin Murray and Chester FC board member Jeff Banks.