NEWLY-SIGNED Chester midfielder Adam Dawson has accused AFC Telford of "sour grapes" after the Shropshire outfit reported the Blues to the FA for an alleged illegal approach following his controversial move to the Swansway Stadium earlier this month.

Telford have claimed Chester made contact and held talks directly with Dawson without making an official seven-day approach prompting the Bucks to accuse their rivals of wrongdoing but after impressing in his two appearances so far for the Blues, the 26-year-old has shrugged off the complaints coming from his former club.

"Whatever went on in the press was a load of lies and sour grapes on their part," said Dawson following the Blues' 1-0 defeat at Leamington. "It was all done properly and I'm not bothered because I know Bernard (Morley) and Johnno (Anthony Johnson) and Chester did everything right and I'd been given the green light to speak to other clubs.

"I know both of them and I know they can get a certain side of the game out of me. I have a lot of respect for them because they're from the same place I'm from so I want to work hard for them so it's all good for everyone. I'm really happy they've given me the opportunity."

Despite his move coinciding with Chester's recent loss of form, Dawson has looked the part so far and the well-travelled winger is looking forward to helping the Blues resurrect their title ambitions after three games without a win.

"We knew it would be a struggle at Leamington because you've got to deal with the conditions and the way they play," he said. "You know the game is going to be a battle rather than a game where you play football on the deck but we expected that.

"We created enough chances to win the game and put it to bed but we haven't taken them and they've gone down the other end and scored when we're on top.

"I played there earlier in the season with Telford so I knew what it was like but you're going to get a lot of pitches like that now coming up to Christmas and into January so you have to scrap for wins - it's those away games in the winter when it's cold and raining that you've got to win to push up in the league."

With Johnson and Morley expected to play a strong side against Southport in Saturday's FA Trophy tie, Dawson is hoping for a rare cup run in a career which has saw him sign his first professional contract seven years ago with 2013 FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic.

"I'm really enjoying it so far," he added. "Obviously I had to shake a few cobwebs off because I hadn't played much apart from coming on as an impact sub so it's good to start feeling myself again and getting sharper.

"Southport have started to pick up some results but we'll dust ourselves off and go there with confidence. I'd be worried if we weren't creating a lot of chances but we are and we should have had two or three against Leamington and should have got a couple against York - we've got to start taking those chances and hopefully our fortunes will change on Saturday."

Chester FC Academy Head Coach Calum McIntyre has hailed his side's FA Youth Cup run an “unbelievable experience” for himself and his players ahead of their tie with Mansfield on Wednesday evening.

McIntyre's side face a long trip to play the Stags in the Second Round Proper having registered five wins in the competition already with Premier League AFC Bournemouth awaiting the winner in Round Three.

"It's been a great adventure," said McIntyre. "For us to come right the way through from the Preliminary Round has been unbelievable and we've knocked established sides out.

"We fancy ourselves and know exactly what we're capable of but we're well aware we're playing a really strong side who have recruited really well."

Kick off is 7.30pm at the One Call Stadium on Wednesday. Admission is £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.